Recently I found an article written by one of my wife's favorite author, Stephen King. He often writes Op-ed pieces for Entertainment Weekly and this one tackled the problem of Buzz Vs. Hype.
Now in the article, he defines both these terms in a way that turned on a light for me.
"Buzz is not hype and hype is not buzz. Hype is paid for: full-page print ads, luxe websites, logos on the sides of buses, billboards on Sunset Boulevard, carpet-bomb TV campaigns. Buzz is free. Hype is often unreliable (Ang Lee's well-advertised but ultimately atrocious rendering of The Incredible Hulk, for instance). Buzz, on the other hand, is almost always reliable. No one knows why, any more than anyone knows how dogs can sense company's coming even when none is expected. But we can say certain things."This finally put a few things into perspective for me concerning the MMO blog community.
- Stephen King
Blogging about a game to the point of nausea is not hype, it's basically buzz. Hype is when they run ads that support the game, post links to developer's sites, or constantly shove the game's press releases down every one's throats. But if someone is just blogging about their enthusiasm or joy for a game that's coming out, even if it borders on the annoying, it's not hype, it's just good clean buzz.
So, when I've been shouting about how I hate hype, what I've really been meaning to say is that I really hate buzz, but in fact, the truth is, I like buzz. It's buzz that has gotten me fired up to the point where I am searching web sites, listen to every podcast, watching any movie that has any information about WAR. I'm not saying I have it bad to the point of nauseating people that I know, but I'm sure some of my WoW friends, whom I have convinced to get the WAR pre-order so they can try the game out during the open beta on the 7th of Sepember, will be glad when the game starts and I can finally start shutting up. By then, with luck, I will have either convinced them to come on board the WAR train or not. Either way, I will be happy to finally be playing WAR.