Posted by Hailinel (22737 posts) 2 months, 15 days ago

Pitts v Rohrer: The Castle Doctrine and Pull-quotes (113 votes)

What Rohrer did was wrong and shouldn't be tolerated. 39%
Rohrer is wrong, but eh, it happens. 11%
Pitts is overreacting. Rohrer was within his rights to do what he did. 15%
Pitts and Rohrer both come off bad in this. 24%
Other. 1%
I have no opinion. Show me the results. 11%

You might have seen the quick look of the game, read Patrick's article on designer Jason Rohrer's philosophy behind selling it, or maybe you've played it yourself, but it seems that The Castle Doctrine is in the news again for controversial reasons. Russ Pitts at Polygon blasted the game in his review, owing largely to his distaste for the game's paranoid and nihilistic nature, and gave it a 5 out of 10. He then tweeted about the review, as is common practice.

Well, Rohrer took two of Pitts's Twitter comments about the review and used them as a pull quote for the game's Steam page, with edits to make it appear as a single truncated quote, which in a way distorted Pitts's view of the game. Pitts didn't appreciate this and asked Rohrer to take the quote down, which led to an apparent exchange in which Rohrer grew increasingly aggressive, eventually pulling the "fair use" card. The situation escalated to the point that Pitts briefly contemplated legal action against Rohrer.

You can read Pitts's full account of his side of the story here.

I find the whole thing fascinating and bizarre. On the one hand, Rohrer's use of the Twitter comments is less than savory, and yet it's not really any different than countless movie ads that have used elided and out-of-context negative quotes for positive publicity. And, well, if you say something in public, it's not entirely unreasonable for that quote to be cited. Yet the quote(s) referenced weren't from the review, but from tweets about the review.

It's just bizarre. I can kind of see where both sides are coming from on this, but wow. I don't know. What do you guys think?

(For the record, I myself have not played The Castle Doctrine, but I did not feel particularly moved by Pitts's review, as it seems largely geared toward condemning the game for making you play as a horrible human being in a hopelessly horrible world and little else.)

#1 Edited by Oldirtybearon (4289 posts) -

I voted for Rohrer because I like him more than I like Russ Pitts.

That being said I don't blame Rohrer for being salty that his game got reviewed poorly because the reviewer had philosophical bones to pick with the game. The question I have is whether or not that stance is even warranted; that is panning a game for showcasing themes or situations you find off-putting. My knee-jerk reaction is to say that stuff shouldn't matter, that it's about how the game plays and whether or not it's mechanically engaging, but on the other hand I can see why Pitts would want his score to reflect his thoughts.

The game review... game? is changing. People are now free to interpret themes and score their "experience" instead of the product in their hands (or on their Steam press account). When you start dealing in abstracts like the Pitts review it becomes a lot of muddy water and the review's purpose becomes opaque. Is the review buying advice? Is it criticism (which is something you read/partake in after the experience)? Is it a weird, Frankenstein'd hybrid of the two?

This whole situation looks like growing pains. My guess is if The Castle Doctrine review wasn't scored or if it was clearly marked as criticism he'd probably have less of a problem with it. Then again, do indie developers live and die by their metacritic rating in the same way real developers do? Or maybe Rohrer is petty. Or maybe Russ Pitts is a sensational jerkhole whose head resembles a large phallus. It's hard to say.

I'm rambling now. I'll let smarter people than me handle this.

that's your cue, @brodehouse.

#2 Edited by Make_Me_Mad (2952 posts) -

I feel like this is one of those weird cases where it's hard to tell tone over the Internet. I mean, when someone uses the words "most disturbing game I've ever played" I kinda assume that some messed up stuff happened, and I don't think that's a recommendation one way or the other. Especially for a game like this, where it seems that a large part of the publicity that's making people interested is it supposedly being a real morally questionable sort of experience. Whether I think that or not is irrelevant, and in the end I think this is just someone getting upset that something negative they said about a game is nonetheless used to promote it, because part of the game's popularity is from those negative reactions to it.

I don't think you can say that he's altered the statements or misled anyone with them, but it's a matter of perspective. I think he's just using someone's clear, apparent distaste for the game to drum up a bit more of that attitude that the game is serious and grim and troubling... and if Pitts was as disturbed by the game as he makes apparent in his statements, then maybe it's totally accurate.

