Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tobold being funny

In a post today Tobold claims that he doesn’t only run the blog under his own name – he’s got another one as well: Greedy Goblin.

So what should we make out of this? One way or another Tobold is having fun with the community. If he would be telling the truth, he would have been mocking us for quite a while. That would include me – after all, I’ve always felt a bit like a mother of Gevlon. He was born as a blogger in front of the cosy fire of PPI, I was the one who once upon a time encouraged the long time commenter Ghosboci to create a blog of his own, giving him a few pieces of advice when he started. People have questioned my love for this greedy little creature, I’ve stuck to it and I still do. He’s got a special seat reserved in this bar, like it or not.

The other possibility is of course that the only lie is this post, that it’s just an entertaining and thought-provoking post by Tobold, where he’s making fun of Gevlon, while at the same time making an important point about the nature of blogging. Currently I'm leaning towards this theory, that Tobold's revelations is a fake, a set-up. Among other things I think it would be too much of a hassle for Tobold to put in grammar and spelling errors to the posts that he writes as "Gevlon" when they don't appear when Tobold is writing. And the final words of Tobold's post are the essential ones:

Just shows you can't believe everything you read on the internet.

If the Tobold= Gevlon theory had been true, it would have been an "And Atlas Shrugged” experience, a Cataclysm to the blogosphere bigger than the Ferraro debacle. But I think we can settle the issue now. There's no confirming post on Gevlon's blog, as a matter of fact he has already commented on it:

“PS4: Tobold is being very funny today. My comment on the topic is this, and no more, all comments on my blog about Tobold's joke/experiment will be deleted”


The nature of blogs

With this prank Tobold highlights what I pointed out a week ago: bloggers aren’t journalists in the normal sense. They share opinions, they entertain, they give food for thought – either the views are authentic or faked, as Tobold now claims that Gevlon’s opinions are. All of this has a value – it creates a discussion and thought exchange that makes the world into a more interesting place to live in. It increases the intelligence with people. We should enjoy and appreciate the blogs for what they are but beware of seeing them as truth holders.

Think for yourself
Tobold being or not being Gevlon wasn't the only available option by the way. A third possibility struck me: Tobold and Gevlon could be different bloggers, as we always thought they were, but they could have agreed to put up this little charade together, just to make a point about the sheepish character of some people in the WoW community. The message is: never ever stop trusting your own intelligence and judgement, don't just accept whatever story is served to you.

Even if Tobold and Gevlon always have taken opposite approaches in most issues (although not all), one thing they have in common is that they’re challenging the audience to use their brains in a way that few other bloggers manage to do.

And with this post, Tobold, you’ve certainly succeeded in that mission and given us some giggles at the same time.
By the way, Larísa is still Larísa, same innkeeper as always. If you don't believe I exist, just drop by and say hello to me at the Stormrage server! But am I really the one I claim to be, that 40+ Swedish woman? Or maybe I'm just some 16-year old guy who enjoys to dress up in his mothers skirts? You'll never quite know. The truth is out there.


Edit: The hoax wasn't out for many hours before Tobold admitted it's true character. What a shame that you told it so quickly! It would have been interesting to see how far out in the Blogopshere the rumor about Tobold=Gevlon could have spread. From my professional life I know too well that once a false picture is "set" in the mind of the audience it's very, very hard to change it with just reason and information.

43 comments:

Gevlon said...

I've always known you are a 16 years old boy in women's clothes!

Tobold :-)


Actually quite interesting action from Tobold. There is absolutely no way for me to disprove him. Though I could acknowledge it and watch how he desperately tries to back off his prank.

Maybe for tomorrow I should be posting something evil or outrageous like denying Holocaust or claiming that the scientology church is good or welfare is deserved, just to ruin Tobold's persona.

Thinking about it, you are the only one who "knows" me before the blog has started, so you could be the only one who disprove Tobold.

Oh wait! What if you are also me? After all you are also on blogspot, have grammar mistakes, post walls of texts with interesting ideas.

Tobold actually proved my idea (the one you linked from my post). You can't trust in people.

Pangoria Fallstar said...

You can't even trust people not to be arrested for manslaughter.

People video tape themselves now a days doing the stupidest things in the world. They can't trust themselves not to videotape they're stupidity.

I could care less even if Gevlon were to have his girlfriend do some of his posts for him (or maybe he is his girlfriend and just didn't want to be a girl blogger).

