Oh Internet. You never miss a beat, do you? Yesterday, many in the gaming world found themselves distracted by an exchange between a disgruntled consumer looking for his unshipped, long since paid for product and a PR flack from Ocean Marketingwhose disgraceful behavior drew the ire of... well... pretty much everyone, everywhere.
With the Internet being what it is, it didn't take long for some creative individuals to put together a comedy video built around a fake customer service call to Ocean Marketing, one naturally filled with nods and direct quotes from Paul Christoforo, the real-life Ocean offender. It's filled with naughty words and there's no age gate, so you'll have to head over to New Challenger's YouTube page.
But wait! There's more! Back in the real world, Penny Arcade posted another update detailing what went on behind the scenes yesterday while we all scrambled to make jokes and rant about the sort of world that would allow for such an incident to happen.
It seems that Christoforo at first threatened PA with legal action after the original post went live on Monday evening. That tune had changed to an apologetic one by early yesterday morning, when many of us were first catching wind of the whole sordid affair.
Penny Arcade's Mike Krahulik (who posts as his comic alter-ego Gabe, for those not familiar with the site) shared the contents of Christoforo's two messages in an update post. One simply asked Krahulik to make it stop while the other was a longer apology which, frankly, comes off as pretty insincere.
The opening line is the most telling: "I just wanted to apologize for the way our e-mails progressed," Christoforo writes. "I didn't how how big your site was and I really didn't believe you ran PAX." Let's just cut it right there. Whatever else is said in the e-mail, that line basically reads: "I wouldn't have been such an ass after you got involved if I'd known what a big deal you were and what that might mean for me."
Krahulik, not incorrectly, calls Christoforo out for being a bully. He concludes the post with the comment that reads: "I will personally burn everything I’ve made to the f--king ground if I think I can catch [those who bully us] in the flames."
That anger isn't misplaced in any way; Christoforo's behavior was completely out of line and he'll be feasting on humble pie for a good long time as a result. That said, it's hard to justify bullying a bully as anything more than an act of vengeance. Christoforo clearly has some troubles that he needs to sort out, so now that we've all had our fun it might be best to just give him the space to do that and focus on the positives.
Yes, there are some positives in this situation. Christoforo's now-abandoned Twitter handle, @OceanMarketting, has been taken over by a good-hearted samaritan who has now devoted the feed to spreading the word about indie game development and charitable organizations.
Let's also not overlook the simple lesson in all of this: don't be an ass. Christoforo's behavior demonstrated how easily someone can snap in a relatively minor situation. Count to 10, take a few deep breaths, squash the crap out of your stress ball-- whatever you need to do to tamp that temper down, do it. The Internet makes it SUPER easy to attack people due to the anonymity factor but, as we saw yesterday, you never know when your disgusting behavior might blow up in your face.
Source: Penny Arcade