#3 Posted by SgtSphynx (944 posts) -

What Rohrer did was disingenuous by initially splicing two separate tweets together, but Pitts is overreacting. I do feel that Rohrer should respect Pitts wishes and remove the quote though.

#4 Edited by Snail (8476 posts) -

The quote "most disturbing game I've ever played" fits within Pitts's review, doesn't it? Well then.

It's a neutral statement. The game is disturbing, and I don't think Pitts disagrees with that. Maybe he disagrees that it's actually the most disturbing game he's ever played, but that's a depressingly petty detail to threaten a lawsuit over - especially when he expressly typed and published those exact words onto twitter.

Also, I don't know if it was the case when you posted this 20 minutes ago, but the quote is now credited as "Russ Pitts (discussing his 5/10 Polygon review)", and links to Pitts's tweet.

But yeah, what Rohrer did was kinda slimy too. It comes through as a sulky attitude. Or maybe he was simply glad that someone found his game to be so damn dark, and genuinely wanted to share that (despite how that made the reviewer feel). In any case, it was at best sorta wrong, and, whether it was naive or ill-intended, it's entirely reasonable for Pitts to be annoyed by this attitude.

#5 Posted by samsara (20 posts) -

I have yet to care about the game, controversy, or Pitts' review, which...I can't imagine getting that emotionally invested in a game I dislike. However, Rohrer has crossed a line that's beyond silly inside baseball developer/journalist politics. He's just a bad human being. When a decent human being asks you to stop involving them in a thing they find indecent, you fucking stop. I'll give you a pass if you don't know the protocol about asking permission, but the asshole is just saying no, no, no.

#6 Posted by Pr1mus (3523 posts) -

The guy is an asshole who didn't like the review and decided to distort the reviewer's words to promote the game just to spite him despite having multiple more positive reviews to pick from. It's petty and childish no matter what you think of Pitt's review.

#7 Edited by TruthTellah (7674 posts) -

Agree or disagree with Pitts' thoughts on the game, Rohrer was mistaken to truncate the comments and then not either change or remove them upon request. I can understand what he did initially as a kind of cheeky mock(which devs have done before with divisive games), but misrepresenting those comments and then deciding to not change or take them down was improper and deserves criticism. Pitts has every right to defend himself from a developer improperly quoting him; though, the little spat has gone a bit far.

Things like this are almost always a little messy. I'd say Rohrer is clearly the one who is most at fault though. Just comes off petty.

#8 Posted by Milkman (16232 posts) -

Hmm...I guess Rohrer can do what he wants but he seems like kind of a jerk. Don't developers typically ask journalists before using their quotes? Pitts should probably have a say about who uses his words to promote his game but there's nothing preventing Rohrer here (besides decency, obviously). Pitts may be overreacting a bit but I can't say I wouldn't be annoyed if there was a game using my quote that I actively disliked as much as Pitts seems to dislike Castle Doctrine.

#9 Edited by HeyGuys (156 posts) -

I hope Rohrer enjoys his 15 minutes of fame because to me he's just gross.

#10 Posted by TheHT (10294 posts) -

That's a real shitty thing for Rohrer to do.

#11 Posted by StarvingGamer (7581 posts) -

"Although the changes made do indeed resolve a lot of possible objections, they do not resolve the only objection I have ever voiced to Rohrer: That my personal Twitter posts have been used against my wishes, and in spite of my polite request, in an advertisement for a game."

Lol, this Pitts guy can fuck right off.

#12 Edited by StarvingGamer (7581 posts) -

@truthtellah said:

I can understand what he did initially as a kind of cheeky mock(which devs have done before with divisive games), but misrepresenting those comments and then deciding to not change or take them down was improper and deserves criticism.

Except that's exactly what he did, changed the quote to be 100% accurate and even went out of his way to provide the necessary context.

#13 Posted by hippocrit (221 posts) -

I wonder if Rohrer is using this simply as a publicity stunt to mitigate the damage his "no sales" stance will do to his income.

#14 Edited by TruthTellah (7674 posts) -

@starvinggamer said:

@truthtellah said:

I can understand what he did initially as a kind of cheeky mock(which devs have done before with divisive games), but misrepresenting those comments and then deciding to not change or take them down was improper and deserves criticism.

