Oo Gin Lee, editor of The Straits Times Digital Life, a weekly computer publication for our national daily, wrote this about StarCraft II character Nova in the 29 April 2015 issue, page 9:
Sarah “Nova” Kerrigan is a sniper cum special ops operative who is also the love of Jim Raynor.
Except that Nova and Kerrigan are TWO DIFFERENT people. If you’ve played the singleplayer campaign of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, the player will eventually encounter Nova in one of the story-branching missions. Nova also makes an appearance in the second game, Heart of the Swarm where she specifically leads a squad of ghosts to capture the de-infested Sarah Kerrigan. The game makes it absolutely clear that Nova and Kerrigan are different beings.
Look, I can totally understand that not everyone has played StarCraft II. Not everyone is familiar with the lore for all of Blizzard’s games. But a simple google or Wikia check would have told you so. This is the baseline standard of being a credible writer or reporter: checking your facts.
And sadly, this is not the first time that Mr Oo and Digital Life have made such glaring errors. I have stopped relying on Digital Life as a reliable source of computer and gaming news for close to a decade, and this latest gaffe just solidifies my belief even further.
My current editor once scolded me during the first days of my current job for taking too long to write stories. While I have since increased my speed and efficiency, my desire to take my time is to ensure the quality and accuracy of my work. As a writer, I have always believed that you are only as good as your worst mistake.
Because one single error in calling Nova “Sarah Kerrigan” is all it takes to make you a laughing stock.