Some of you might have noticed my "zombiedogs" snafu earlier today. "Gabe Newell" did. Well, the guy masquerading on Twitter as the Valve boss, anyway. That's when I knew for sure there were no zombiedogs in Left 4 Dead 2.
Quick recap: We got sent a screengrab of some files in the Left 4 Dead 2 demo, pointing to "zombiedogs." I wasn't aware this was the prototype name of the Hunter's attack call from the original Left 4 Dead last year. Within about 20 minutes, thanks to your comments, we corrected the post and ultimately the decision was made to take it down, because it didn't in fact report any news or engage a useful debate to earn its traffic. This isn't a hard and fast policy or a precedent by the way, just peeling back the curtains on a decision readers may have noticed.
And for the record, I don't blame the tipster at all. I think he had good intentions and he and I both were just uninformed about the origin of zombiedogs.
But Fake Gabe Newell was on the case at once. "oh why'd we have to include zombie dogs," he Tweeted, He knows I'd been following him, probably hoping I or someone would report the tweet as confirmation of the rumour.
How do I know he's fake? A while back I was tipped off to some humorous tweets Newell was allegedly making, regarding some Taco Bell inspired gastric trouble. I ran this back to both Newell and Doug Lombardi, and the reply was instant: "I don't have a Twitter account," Newell said, and cc'd Valve's info chief on the reply, which led me to believe Twitter would be notified and action taken to either take down Fake Gabe Newell or make him change his handle.
Nope. Fake Gabe struck again Oct. 10 "Left4dead 2 is working me to the bone, I shall one day rest and on that day, I'll finally be able to start work on left4dead 3." At least one gaming blog picked this up and ran with it.
Fake Gabe's got a great writing style. He follows current developments, mentions Valve employees and salts his updates with enough workaday stuff to make his fake rumours somewhat believable to someone not looking too closely at his Twitter feed. Dig deeper through his updates and you don't see much that sounds like it would come from a man in his position though. And while he has 1,700 followers, he's only following 12 people, and 188 tweets. The real Gabe Newell would likely have higher counts in both, showing a network more befitting a public figure in this industry.
So anyway, Fake Gabe Newell, I'll probably regret giving you the publicity. But it's the light that disinfects, no? I'm calling you a big Fake Fakey McFakehead, and I challenge you - I know you are reading this! - to direct message me admitting your masquerade, and tell us what motivated you to carry out such evildoing!
And in a good-natured spirit, to ask that you stop impersonating the Valve chief. It's not a crime, and you've had plenty of fun. But the joke is getting stale.