Except that's exactly what he did, changed the quote to be 100% accurate and even went out of his way to provide the necessary context.

The least he could do is correct the quote to be accurate, especially after initially misrepresenting his comments, but if someone requests that their comments be removed, that's also something a reasonable individual would do. At this point, keeping it against his objection is just petty, and it seems like a rather childish move. The spirit of a mock quote is in cheeky fun, not out of some kind of spite. Rohrer is being petulant about something he should just let go.

#15 Posted by DannyHibiki (95 posts) -

@heyguys said:

I hope Rohrer enjoys his 15 minutes of fame because to me he's just gross.

Couldn't have said it better.

#16 Posted by Hailinel (22737 posts) -

@starvinggamer said:

@truthtellah said:

I can understand what he did initially as a kind of cheeky mock(which devs have done before with divisive games), but misrepresenting those comments and then deciding to not change or take them down was improper and deserves criticism.

Except that's exactly what he did, changed the quote to be 100% accurate and even went out of his way to provide the necessary context.

The least he could do is correct the quote to be accurate, especially after initially misrepresenting his comments, but if someone requests that their comments be removed, that's also something a reasonable individual would do. At this point, keeping it against his objection is just petty, and it seems like a rather childish move. The spirit of a mock quote is in cheeky fun, not out of some kind of spite. Rohrer is being petulant about something he should just let go.

Rohrer is under no obligation to remove the quote, though. And how often has a member of the press used a quote to paint a subject in a certain way despite any objection on behalf of the quoted?

#17 Posted by joshwent (1780 posts) -

I know the context and actions are different, but this whole stupid situation reminds me of Phil Fish arguing with that other jerk.

Maybe twitter is good for something; outing the immature assholes. Hurray!

#18 Edited by TruthTellah (7674 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@truthtellah said:

@starvinggamer said:

@truthtellah said:

I can understand what he did initially as a kind of cheeky mock(which devs have done before with divisive games), but misrepresenting those comments and then deciding to not change or take them down was improper and deserves criticism.

Except that's exactly what he did, changed the quote to be 100% accurate and even went out of his way to provide the necessary context.

The least he could do is correct the quote to be accurate, especially after initially misrepresenting his comments, but if someone requests that their comments be removed, that's also something a reasonable individual would do. At this point, keeping it against his objection is just petty, and it seems like a rather childish move. The spirit of a mock quote is in cheeky fun, not out of some kind of spite. Rohrer is being petulant about something he should just let go.

Rohrer is under no obligation to remove the quote, though. And how often has a member of the press used a quote to paint a subject in a certain way despite any objection on behalf of the quoted?

He is certainly under an obligation to remove the quote when requested to do so. It's an advertisement for his game. That's different from writing an article about a game. He may not be legally required to remove the quote, but certainly there is a general obligation to do so when someone asks. As Pitts has said, this is frankly the first time I've ever seen this happen with a developer. It's not a developer trying to cover up a story by getting a quote removed; it's a reviewer trying to stop a developer from misusing their quotes in an advertisement without their permission.

Pitts is free to dislike a game if he wants and share that, but a developer almost always requests if they can use quotes for an advertisement. I've never heard of a developer using a quote in an advertisement against the will of someone. It's really quite odd, and it simply comes off as the developer being vindictive. Rohrer is in no way acting like a professional, and regardless of whether what he is doing is legal or not, it's not a decent thing to do as a developer or individual. His initial misrepresentation was mistaken, but his continued stubbornness is embarrassing.

#19 Edited by crithon (2582 posts) -

hmmmm, actually Pitt is not alone, there's a couple other reviewers and bloggers mentioning the same tones of "white gun nuts fear of protecting their own home." Jenn Frank mentioned it on the bombing in the am episode a few weeks ago...... But Pitt is over reacting his opinion piece is just hyperbolic, I'm reading through 3 paragraphs till he gets to a point. It's rubbish opinion piece trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill. It's like if I said all FPS are murder simulators if I can't have a hug button.

