It's that time again! Time for another round of complete and utter bullshit that was recently plastered all over your Facebook feed disguised as news! Yay!
And when these stories are about video games, they seem to spread even more quickly and be based on fewer details, as gaming reporters know that readers don't actually want news, but rather any old amalgamation of words that gives them license to scream at each other in the comments section. Therefore, we end up with nonsense like:
#5. A Woman Didn't Kill Three People for the New Xbox
Break.com, one of the leading paragons of investigative journalism, used its official Twitter account to spread a sensational story about a woman stabbing three people to death with a screwdriver to secure the last Xbox One in a Chicago Walmart:
"And her name was Sarah Connor. For reals."
Because the Internet is unable to resist stories that cannot possibly be true, this one spread like wildfire across blogs and news sites, all of which were only too willing to add their outraged voices to the cloud of shame hanging over America for having allowed a person to murder a pregnant woman for a game system.
Robert Benson/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"For a new iPhone, sure. But for this?"
The problem is, Break got the story from The Daily Currant, which is a satirical news website that sometimes gets mistaken for a real news site, because 17 people read it. In other words, this would be like The New York Times running a story they found on The Onion about Daniel Radcliffe using actual magic to rescue a yacht full of stranded people.
#4. The Fallout 4 Teaser Site Was Registered at GoDaddy (and Was Totally Fake)
In November, fans of the post-apocalyptic game series Fallout began squeeing with delight over a website supposedly teasing the latest entry in the series, imaginatively titled Fallout 4: Survivor 2299. The website contained a bunch of cryptographic messages and bits of Morse code, which were all deciphered as vague references to Fallout 3 by people with a haunting abundance of time and enthusiasm. There was also a timer on the front page, counting down to the date of Spike's annual "bored celebrities talk about video games" awards show, so many assumed a new trailer or some other type of official announcement would debut on the program.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"Do kids still play Pac-Man? Never mind, I don't give a damn about any of this. Thank you."
Despite the ambiguity and lack of any official connection to the makers of Fallout (the website was bought through GoDaddy.com, which is hardly the route a triple A video game publisher would take to promote the next entry in a multi-million dollar series), numerous gaming websites climbed aboard the hype wagon and spread the word that Fallout 4 would soon be bursting into stores like a screaming valkyrie.
Substantial suspicion was finally aroused when the Spike awards show changed dates, yet the countdown timer remained vigilantly ticking away the hours until a day that no longer had any special significance in the video game world. Finally, Bethesda (the company now behind the Fallout series) confirmed it was a hoax, and the guy responsible for the website admitted he was a total douche, a claim that was only further solidified by his nonsensical Dark Knight quote comparing himself to the Joker for no conceivable reason (the Joker was a murderous anarchist who couldn't be "bought, bullied, or reasoned with," whereas this guy made a fake game website and was totally bullied into taking it down by the game's actual creators).
Some men just want to watch the world mildly inconvenienced.
#3. Xbox Isn't Banning People for Swearing on Skype
Among the list of ancillary features the Xbox One offers that your current computer already does perfectly well is the ability to use Skype, because we have to use that fucking camera for something or else people will begin to wonder why they're being forced to pay for it. And according to recent news reports, Microsoft is banning Xbox One users for swearing in their Skype conversations, because apparently they only want people to use the Xbox for swearing if they are playing Call of Duty.
"They came for the teenage racists, and I didn't speak up ..."
As you may have guessed, this is not at all what is happening. Microsoft is issuing temporary 24-hour bans to users who upload profanity-laden videos to their video-sharing service, because it is a direct violation of the terms and services agreement they make every single user agree to before creating an account (Sony is doing the same thing with PlayStation 4 users). We're not sure how that unremarkable news item became "ZOMG MICROSOFT IS BANNING YOU FOR SWEARING IN YOUR OWN PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS," but we admit that headline is way more interesting.
#2. Disgruntled Factory Employees Did Not Sabotage the PS4
Speaking of the PS4, a recent viral news story claimed that the thousands of faulty new systems were the work of disgruntled employees who had deliberately sabotaged as many units as they could to protest the harsh working conditions of the manufacturing facilities. The "blue light of death" is no mere manufacturing defect, but a calculated plan by bitter madmen.
Michael Buckner/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"We also took out 50% of the Wii U's out there. Dozens were at our mercy."
Our savvier readers may have noticed how goddamned ridiculous that last sentence sounded, and with good reason. The story was based entirely on a series of anonymous posts in a Chinese forum that have since been deleted. Sony never dignified the story with a response, and remains firm in its assertion that the "blue light of death" is a simple defect affecting a very small percentage of consoles.
#1. The New Xbox Can't See You Naked
Reports are swirling around the Internet that claim the camera on the new Xbox is so sensitive that it can actually see through your clothing. Naturally, after the initial harrowing discovery was made, the news that people may have paid $500 for a voyeuristic robot spread like wildfire, because no one wants to think they accidentally purchased Billy Baldwin's character from Sliver in tiny plastic-boxed form.
John M. Heller/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"Honestly, for $500 you could just buy the real me."
The problem is actually twofold -- first, every single source claimed that video was created by a guy named Mark Wilson, who noticed that he was swinging some serious pole when he went to upload the video later. Well, here's the original video, which is an official tech demo made by Microsoft that, as you may notice, contains not a single human being named Mark Wilson. Second, as you watch the video, it becomes immediately clear that the "dong" in question is just a fold in the guy's jeans. But the rumor spread so quickly that Microsoft actually had to step in and tell everyone what incredible jackasses they were being. Because, let's be honest, if Microsoft really wanted to see your dick, all they have to do is make an Xbox with a built-in camera that is constantly running.