Anyways, back to the apathy of who people are, online, I'm a woman, Pangoria Fallstar. Reality is not the same (though I never denied the reality).

Despite this I still write 4% more masculine than I want to. It's all a horrible experiment to try and change the voice of my writing.

But does it matter to anyone, or does it matter that I do 9k dps in Naxx trash? Or does it matter that I do more dps than ulduar geared face rollers? Or that I can keep up with fire mages on dps?

All I care is that thanks to Gevlon, I don't need to farm, and thanks to Larisa I enjoy my sandcastles, and thanks to Tobold, I fall asleep at work reading why we play. :D

Carra said...

I was also wondering about the grammar mistakes. Inserting a lot of them on purpose? Now that's pure evil!

"I should be posting something evil like welfare is deserved". While everyone will be furious about denying the Holocaust, calling welfare deserved is just going to give you a lot of nods: yeah, of course it is.

But in any case, the bloggers I like provide new ideas. And even if they're not conservative I enjoy being challenged. And both Gevlon, Tobold and Larissa manage to do that although in different ways.

Tobold said...

Oh, I could write that "welfare is deserved" post. I'd link to recent news showing that each inmate in a US prison costs the government over $50,000 a year. And I'd demonstrate that by giving welfare to that same guy, effectively leading to he himself imprisoning in a council estate with junk food in front of a TV, the state saves a considerable amount of money. And the welfare recipient "deserves" that welfare, because its a pre-emptive reward for him not becoming a criminal and landing in jail. The link between more welfare leading to less prisoners is pretty well established.

Pangoria Fallstar said...

@Tobold, California just learned that it seems, we're letting a huge amount of prisoners free over the next 2 years....

Gevlon said...

@Tobold: think out of the box please.
Prison: $50K/year
Welfare: $20K/year
Electric chair: $1K and only once

Pangoria Fallstar said...

@Gevlon, what is the cutoff for electric chair?

Petty theft? >.>

Gevlon said...

@Pangoria: why not? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_strikes_law

Stabs said...

I'm Gevlon and so's my wife.

Pangoria Fallstar said...

I've been going into courthouses for the last year, waiting for my friend's case to progress (alot of cancellation waiting for tests and psych reviews).

The thing I noticed is there are two people that end up in court, the ones who will be back, and the ones who won't.

How much loss would there be if we were to kill all those in jail who are repeat offenders or are there for serious crimes? Maybe we can make a pay-per-view event instead? A way to generate revenue for our government?

Larísa said...

Guys, guys... I don't quite understand how this post could render a discussion about welfare vs prisons... Someone even blending in elecric chairs into the discussion. Hm... I don't mind a good exchange of thoughts, but I appreciate if you try to at least make a symbolic effort to associate it with the original topic.

And I don't want to run an argument about Death punishment here (unless it's about loss of XP in game). Not the real life stuff. It's an important issue and I've got very strong views about it, but it doesn't belong in the inn, OK?


@Gevlon: actually it's a striking thought! We could very well be the same person, just different sides of us. That would explain some of the voices I've heard recently.

I watched a Buffy the vampire Slayer with my kids the other night. Following that episode, Gevlon could very well be me in my possessed demon phase.
Interesting. Got to explore this a bit further.

@Pangoria Fallstar: I wonder how many bloggers - or players by the way - who really take the opportunity to imperson someone completely different to their "real" beings (if you actually can define what is "real"). I think you can learn quite a bit from it. It bugs me a bit that I've never come around to play a guy for instance. It would surely be interesting to see if people would see through it or not, and of course if I'd be treaten differently.

@Carra: I'm glad we can offer you a healthy mixed blog diet! The three of us... or maybe one of us? Maybe Tobold, Gevlon and Larisa are three sides of the same person?

@Stabs: you're Gevlon too? Nooo! Cat fight! I want to be Gevlon! You're an intruder, get out of there!

:)

This is funny, don't you think?

Pangoria Fallstar said...

@Larisa,

Sorry, I think it got derailed by a mix of me and Gevlon.

As for being able to tell if someone is faking their gender.... eventually they make a mistake, either by playing the pronoun game, or by stray comments that they say accidentally while relaxed.

I've played as my wife online (and she as me) quite a few times, and no one has been the wiser. When I started my blog, it was really my toon's blog, and I wanted to be clear to everyone that though Pangoria was a girl, I was very much a guy.