#20 Edited by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

Rohrer is entitled to use whichever pull quotes he likes... and people are free to see him as manipulating truth to appear the way he wants it, and for putting his stupid personal arguments into the pitch he's offering consumers. You never see any life from the corporations, but what are the chances that they change their store fronts to further some prissy slapfight between them and someone in the media? He's perfectly within his rights to use any quote from any person he likes in his game pitch, of course most professionals think about what they want to present to the consumer and not who they would like to passive aggressively vilify.

So, he's not wrong to do it. I wouldn't do it because it would make me look like a butthurt dweeb. But he's not wrong.

As for Russ Pitts, didn't read the article. But if we're at the point when the game's 'nature' is what's being reviewed rather than any of its merits then I guess I'm checking out of reviews. I can decide for myself if a game's nature is for me or not for me; tell me if it's fun to play, is it strategic, is it engaging? If you tell me that nihilistic and paranoid means 5 stars, does optimistic and hopeful get 10? What about skeptical yet enthusiastic? Raving mad and somewhat slightly dazed? So ridiculous.

I have not played the Castle Doctrine. I was intrigued by the concept, but the gameplay I saw in the Quick Look appeared to be no kind of fun that I've ever heard of. Seemed like it was easily exploited and the user interface is just bad. Those are not the parts of old games I want to see return.

edit: I will say this. I'm loving as our entire culture devolves into a giant game of "YOU'RE WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE WORLD TODAY". Either someone made a game and it's poisoning the minds of everyone because it doesn't have the right kind of protagonist, or because it says this, or it did that, and It promotes this indirectly because words, words, words. All to push people's buttons and get them on the defensive. Now game developers are making games intentionally pushing the reviewer's buttons and getting them on the defensive.

#21 Posted by Demoskinos (13906 posts) -

His game, his attitude and just everything about this guy has me going NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. I strongly dislike Polygon but they were just doing their job.

#22 Edited by Slaegar (628 posts) -

Sounds like Polygon is link baiting again. Ignoring the actual *game* part of the review and just trying to stir up shit to get more Ad money.

Sounds like Russ Pitts lives in a fancy expensive house in a nice safe neighborhood and has never had someone break into their car or hear gunshots and yelling at night. So clearly no one needs to protect their family because everywhere is safe and only crazy people need protection.

That said the guy who made The Castle Doctrine is a weird fellow. He made a tiny amount of a physical version of a badly made DS game because he ONLY wanted it on a dying (dead now) console, but NOT on the digital platform made for it. He hates sales even though they seem to help developers because he thinks money is bad for people who deserve money. Now he wants to censor a shitty review of his shitty game because quotes were taken out of context.

Its basically two dirty bags throwing mud at each other. So I voted they both come off bad in this.

#23 Posted by StarvingGamer (7581 posts) -

Man, WTF is up with these poll results. Seriously?

#24 Posted by Reisz (1365 posts) -

Neither of them came out of this positively. Pitts knows better than to let his bias derail a review and Rohrer ought to have more confidence in his own creative output, he didn't need to respond to that review at all and could have just let his work stand on it's own merits.

#25 Edited by TruthTellah (7674 posts) -

@starvinggamer said:

Man, WTF is up with these poll results. Seriously?

I think people are simply acknowledging that what Rohrer is doing is rather apparently an unprofessional and childish thing worthy of criticism. He purposefully misrepresented comments by someone he disliked just to advertise his game, and when asked to take it down, he has stubbornly refused. Disagree with or dislike Pitts or not, it doesn't excuse how Rohrer has responded.

Personally, I voted "Pitts and Rohrer both come off bad in this." Because at a certain point, spats like this always just get messy. They're both adults. Pitts should have listened to the old saying that if you wrestle with a pig, you'll both get dirty and the pig will like it. Neither looks great from it all, but Rohrer is the most obviously immature here for responding so spitefully to a review he didn't like. Plenty of reviewers will like or dislike your games; it's the very nature of making games which different people may feel differently about. Responding with vindictiveness is possibly the worst way someone could handle a bad review.

Hopefully Pitts will just walk away from all of this and Rohrer will eventually come to his senses and take down the quote himself.

