I have a small knack for knowing what rumors are probably true and which are outright lies which comes with common sense, such as a recent “leak” of GTA5 by a someone working for a magazine who was clearly not of the profession since he couldn’t even spell Museum. The lists of rumored GTA features get debunked with each passing day that new info is released on, and some of those details are just outright trolls.
For example, a forum poster who claimed to work for PlayStation Magazine who gave out some details on GTA5 has come out, saying that he was lying about the whole thing. Not only did he make up details of GTA5, he didn’t even work for PlayStation Magazine according to the editor-in-chief Timothy Clark who outed the guy on his Twitter. Taking a few moments to ask someone for proof of their identity is something rabid info-hungry fans forget to do in the heat of the moment more often than usual.
Things that tipped me off as I wrote up the list of rumors and picked out the best ones were things that were simply not possible on the current system. I’m no computer expert but I know even the PS3 has its limits. There were also things that went against Rockstar’s style of doing GTA. For instance, GTAV being four times the size of GTAIV, bull, GTAIV is slightly smaller than San Andreas, meaning GTAV set in one city would be three times bigger than SA by my estimate.
What went against Rockstar’s MO? Police attack dogs. Outside of random sea creatures in Vice City and San Andreas, there have been no non-human animals in any of the GTA games for whatever reason (even though they were in Red Dead Revolver). Another was saying cars would need fuel, which has only been done on missions in the GTA games as fuel is a chore in an otherwise easygoing game that isn’t too serious. Not to mention being able to crash planes into buildings, which even 10 years after 9/11 would be a hot-button topic among gamers, the public, and the media in varying degrees. Realistic depictions of warfare and violence has been seen in the latest shooters more increasingly so it’s not as taboo now as it was then.
Rumor mongers in the videogame community have been around since the days of Mario, speaking of secret levels, new consoles, hidden characters, and tricks. Remember the Pokemon days where Mew was under the truck and the Pokemon Pikablu was possible to get through at least 1000 different means? Well that truck is just scenery and “Pikablu” was a 2nd Gen Pokemon called Marill. In these modern times where mods are commonplace, some rumors and myths can become reality with user-created content.
Rumors in the news however has been a problem for a very, very long time. On the internet, a rumor can spread even after the truth is out, be it from misreading a line or two or only hearing half a conversation. Regardless, rumors are often just harmless fun or someone just being a low-scale troll, it happens, we laugh, and get on with our lives. There’s really no harm in them, but there are some things that should not be put out as fact.
I’m not sure if anyone has ever been prosecuted or punished for rumor mongering, but someone who leaks fake info which by coincidence only is real can start up a first-class shitstorm at the office. If you had a major plot twist in your project, and someone on the internet said “The main character dies a third of the way in and the mantle is taken up by his sister.”, then the reaction could be anything. You could laugh and say something about how he should go back to guarding the bridge, or you could end up pulling up the details of every employee, taking the NDAs to the lawyers, and interrogating staff on who fueled the leak.
Rumors should always be approached with some caution and confirmed the first chance you get. If a rumor you passed around turns out to be an outright lie, then it should be your duty to correct yourself to keep things clean before someone has a mess to clean up. I’ll admit I myself have been tripped up more than once but I’ll also gladly admit if I was wrong.