As for your edit to the post, I think Tobold spread pretty quick, and people will still talk about that post maybe even tomorrow, to have left it longer would have gone against his intentions for the post (I believe, could be mistaken).

Carra said...

Research shows that death penalties cost the state more than lifetime punishments. You can change that $1k with $1m.

But I'll stop talking about death penalties, I just want to put the number right.

RJK said...

I enjoyed the Nature of Blogs. Sometimes it amazes me what we read, and write.

but right now I gotta grab some blues and head to Ulduar!

;)

Gevlon said...

You like Buffy? You are definitely me!

Anonymous said...

In all honesty... I've always found Gevlon and Bigbuttbear, bigbearbutt or whomever he is to be quite similar...

River said...

Gevlon can not be Tobold, they hate each other too much it seems, also their writing style isn't the same.

If they are the same person, by god that person needs help.

Klepsacovic said...

I would love to find any confirmation that the existence of Gevlon is only a joke, a manufactured caricature. Alas, I suspect someone so cruel and inhuman actually exists and I only hope that those like him are indeed a rare abnormality.

Darraxus said...

@ Gevlon: Having been in Law Enforcement, the Three Strikes Law is not all it is cracked up to be. It has to be three of the same type of crime. Then it has to be ruled a "strike" by the judge....which it usually isnt. I saw several people with rap sheets a mile long that had maybe one strike. Three Strikes is a lie.

Fish said...

It has been proven that the only 100% effective method to reduce recidivism is execution.

I think this whole thing has been rather amusing. I KNOW certain bloggers in real life, although not well-read ones. I think the ferraro thing got a lot more attention because it was someone posting fake real life info in their online persona.

We've seen pictures of the Goblin's living space, never pics of the Goblin himself. I've often thought of posting a "Fish in real life" post, but honestly never thought it really pertinent. I write a blog about wow, what does it matter who I am in real life?

If Tobold and the Goblin were the same person, would it change my opinion of eithers' blog? Not unless they lost their individual identity and became more similar. I do read tobold, I don't read the goblin. It's not an indication of my thoughts of them personally, more about their subject matter.

Anonymous said...

Im me...does that count ?

Anonymous said...

Im not me....does that count ?

Anonymous said...

Previous 2 posts my failure at humour...

Cacknoob (aion and Wow)

Fitz said...

Although the "hoax" has been revealed in this case, the idea that Gevlon=Tobold=Larisa would be a mind-blowing revelation on the order of nothing ever seen before in the blog universe.

And Larisa, roll a male blood elf and a female blood elf, level each to 10-12 in Silvermoon, and I guarantee you will be treated differently at some point along the way.

Anonymous said...

somehow there was never a doubt in my mind that it was a hoax. its too elaborate, has far too many holes in it and considering how prolific both Tobold and Gevlon are - its far too time consuming.

But maybe its because unlike Pangora I could never fake being my husband or he - me? it least not to people we play with on regular basis. they recognize the difference within the first few sentences :) to not slip up and confuse two very different styles of writing for this long with pretty much daily posts on both blogs? Can you imagine the effort and lying ability that would take? and for what? (I haven't read Ferraro's blog long enough to get a feel of her or his writing style, but personally I tend to think it was a singular person, who got caught stealing stories. The alternative is too outlanding)

Leah

Pangoria Fallstar said...

@Carra, since you provided the link, that's to keep them in deathrow. I say just slaughter them by the thousands, it will save alot of money. As soon as you decide that something can be killed, then there is no reason to treat it with humanity, it will be dust soon.

As for relating THAT to games, since all visual input our brain recieves is mostly an estimate of what it expects to see (which is why people remember colors wrong sometimes), then slaughtering in game is just as real to your brain as slaughter in real life (the input part of your brain not the logic).

krizzlybear said...

PITIFUL BLOGGERS

WHILE YOU ARE ALL OUT IN THE NETHER BICKERING ABOUT WHO IS WHO, I, ONYXIA, AM RAMPAGING THROUGHOUT AZEROTH, AND THERES NOBODY TO STOP ME

NOBODY

Jessabelle said...

@Fitz

roll a female dwarf and watch everyone lawl at you and call you ugly... and then try to get you to stand still during Easter achievement week.

Krytus said...

@Klepsacovic
Cruel and inhuman? I rather say practical, after all he is a goblin. But don´t worry too much, those like him are indeed a rare abnormality, the majority of WoW population is casual friendly people… enjoy your welfare epics.