#26 Edited by RazielCuts (2713 posts) -

I'm kinda siding more with Rohrer in this but I went for 'they both come off bad in this.' I mean Russ said what he said right? 'The most disturbing game I've ever played' - was in direct reference to a review he was promoting, they are directly correlated. I think Russ's problem here is he feels violated in some way because he wasn't asked first and he's having a bit of an overreaction to being misrepresented. At first I thought, ah thats a bit shitty, Rohrer is representing Russ's negative comments in what seemingly is a positive way. That must be what Russ is pissed off about but no, as he says in that blog he wrote.

'Even when those quotes are edited to appear slightly more positive than I intended when I wrote the words. Even for games I wouldn’t necessarily endorse. It happens. It is a part of this job.'

If he's okay with that, whats the problem here? For me the original quote said, this is from Russ Pitts, who works at Polygon. Maybe if it wasn't under a heading of 'Review' on Steam and under 'What Others Have Said' or something it would fit better but again, he said this when directly linking to his view. It was okay when it was used to promote his review, you see 'Most disturbing game I've ever played' and think, I gotta click that but when its used some other way that you don't benefit from you feel violated? After Russ's complaint he went back to add the '5/10' just to highlight this was not a good review and in no way endorsing the game. To me even if its a 'bad' review, I think those are strong words to use, as the game industry is want to do, and maybe Russ is regretting the hyperbolic statement now it's been used for something other than intended. Maybe this'll be a good lesson to Russ to actually think before he blurts out hysteric comments as clickbait.

Journalists truncate and piece together quotes all the time when it benefits them and a story they're writing. Twitter is for public consumption and as such I think is entitled to fair use. Hell, Twitter posts are what goes for most news nowadays and gets used 9 times out of 10 for a source.

Reading that blog post from Russ though, jeez. I do not hate Polygon and actually like some of the big editorial pieces they do, even for all the self righteous some people have a problem with to say against it but quotes like - 'Even if my lawyers are bigger bullies than Rohrer’s (hint: they are)' - 'It is a boundary that most in this industry will not cross. I was shocked, hurt and deeply offended to see it happen.' - 'He can have my Twitter post. I will take my dignity.' Like come the fuck on, dude, talk about a persecution complex and hyperbolic overstatement. Is this what we're considering internet rape now? Because it sure sounds like it. Stop trying to make news out of yourself and go back to doing what you do 'best', being that obnoxious guy on the Besties who shouts his name down the microphone like an idiot.

#27 Edited by ProfessorEss (7123 posts) -

I have yet to see a Twitter fight where both parties don't come off as well, twits.

As for the review, I don't agree with the developer's personality being considered in the score but I also don't think things like budget, dev team size, development hardships, or "brave-for-trying" should be considered either and that's been happening regularly for years now. I don't know what happened to videogame reviews but I want to hear about the video game and how it plays, not the developer, not the industry, and not the reviewer's philosophical view on what this game "really means". Save that stuff for editorials.

I would normally find what Rohrer did very distasteful but I just don't respect the quality of game reviews enough anymore to care.

@razielcuts Regarding the Besties, that's Russ FRUSHTICK. I know, I know two Russ's in one office? That's gotta be a first.

#28 Edited by RazielCuts (2713 posts) -

@professoress: Aha, so it is. I saw 'Russ' at Polygon and immediately thought Frushtick. One should surely bow out and be called Russell in this situation no? What's even worse is I actually read the review when it was first posted and thought it was Frushtick then too. I'm surname blind. I thought it was a bit too eloquent and philosophical for Frushtick. I'll edit.

#29 Edited by Jrad (618 posts) -

This is amazing. Pitt's blog post was fucking hilarious, especially the whole feeling violated because his criticisms regarding a product were being showcased on the product page. "The most disturbing game I've ever played," is totally the kind of reaction Rohrer was seeking from these kinds of critics, and it just so happens that's enough of a hook to get some people interested. Pitts thinks the game's awful? That's fine. But when you make a public statement about a game, why the hell wouldn't you expect it to be referenced? Pitts comes across extremely asinine. I haven't read his review (and frankly, if he has this kind of attitude, I have no interest whatsoever in anything he has to say) but I'm sure it's nothing but hyperbolic bullshit anyway.

The only childishness stems from Pitt's treatment of the 'situation'. If you're a journalist, don't bitch and moan when people quote what you say. Rohrer included a link to the full review. The context was there. He even added the review score now, so it's seriously a non-issue.

