I've already had my say on the cynical, abusive b.s.. of running a Twitter or Facebook campaign to get folks to vote on a cover or a character or to pretend to give them some kind of influence over a video game publishing decision. In a nutshell, it's garbage, and its true purpose is to get a social media manager rehired when his or her contract is up. But I forgot to mention the other big problem with putting the cover of a video game up for a vote on Facebook: Voting fraud.
Yes, really. When I last checked in, on Tuesday, Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson was well in front of Texas A&M's Ryan Swope, by 14,000 votes, for the honor of gracing NCAA Football 14's packshot this July. A winner was supposed to be announced on Friday. One wasn't. Swope, on the last day, closed the gap and took the lead, a comeback so improbable that EA Sports says it is investigating claims of voting fraud. For the cover of a college football game.
Jesus Christ, just make up a winner and let's be done with this. This contest began in mid-December and at no point did it involve the three actual big names of 2012 in college football: Manti Te'o, Johnny Manziel, or Katherine Webb. If any of those three were ever a candidate, people may have actually given a shit about fair results.
Still, it's amusing that it's come to this, because EA Sports totally left the door open by deciding to half-ass this contest with a murky voting standard that has, at various times, included Twitter hashtags and Facebook likes and polls and such, instead of creating a website and an application to tally votes there. Who really, honestly, cares if a bunch of Aggies created spam accounts or wrote bot programs to steal the election? Good for them! Honor their ingenuity and school spirit! For God's sake, this is a popularity contest in which ballot-stuffing—retweet this hashtag! Make us trend! Click like! Make my manager happy!—was encouraged from day one.