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"Dmitri" and the anonymous source

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After numerous incidents of trolling "Dmitri" was banned from Sony Online Entertainment's Star Wars Galaxies. During an in-game commitment ceremony of lesbian avatars "Dmitri" called them "anti-Patriotic," "scum of society," and "bunch of liberal, hippie, homo lovin' scum." In 2004 he also wrote, "No negros can walk this street by order of the furher [sic]" and "We're dedicated to sending jedi to the gas chamber! Send a tell!" There is a laundry list of other incidents but "Dmitri" blames his banning on SOE having, "No room for individuals to have more conservative, traditional leanings ... that's unacceptable."

Interestingly enough, for a man that believes so strongly in his conservative ideals, "Dmitri" requested to stay anonymous in a story regarding political protesting within video games for the November issue of Computer Games magazine. Computer Games magazine obliged him and Lara Crigger wrote the article A Tale of Two Protests. The piece examines the right-leaning "Dmitri" and the liberal Joseph DeLappe, who writes the names of dead soldiers within America's Army as part of his "Dead in Iraq" project.

Anonymous sources hold a role in journalism, but that role is still debated in journalism schools across the country. Ideally they should never be quoted and only used to connect the dots of a story until the journalist can find a source willing to go on the record.

Features Editor of Computer Games magazine Cindy Yans says, "Sometimes they have a good point, but don't want to give their name. I'm still kinda on the fence about it."

Should "Dmitri" have ever been quoted in the first place? When journalists publish political ideas without a name to stand behind them, does this add fuel to the reasons games journalism is bogus?










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