Props to Rohrer. More developers should act this way. He's pretty much cemented his position as my new favorite 'indie' personality.

@samsara said:

I have yet to care about the game, controversy, or Pitts' review, which...I can't imagine getting that emotionally invested in a game I dislike. However, Rohrer has crossed a line that's beyond silly inside baseball developer/journalist politics. He's just a bad human being. When a decent human being asks you to stop involving them in a thing they find indecent, you fucking stop. I'll give you a pass if you don't know the protocol about asking permission, but the asshole is just saying no, no, no.

I'd absolutely agree with you in most contexts. Like if this was a personal blog post about how The Castle Doctrine made Pitts feel awful or something, then sure. You're right. But when you write a review of something, you have no business getting pissed off when the makers of the product you're reviewing refer to said review. He wrote a bunch of trite bullshit about Rohrer's game, and Rohrer figured he'd make the best of it. Don't want to be 'involved'? Then don't write the fucking review.

#30 Edited by Ghostiet (5153 posts) -

I don't like Polygon nor Jason Rohrer. However, Rohrer proves that he's, more than anything, just a massive tool. If he just pulled quotes from it verbatim and used them to advertise his game, no matter how negative they were, that would be ballsy and funny - and maybe Pitts would appreciate that Rohrer is at least honest enough to show how polarizing his game is (although I doubt that would happen, since Pitts comes of as quite a diva in that blog post). Manipulating quotes is just being an asshole.

#31 Posted by talibanchic (73 posts) -

I think if he wants to use the quote he can also put the review score up too.

#32 Edited by TowerSixteen (538 posts) -

Was this not the same guy who recently tried to convince everyone (poorly) that steam sales were bad because they encouraged people to enjoy games in ways where they might not enjoy the full artistic intent?

So, when it's his stuff, he's so sensitive that you see it in the proper contexts that he's willing to rail against institutions that are actively cherished by consumers and which increase sales for him and his like, fifty-fold. And then he goes and actively misrepresents someone else's writing to sell his game? Guess the creator's intent is only sacred wine from heaven that must be consumed with reverence when it's his stuff.

#33 Edited by TobbRobb (4413 posts) -

There is no moral highground here. They are both being dicks. But no one did anything illegal or "wrong". So meh, they just both come off as dicks.

#34 Posted by EuanDewar (4514 posts) -

I don't think anything explicitly wrong has been done in this situation but Rohrer does come out of it looking a bit like a rude dude, to me at least.

#35 Posted by ILikePopCans (714 posts) -

Man I hate people who say "*insert person* is entitled to blah blah blah" cause no fucking shit. Like Pitts said in his blog, he is not going through legal measures (which he probably can to get it taken down so he is not "entitled" in the first place.) It still does not excused the fact that Rohrer is acting like a child and a dick. Adding a quote from two different tweets and then putting a link to the review that the quote did not come from is a dick thing to do. Not taking down the quote when the person (who was not ask if the quote can be used in the first time) asks is a child thing to do.

If the only thing Pitts did was make a blog post did I can not see how he is overreacted and it seems like people are just shitting on Pitts even if he is in the right. Boooooo

#36 Edited by spraynardtatum (2136 posts) -

Twitter is fucking obnoxious.

#37 Posted by Slag (3365 posts) -

Pitts has a right to be upset, but he is way way overreacting. He isn't the primary victim here and he would have come out looking just fine out of this if he didn't go so far over the top in his complaints about this.

Rohrer otoh, deliberately reposted those comments is a certainly very misleading and dishonest way (although probably technically legal), in what I can assume be an attempt to bait uninformed buyers into buying his game.

The real injured party is the potential buyers of the Castle Doctrine who were lied to by Rohrer doing this. If this isn't the definition of false advertising I don't know what is.

#38 Posted by cmblasko (1008 posts) -

That's an extremely petty thing for Rohrer to do. Why not publicly engage Pitts and his criticism instead of acting like a child?

I do wish that reviewers would simply review the game itself instead of the philosophy surrounding it.

#39 Edited by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

@slag said:

The real injured party is the potential buyers of the Castle Doctrine who were lied to by Rohrer doing this. If this isn't the definition of false advertising I don't know what is.