Ok, that sounded too harsh, let me rephrase. Although the Gevlon persona is sometimes over the top with his comments, I don’t really think he could be catalogued as inhuman. On the contrary, in my opinion Gevlon is eagerly to speak up for that, very human, practical, dark side of each people. We all have, to some degree, social imposed boundaries, and we usually refrain our own desires in order to blend in a group. Well, Gevlon is that little voice on your shoulder that asks: What if I don’t care?

I really enjoy listening to that voice as much as I enjoy listening to the one on my other shoulder: a little pinkpigtailed gnome.

River said...

@krizzly and onyxia

Screenshot, or it didn't happen

We Fly Spitfires said...

I didn't really believe Tobold but I think he actually has a wicked sense of humour :) It was great to see everyone's reactions :)

Thing I don't get it why so many people have a go at Gevlon and talk about how much they dislike this stuff yet constantly link to his blog and help drive his traffic and infamy up :)

Klepsacovic said...

@Krytus: Humans have that voice of their own and it is our responsibility to control it, not succumb to its madness. That is what it is, selfish madness, the type of thought that leads to dictators eliminating half the population because logically it is twice us much for the rest of us. I have that voice and I have no need for another, nor does anyone else. Instead the voice we need is the kinder voice of people like Larisa. This isn't to say that we should all be emotional and irrational, but that we should not make the mistake of confusing rationality and cruelty.

Rhii said...

Larisa - I'd been wondering what you had to say about all this ever since I found Tobold's post today. Didn't see a reply from you there or on Gevlon's site...

Rather glad you weren't fooled.

Tobold said...

What I found really interesting was that on Twitter several known bloggers said that if I was Gevlon, they would "blacklist" me. Blacklist, how Old Skool, I thought that term had died out the day Everquest stopped being the number one MMORPG on the market.

Anyway, what was really interesting was how intensely people *believe* in the personas of Tobold and Gevlon. Theoretically it shouldn't matter at all, the same thought expressed on either blog should be equally valid. Practically people attach a huge "brand" to us, and the same thought will be viewed differently on different blogs.

NEWSFLASH: In another stunning revelation it turned out that neither Gevlon nor Tobold really exist. If you could check the passports of me and Gevlon, you'd see that mine doesn't say Tobold, and his doesn't say Gevlon. And Larisa probably doesn't exist either, and doesn't have pink pigtails. How does it come that people attach more meaning to our avatars than to our arguments?

Larísa said...

@Anonymous: Gevlon & BBB… You said it! Damn, I should have known…
Or maybe he’s Krizzly, now that Krizzly seems to have been overtaken by Onyxia. I’m seriously puzzled by this.

@Klepsacovic: He’s not abnormal, come on! He likes to pull things to its edge. So did I when I was young, before I turned into a boring on-one-hand-on-the-other-hand balancing old lady. Look at mankind as a choir, with numerous different sorts of voices. What makes the song of a choir beautiful is the multitude in it. Gevlon is one voice and he’s just as needed as mine.

@Fish: yes, isn’t it funny? The whole thing, including the aftermath, with loads of people claiming to be Gevlon gives me giggles.

@Cacknoob: are you sure that you are you? Maybe you’re me? Think this over closely.

@Fitz: well, if nothing else I think the amount of text would be quite impressive if it was one person behind all of them. At least Tobold and Gevlon both writes often mostly very long posts. I don’t write quite as much, but if you add it up… it would be a part time job to keep up the charade.

@Leah: it would definitely take quite a lot of skill and commitment to start writing as someone else. At least for me it would be an impossible task to convincingly imitate any other blogger. When I think about it.

@Krizzlybear, sorry, Onyxia…thanks for reminding us! We’d better pull ourselves together after this little intermezzo and go out killing some dragons again.

@Krytus: I tend to be placed in the opposite corner of Gevlon. And it’s true that I’ve sometimes spoken up against him, challenging some of his simplifications about group dynamics. However, sometimes I nod and think: “he has a point, cleaver guy”. I don’t think that we’re all on opposite sides, even though I can understand that the readers would like to sort us that way, for simplification.

@We Fly Spitfires: well, we all need stuff to blog about, right? As long as they get inspiration to another blog post, even the goblin haters don’t mind giving some link love.

@Rhii: you’ve been wondering what Larísa thought about this? Awww. Yeah, you were right. This was the kind of topic that I really felt a need to comment on. So much that it would take a post rather than a comment to say all I wanted to.

