Let’s face it: There’s a reason why they coined the idiom “like a bull in a china shop”. And no mythological merger between human and bovine is going to temper that bullish behavior enough to justify a career path in the handling of fragile finery.

At least, not without taking out beaucoup damage insurance. Luckily, the kicking-in of said insurance looks to be the main fun in online videogame Minotaur China Shop.

Check out the all-too-predictable service-sector carnage:

And get further insight into this struggle with anger-management by reading the literally-bullheaded shopowner’s own personal diary.

Tea, sympathy, and rage against the espresso machine. Add that all up into videogaming fun!

Actually, I haven’t played the game. It’s not a regular-issue Flash-driven app, but rather requires a plugin called Unity, and I’m not inclined to install yet another browser add-on. Plus, gameplay looks a little too complex for my tastes, especially when the shop-wrecking payoff is all I’d be after anyway. Maybe when/if they port it to the iTouch.


I’m not sure why it comes as any surprise to anyone that online product review sites are routinely gamed by PR firms and/or their clients.

I’ve touched on this before, in regard to blogs. But the late class-action lawsuit against Yelp highlights the manipulation that goes on. All the talk of transparency, crowdsourcing, and the rest of the buzzwords all just boil down to this basic tenet:

Companies are not looking for reviews. They’re looking for endorsements.

That is, they’re not interested in fair and balanced product/service opinions. Dissatisfied users needn’t bother to post anything online, because any sort of negative feedback has the potential to do damage, especially when viewed as a stand-alone piece. And as it happens, the typical behavior of an amateur reviewer on Facebook, Twitter, or blog is to say nothing at all, rather than write something less than nice. That’s not so unusual — those motivated to give feedback, in any medium/channel, tend to be so only when they have extreme reactions, either good or bad.

But that winds up filling “review” sites with almost nothing but positive reviews, with no semblance of balance. At that point, they become little more than semi-officially commissioned endorsements. Ultimately, that’s the aim of online reputation management anyway. To pretend that anything more substantive is coming out of the user-generated online channel is foolishly naive.