The quotes used accurately capture Pitts' feelings. The quote is placed in a section of subjective praise for the game. How are consumers being lied to? What advantage did Rohrer gain by doing this? How is this the definition of false advertising?

#40 Posted by Hailinel (22737 posts) -

@slag said:

The real injured party is the potential buyers of the Castle Doctrine who were lied to by Rohrer doing this. If this isn't the definition of false advertising I don't know what is.

The quotes used accurately capture Pitts' feelings. The quote is placed in a section of subjective praise for the game. How are consumers being lied to? What advantage did Rohrer gain by doing this? How is this the definition of false advertising?

Yeah, what Rohrer did isn't really false advertising. He may have merged two tweets together, but he didn't fundamentally alter the meaning of Pitts's words.

#41 Posted by Noblenerf (253 posts) -

I should have checked Pitts' account before voting; I voted "Rohrer was within his rights" without being aware of the old quote. I informally change my vote to "both are wrong."

In any case, this is Pitts' opinion on using his quotes:

The reality is that game publishers use quotes from reviews all of the time. I’ve had quotes from my reviews appear in television commercials, in web ads and in magazines. Usually the game publishers ask for permission first. In fact, almost always they ask for permission first. And if they intend to edit the quote, they’ll mention this to us and make sure we approve. They don’t legally have to do so, but they do it as a courtesy, and so that, if there are any disputes down the line, they’ve covered their asses.

So I’m used to having quotes from my reviews appear in ads. Even when those quotes are edited to appear slightly more positive than I intended when I wrote the words. Even for games I wouldn’t necessarily endorse. It happens. It is a part of this job. Source

Russ Pitts

So, as I understand it, Pitts is ok with manipulative quotes so long as he approves of them. Later in his blog post, Pitts also voices some confusion about how public Twitter accounts are, with the impression that they are not publically viewable or somesuch. If he truly did not think the Castle Doctrine was the most disturbing game he's ever played, perhaps he shouldn't say exactly that... Oh well, at least he has his dignity still.

On the Rohrer side of this equation, the old Pitts' quote was very misleading - there's no question about it. However, there's nothing wrong with the current Pitts quote - which not only sources the quote, it also explains what Pitts' scored the game.

#42 Posted by Slag (3365 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@brodehouse said:

@slag said:

The real injured party is the potential buyers of the Castle Doctrine who were lied to by Rohrer doing this. If this isn't the definition of false advertising I don't know what is.

The quotes used accurately capture Pitts' feelings. The quote is placed in a section of subjective praise for the game. How are consumers being lied to? What advantage did Rohrer gain by doing this? How is this the definition of false advertising?

Yeah, what Rohrer did isn't really false advertising. He may have merged two tweets together, but he didn't fundamentally alter the meaning of Pitts's words.

He sure put them initially in a context that implies the exact opposite of what Pitts meant.

I'm sure the law is largely undefined when it comes to click bait teaser lines from twitter or at tweets which never have a lot of context due to the 140 character limit, but anyone who read Pitts's review realizes pretty quickly those phrases were not intended as praise or a purchase recommendation for the game

That isn't true if you read them in the context they originally were in on the Steam store page for Castle Doctrine. They were clearly originally juxtaposed in a way meant to be read as reflecting the game in a positive light. The only motivation Rohrer could have for including them at all,is that he must think having Polygon's name attached to his game makes people think it's a good buy. And that a vague quote from them is better than an accurate reflection of the review. The intent was clearly to deceive. Unless Rohrer actually never actually read the review and he himself misunderstood what Pitts meant, which I suppose is possible.

I see Rohrer has amended the page to now include Pitts's review score, that largely solves that particular issue as it's now communicated to the potential buyer that Pitts did not like the game. I assume Rohrer's leaving it there because either he think people will not notice the review score, or out of spite or maybe both. I don't know why else you'd want a 5/10 sitting as one of your top 3 testimonials.

There are certainly worse things to do in this world, but this is pretty shady behavior. Not to mention pretty stupid, it's not like he had a good chance to get away with this.

#43 Posted by Brundage (368 posts) -

I'm sorry, but if you're letting yourself get that deeply offended by this silly little indie game then you must have some bigger issues in question... Not surprised at all this person gets picked on, that review was pathetic troll bait and a cry for attention.