Larísa said...

@Tobold: it definitely gives a lot of food for thought about blogging and how brands are built, not necessary by the brand holder, but in the mind of the consumer. Another question comes to mind: how come that most of the WoW blogging community, including myself, are hiding behind avatars, not giving out our identity? The very few that do are mostly into the business professionally one way or another. But if you look at the Blogosphere outside of WoW and gaming, it's much, much more common that you present yourself to the world with name and picture. How come? Is it because we're ashamed of our gaming or is there something else behind? I'm just like this myself. Why do I keep this blog a secret, why don't I proudly tell people I know about it?

And does the anonymity affect how much we can trust the blogs? Maybe. But it doesn't affect how interesting reads they are.
What I look for in blogs are thoughts that somehow will entertain me or stimulate my own reflection over things. If Gevlon and Tobold would be the same person, would that change the effect your posts would have on me? Would it make them less entertaining or thought provoking? Not when I think about it intellectually. But emotionally it apparently makes a difference.

"Blacklisting". Yeah, that's plain silly. Probably it was written in affect. After all, those familiar blogging avatars and voices give us a (false) sense of stability. They're foundations in the blogging community we belong to. And a Cataclysm of the sort you suggested stirs up feelings and make us feel a bit uneasy, leading to backbone reactions such as blacklisting. I think some of your readers felt betrayed, until you told the truth.

For my own part I was totally amused. My ownly problem is that I somehow can't help feeling a bit sorry for Gevlon. What if it was me that was affected? What if someone else claimed seriously to be Larísa? Isn't it a bit intrusive, against the ethics of blogging? Wasn't Gevlon used? Now, as Gevlon was your victim, hand he often makes fun of others, I don't cry too many tears. He can take it and he can probably take out a revenge, if he's up for it. But thinking closely about it, it's not only giggles in this.

Hm... that was a lenghty reply to a comment! Sorry for ranting in this unstructured way, it's just that the whole experiment is very thought provoking, many things remain for me to sort out for myself.

Zekta Chan said...

I wonder if it would be kinda funny if we all start blogging on

"I am not Gevlon/Tobold because..."

That'll be fun XD

Klepsacovic said...

@Tobold: Why do we place so much emphasis on appearance IRL? It's natural human instinct, which isn't to say it is good. Arguably online appearance matters more, since it is 100% chosen, and could be taken as a more accurate reflection of who a person really is.

@Larisa: Surely you have heard voices which have no place in a choir. I know mine would not unless it was merely to add volume and all the badness would be drowned out by everyone else. But in that case, am I just being carried?

Krytus said...

Larísa, of course it’s a simplification. I don’t think Larísa is on the opposite side of Gevlon, mainly because there are no sides. Human beings have multiple facets, and the blog avatars sometimes emphasize one region of the writer’s nature. In my opinion it is kind of childish to think of Gevlon’s writer as that antisocial, practical and greedy persona.
Besides you must be blind if you don’t see a human caring side on those godfather projects (5K gold a week) and those cute emotes :-)

Tesh said...

I think I'm Tesh, therefore I am.

Tesh said...

Ah, bother. My URL wasn't entered correctly. My identity is ruined, ruined, I tell you!

Shirochan said...

Just to do a comment that has nothing to do with the topic; I love reading your blog, and I am on your server, I even /waved at you shyly one day (and even got a wave back!), but I didn't dare to send you a whisper about reading your blog, and loving it, as I felt it would be a bother to you. Same as I've delayed this comment for ages, but I finally decided to just tell you already!
Keep it up, Larisa.

I also love the fact that Cacknoob comments here. He is a fun part of playing on Stormrage. We missed him during his break!

Larísa said...

@Shirochan: I remember a /wave I got the other day from someone I couldn't quite place in my mind. I reckoned it was someone I had pugged with recently, so I happily waved back. After all you don't get so many greetings from fellow players. At least I don't.

I'm a little bit annoyed that you're so shy that you couldn't say hi. I won't bite you (I'm a gnome, not worgen, mind you), and I won't screenshot our conversation and post it as an example of M&S.

So please if you ever see me online, don't hesitate to say hi, as long as I'm not raiding, because then I'm not very speakable.

If you're looking for me online, I've got a strang í in my name. If you can't get it right, do a /who Adrenaline and you'll see if I'm there.

Looking forward to hear from you!