So, recently, TMC covered an interesting ALOD of a RavenNavy Issue. I was actually laughing as I realized where the story was going while I read.
Suffice to say, the player was a WoW player who bought PLEX to pay for a very, very expensive ship (to the tune of 44 bil). Naturally, this ship was ganked, and the pilot raged in local. He threatened to find the players in real life and make them suffer. At this point, a Goonswarm member contacted him, convinced him that he represented a group who defended and reimbursed ratters, got him to trade his second pimped out Raven Navy Issue (also purchased with PLEX) and paid him 500 mil for the service of moving his ship safely to a nice ratting system. Suffice to say, it didn’t end well for him. He ended up losing billions in isk.
Now, this player did a face-plant into the difference between Eve and WoW… namely that Eve is laissez-faire, while WoW is a playground with very observant babysitters.
What really made this interesting to me is that Ripard Teg decided to call this out as a perfect representation with what is wrong with Eve. He argues that Eve players have taken scamming to a whole new level… instead of scamming characters, we’ve gone to the point where we try to inflict suffering (not loss, not pain) on others.
Now, I tend to agree with him. There’s a difference between the “business” of exploiting players’ ignorance and inflicting unnecessary suffering. In the same way during war, you may kill your enemy, but you don’t peel the skin off of them before you do it. Double-tap in the head, job finished.
However, he’s wrong to point out this particular case as his exemplum. Why? Because he threatened that “if I loose my patience, I have the possibility to find, in real life, the guys that are creating me trouble, so I can create them different troubles, this is my promise”. He said this in local in full view of everyone.
This is, as the TMC reporter told him, a violation of the EULA, and CCP should ban his account as a consequence. But ultimately, a community does have the right to police itself. Public shame does have a role in punishing those who go too far. What happens in a game is one thing; threatening to attack people in real life is quite another.
Does this mean he should be scammed relentlessly, hunted in-game, and griefed until he’s banned? Yes, yes it does.
If he hadn’t threatened to use his RL job to retaliate against the players in the real world, this would be a perfect example of Eve players going too far and forcing a player out of the game. We need to cultivate as many new players as possible… not only for the health of CCP’s bottom line and ability to hire more developers, but also to keep the PvP targets stocked. After all, not everyone who starts as a missioner/ratter stays one.
But Eve does not need players like this person. Though he claims he sees plenty of murder in his line of work, he shows no remorse in threatening people in real life for what happens in a game. Moreover, the fact that you would make a comment like that, “Life’s brutal; I don’t want that in a game” only reinforces the inability to recognize the differences between fact and fiction. To equate them is flawed logic at its worst.
That he would threaten another player demonstrates that – even if he wanted to remain, we don’t want him. We should never become so desperate that you’ll accept anyone into your ranks.
Yet… though the specific example is a poor one, one change in the circumstances would have changed the entire narrative of the story. Had this player not threatened his attackers in real life, I would agree with Ripard’s conclusion. We do have certain obligations to retain new players. Of course, we shouldn’t change the essentials of our culture, but does that culture include cruelty?
Are we playing Sadism Online, or is it just business when we kill, scam, or curbstomp someone? When I put “gf” in local, I don’t mean it sarcastically. I genuinely appreciate the fact that the other player’s lossmail was my content. I respect the fact that he plays the game, giving me the opportunity to kill him.
Behind every character is a player. Brutalize the character, but respect the player.
If you don’t, you have no business playing this game. And that’s equally true of those who inflict cruelty and those who can’t recognize the simple fact that actions in a game don’t warrant real life retaliation.