On Jan. 29, 2013 - the Toronto Star wrote this article
(since modified) about David Gallant's game "I Get This Call Every Day".
Thanks to this sensationalist reporting, and general ignorance of games, David was promptly fired.
If David had written a short story, directed a movie, or did some stand-up about his boring job he'd still be employed.
In fact, he'd be celebrated. i.e. Dilbert, The Office, Office Space
In another medium, David would appear in the Star's arts section and be defended from "necessary corrective action."
In fact, the threat from the government would BE the story.
Did I just say censorship? Whoops!
In another medium...
... reporters would choose their words more carefully
... the game would be the focus, and not just a vehicle for another agenda
... the writer would have played the game before doing the interview.
David was fired because he expressed himself using a game.
2012-01-30 The Toronto Star changes online edition of the original article (v4.0)
First sentence removed "The frustration and, yes, loathing many people feel for the taxman may be mutual"
URL changed (~11:30am) - I wrongly concluded they removed the article. Old URL leads to the Star's home page. New URL worked, but broken since 3:00pm
These might be explained by technical issues... might.
All user Comments removed (~11:00am)- Can't add new comments
"he's an edgy gamer guy" kept (removed from print edition)
2012-01-30 The Toronto Star changes physical edition of the original article (v3.0)
Title changed from "Tax department employee creates online game to vent his frustration with taxpayers" to "Your call is utterly annoying to us"
"he's an edgy gamer guy" removed
2012-01-29 The Toronto Star's original article (v2.0)
The reporter added a taxpayer angle that doesn't exist in the game:
"Tax department employee creates online game to vent his frustration with taxpayers"
"The job involves answering calls from taxpayers"
"... [taxpayers] can be annoying and stupid."
"... [taxpayer] comes across as dense and snippy"
The reporter then contacted National Revenue Minister Gail Shea for comment:
"offensive and completely unacceptable"
"investigate urgently to ensure no confidential taxpayer information was compromised"
Unlike everyone involved, I played the game.
No confidential taxpayer information was compromised.
Wondering why the ministry even thought that was the case.
Don't have a snapshot of v1.0 of this article (before Star updated).
I do have this v1.0 snapshot - 11:05am from Metro News.
It's "By Staff, Torstar News Service", and extremely similar aside from the wildly wrong title "Tax agency employee goes online to vent frustrations".
In this version, a CRA spokesperson replied "no comment". Gail Shea was not yet not amused.
Untrustwothy live version of Metro v1.0
If you read just one followup article about this debacle, make it this one.
Not only did Daniel Kaszor play and review the game, but he offers some great insight (some of which I totally disagree with).
If the Star's reporter understood games like Daniel, you wouldn't be reading this.
Since this comes from "Torstar News Service", it's almost identical to the Star's article.
Skip it and read the first comment by Corparate_Idiots (last on page) - it's amazing.
The staff originally embellished the article with pictures of tweets from David, but those were replaced with awkward text.
Worth noting that this title was the 3rd attempt. "Revenue Canada worker fired for his online rant" and "Revenue Canada worker fired after making tax video game"
were replaced after David twittered both were incorrect. Unsure why they didn't stick with the original title, unsure if David noticed yesterday's title.