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Human nature is responsible for many things – why we keep starting wars, why people feel the need to be dicks on the Internet, etc. One particularly vicious part of this is rumors. As a people, we seem to feel the need to know things we aren't supposed to know yet or at all. How many times have you heard someone say "I know this guy and he heard from a friend that…" in your life?
Of course, the gaming world is no stranger to rumors. Every day, there seems to be a new rumor about an unreleased game or a company getting shut down (my favorite example is the arcade days of Mortal Kombat and all the crazy rumors about hidden characters, fatalities, etc.). And of course, every day, gaming websites post stories about these rumors. Should they be doing this? Is a rumor something a respected (and I use the term lightly) gaming news website should be posting about?
Today, for example, there has been a lot of buzz about GSC, makers of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R series, closing down. Some of these stories are marked as a rumor while others state it is confirmed. Well, which is it? Some sites seem to have a tendency to immediately believe anything they read as fact and post it immediately. Others have the forethought to wait it out and make sure before stating something is fact.
Almost a month ago, Official Playstation Magazine UK had some information leak about the cover of their next issue. On the cover was Hideo Kojima and one of the bullet points about the article claiming "The latest…Metal Gear Solid 5 details." Every single site I usually read posted a story on this and nearly all of them were 100% confirming it as fact. A few, Giant Bomb in particular, seemed a bit more dubious about the fact. Patrick Klepek, the news writer at Giant Bomb, stated he at least tried to get in contact with the company for confirmation.
Of course, a few days later, we learned that it was just mild allusions to another game in the saga someday, not an outright confirmation. Who is mostly to blame here? Official Playstation Magazine UK for not bothering to clear things up, instead enjoying their vast increase of links, or the sites that immediately stated the idea as fact, by only going off of the magazine's cover. All I ask for is a bit of confirmation and research before posting a news article. Is that too much to ask?