It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
Well at least one of our "regulars" recently admitted receiving free merchandise (t-shirts, pens, stickers etc.) from SOE to host fan parties.
Anything wrong with hosting fan parties and getting freebies from SOE? I don't think so, no. Anything wrong with posting in support of a game you enjoy? Again, no, not in my opinion.
However, when people doing this claim to be nothing more than just the "average player who is enjoying the game today," (that's a direct quote btw) I think there's a problem.
The Federal Trade Commission's guide regarding testimonials and endorsements says the following:
"Any connections between the endorser and the advertiser that might materially affect the weight or credibility of the endorsement (i.e., the connection is not reasonably expected by the audience) must be fully disclosed."
This applies specifically to what is known as viral marketting on the internet. If someone is posting in support of SOE games, and they are receiving free merchandise from them, does that affect the credibility of the endorsement? It does for me.
My respectful request to anyone receiving perks from SOE who posts here is that you simply acknowledge this openly and honestly. If they send you free stuff, give you free gameplay or any other perks while you're busy promoting their products, just let people know. Put it in your sig or something. (e.g. SOE sends me free stuff).
No one says you can't promote something you enjoy. All I ask (well me and the FTC) is that you fully disclose your relationship with SOE while you do so.