Paladin Schmaladin – Ouch
Many of you have read and continue to read Ferraro’s Paladin Schmaladin, who, until recently, was supposedly a young woman who worked for Blizzard. WoW.com did a 15 Minutes of Fame with her, thousands of people read her site every day, and the blog has been active for quite some time. Recently, it has been discovered that Ferraro doesn’t actually exist, and that the blog was actually written by several different people, some of them men. The pictures were stolen from another site, and the person that “her” blog created was created by several different people working together to keep things smooth.
So the question most people are asking is : WHY? Why use some made-up person to give free ideas to the WoW community? I will state the obvious, which, as far as I’ve read, no one has mentioned yet. Everyone is thinking it, so why not just say it?
Being an attractive young woman gets you more views. *gasp*
Many people who read the site will claim “nah, I came because it had good advice!” and sure, maybe that’s why you kept coming back. Let’s just not mention the secret desire you had to see more photos of such a cute little girl. Let’s not mention the fact that most men, especially gamer men, tend to agree with a woman whom they believe is attractive (nod and smile and maybe she’ll let me hold her hand). Let’s not mention that posting images of a hot chick that were professionally taken by someone else to get more people to come to your site can be categorized as MARKETING.
Who holds up a cold can of Cocacola with a pretty smile? An attractive young woman. You may not realize that you were interested in the Coke commercial for anything more than the commercial itself, but in reality your mind sees the young woman, whether you yourself are a woman or not, and let’s face it : women are beautiful. And people are suckers for beauty. Whether or not there is actual sex appeal doesn’t matter. Coming from me, an artist who has seen many a nude, women themselves in their natural forms are works of art.
The bad part is not showing images of an attractive girl. The bad part is the fact that “Ferraro” was the gamer-man’s dream. A beautiful, intelligent gamer-girl who plays for a living, who is passionate and outspoken and spends her time with the geekiest of men. That is very clearly MANIPULATION of the male gamer community, and I find that to be disgusting.
If you say you did NOT notice her photos when you visited the site, I will straight up call you a liar. I sure noticed them. Then I clicked on them. Then I looked at them and thought : why are all these photos professionally taken? Where’s the fuzzy jpeg photo of her in dirty pj’s and slumping in her computer chair spamming Flash of Light? Sure, she’s beautiful, but clearly she is sharing photos for the purpose of appearances and ONLY appearances. Not to share who she is, and not to share what her life is like, but to stand there and look pretty.
So let’s get it out there : they did it because it brought more people in. It peaked interest. It made people come back. It was an ingenius marketing ploy, but a ploy nonetheless.
My question is, if you’ve got good content and a desire to share, why do you need to use a young woman to bring people in? Unless Paladin Schmaladin / “Ferraro” was making money in one way or another, I can see no good reason why such an intricate and long-lasting lie needed to be woven and kept up. It’s sad really, and it also brings me to another point.
This hurts bloggers everywhere. The REAL bloggers, who simply love to write and share and communicate with like minds. It raises suspicions, makes people uncomfortable, and makes the real female bloggers roll their eyes in disgust. Then there’s always the thought of “maybe more people would read my blog if I snapped a few photos of myself in full makeup”. I’m sure many of the readers of Paladin Schmaladin were taken aback. Most claim they don’t mind as long as the content keeps coming, but there are many people who actually believed they had a real relationship with this “girl”, either in Guilds or through online conversation.
If I had a guild mate who had an entire personality I enjoyed, and I spent a good majority of my time online with that person having conversations and such, and then one day I found out that the person DIDN’T ACTUALLY EXIST and that I’d been speaking to several different people who were all LYING TO ME, I’d be pretty upset.
Deceptive things are deceptive. Liars suck. Yes, I know they eventually came out and “told the truth”. I know they claim to be attempting to “right the wrongs”. I don’t care. They have been doing this for 5 years. They have kept up a fake personality for 5 years. They have lied to everyone for 5 years.
Shame on you.
~ by Kelly Jennelle on June 1, 2009.