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Harrison Gives Good Interview, Pokes At Totilo

- Well, you may all recall that I had a little crisis of faith earlier this week, questioning the divine Sony - or rather, my quoting skills when it came to Phil Harrison, after he quibbled with some of my reporting in the first part of his interview.

Well, N'Gai Croal has been continuing the excellent Harrison interview on his blog, and semi-unbelievably, Part 2 also included another call-out of a journo in it.

Specifically, Harrison discusses an MTV News interview with Stephen Totilo in which he said: "I fervently believe that the biggest challenge we face is that our industry is referred to as 'video games,' and games are supposed to be fun... Games should deal with fear, should deal with comedy and with death. They should deal with peril, with drug offenses."

In the Newsweek piece, Harrison commented that "...what I actually said to Stephen when he interviewed me was, and I gave an example and I paused before I did so, I actually said "drug abuse," not "drug use." He transcribed it as "drug use." I wanted to clarify that comment, because drug abuse means a character who is clearly, in my view, suffering from the abuse of illegal substances, rather than glorifying a rock star character."

So, this drew a response from Totilo, who is one of the most meticulous journos I know, as follows: "Phil Harrison is one of the most forward-thinking and creative executives in the games industry that I've interviewed. Gamers passionate about the evolution of games should find cheer in the fact that he oversees one of the largest global teams of game developers in the industry. Me? I'm, if nothing else, a pretty good transcriber. In the interview I conducted referenced above, Phil Harrison used--on tape--the term "drug offenses," not "drug use" or "drug abuse." He mentioned the term in a list of potentially taboo subjects that he thinks game developers should feel confident to embrace."

I find this all generally odd - of course, there are far bigger Sony vs. media stories just breaking, but it seems like Phil is being worn down by the media and is finding snakes in the grass where, if anything, it's just particular quotes being cited and passed around by other outlets which are presenting legitimate soundbites in slightly hyped-up contexts. And the way around that is not to question the original quote. Not sure. You guys decide! Harrison is still a smart guy, and his interviews are nuanced and good.

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