Saturday, 29 March 2014

Day 651 : I Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry

I swore I wouldn't write about the Bonus Room incident but it's got to me and it's got me raging in the oddest of ways. I might upset someone. I got upset and I hold some odd views at times. If my response upsets you then I apologise in advance but I've reached the point where some barely reasoned cathartic venting of opinion is required.

 If you don't know what the Bonus Room incident is then I suggest you avoid it all together or read up using the first opening shots over at Jesters and then use Coffee Rocks handy collation of the various response sources. My stance? Lets get it over with.

The Perpetrator and his henchmen

Well. You took that too far didn't you? Didn't expect this storm? I should imagine your real life has been impacted negatively in some way by now. I'm sorry about that. But, well, that's what you get for abandoning civilised behaviour. That's what you get for turning a game into a weapon. That's what you get for adding another small stanza to the litany of vile practices the human mind can come up with. That's what you get for sadism. That's what you get for checking your humanity and empathy at the door. Oh, you're a sociopath? Then you will have to have to check your behaviour with your mind rather than your empathy. Can't manage that? Then we'll have to lock you up, away from us, the humans, the same way we'd guard against any other "thing" that's dangerous.

I think your behaviour is terrifying and vile to the extent that I almost pity you, but that's just my opinion. I might have missed that sadistic pleasure was "in" right now.

The Victim 

I feel only sorrow and frustration. I hope you manage to walk away and become stronger and wiser for the experience rather than letting it consume you any more than it did during the event. I get the feeling you might have broke a rule or two yourself. I'd pick another game.

The Victims detractors

The victim turned around and used threats after an hour and a half of mental anguish? Well, good golly gosh, there's a bloody surprise. Next time I'm being tortured and am screaming my lungs out I'll remember to get you to cite me for breaking some noise ordinance laws.

I'm not going to call you out on tacit support of sadistic torture because you already missed the entire point so I doubt you'll get the implications of anything I say.

The "Free Speech" advocates

Free speech is a necessity. It comes with a price. That you be a guardian of the value of it. You don't incite violence with it. You don't use hate speech of any form, whether that be racist, homophobic, or any of the other myriad of innovative ways human beings have come up with to describe someone else as unequal for the most trivial of reasons.

"Free" speech is not licence to use language as a weapon against the wellbeing, soul, mind or body of another, for your own amusement or just because you can.

The "Can't ban" advocates

I really don't have any idea but my down the pub reaction would be something like:

Bah ha ha ha ha. That's good. CCP owns whatever you do in this game. It's their game. They can probably ban you for looking at them the wrong way should they ever feel like it was a good idea. The EULA constrains them? I bet it doesn't. I never felt that any game EULA enshrined my rights to play a game despite what the owners of the infrastructure say. I'd need a lawyer to make sure but I wouldn't run around holding it up as a document that prevents CCP doing anything it wants to players it doesn't like in their own game. I know if I ran a game and had a EULA I certainly wouldn't be held to much more than agreeing to provide a service for as long as I felt like it and that wouldn't include looking after freaky evil people. Corporate law isn't there to look after you. EULAs are for restricting your rights to a hazily defined set, not for protecting you.

The "Shouldn't ban" advocates

What's the benefit to not banning? That someone who performed an act that's been almost universally denounced as horrid should carry on being associated with us through the medium of a game, for most of us consider ourselves "gamers" don't we? Oh, it didn't happen in game did it? It began in game, the MO (apart from sadism) was game assets, the people involved carried identities over from the game. The only thing that's missing from the game is a starry bloody background.

I'm not even going to go into the damage it could potentially do economically to the company owning the game, though to be fair it was pointed out to me that capitalism is just as amoral as the perp' and probably nothing would happen. Probably. It's worth the gamble isn't it? Isn't it? Yes. Lets gamble with the future of EVE....

The morality lawyers

The thing that bothers me most about this is not that they have a point, in that we should always check ourselves before launching accidentally into some awful moralistic crusade that turns pogrammatic, but that most of the people asking the questions sound like they're asking them because it's a purely intellectual puzzle. This isn't a petri dish of the mind. Even worse, some people sound like they're just jumping on the liberal-intellectual bandwagon and asking to stand with the smug and the holier than thou. I can almost hear the snooty tone of voice when they ask their questions in text. "Oooooh but who are youuuu to decide". Had a good think about it. My approach is common sense and harms no one really, while yours just brushes the problem under the carpet so other people get hurt. Enough?

In the end a human being came to harm of a form that was in no way deserved or asked for. Don't give me that tripe about greed or I hope you fall over on the way to buy a lottery ticket. What grey area were you talking about?

The "it's not Cyber Bullying" advocates

I'd buy a dictionary if I were you.

The "Victim of his own stupidity" advocates

  The rights of the individual have nothing to do with their apparent level of intelligence. I'm not even taking into count varying types of intelligence. I've met people that could intellectually stomp me into the ground in academia that would have fallen into the scam we're talking about. Your effective estimation of a persons worth and access to security by only what you regard as intelligence sickens me. One blogger and CSM candidate that I usually agree with used this argument (and an amusing early attempt to paint himself as an authority on the definition of torture). I greatly disagree. You're entitled to your opinion. I'm sure I've been guilty of this opinion before now (I think I'm doing it somewhere above which is stupid. Arggh! I did it to myself) and it sickens me too that I might have at some point in responded in the same way. I'll scourge my own soul, you deal with yours. Till then I'll wait for the ballot box.

In the end though, you know what made me really, really angry? None of the above. That just made me shake my head, rant a bit and feel a little sad. What really got me angry were:

The people saying they are taking a break from EVE because of this.

That's great. That'll solve the problem. Perhaps next you'll advocate giving assets to them in game to keep them quiet? That policy worked so well for Neville Chamberlain as I recall. Oh. It didn't? You cowards. Running away from bullies never solved anything. Thanks for leaving us in the lurch. Don't let the jump gate hit you in the arse on the way out.

Or is it a ransom demand to CCP? Ban them or I leave. Well that's so much better.....

The people reporting that they knew people who left or never wanted to play because of this.

Don't tell us. This isn't valuable information, unless you count valuable as meaning "just as harmful to the game as the scandal" or "this is what I am going to hijack the situation with". Why don't you spend the time using the almost excessive examples of EVE gameplay that don't involve scams to convince the people otherwise. Why don't you spend the time pointing out that this is an anomaly, an exception.

You know what I feel that these latter two do in addition to the things I've already mentioned? I feel that they are tarring me with the same brush they used to tar the perpetrator, which brings me to the other person I'm angry at.


Look at that rant. It might be too late but I wouldn't read it if I were you. Half of it is probably backlash from watching a racist little Englander in a debate on British TV the other day. Look at me elevate an event that could be ignored as an anomaly or resolved with common sense into a furious argument. I think I hate myself more than I do anyone else. I think I need to calm the hell down. I might have to go mining which calms me down.

I guess that's the best response to this particular perp. You drove me to mining. Well done.

EVE Track of the Day

Walk the Line - Johnny Cash


No ones mother was asked to listen to The Bonus Room during the writing of this blog post.


  1. Well said. And for the record, I too am mining now. First time in months.

  2. "The people reporting that they knew people who left or never wanted to play because of this."

    During the discussion of the specific situation I agree with you. However, do you think at this point it might be a good time to bring up if all the tools and game mechanics are working as well as they could be?

    Jester linked to examples at the end of this post. That deal with war-deccing of high-sec corps, especially young and pve focused ones.

    I made a reply
    " Since any post in F&I about this would get trolled or ignored. I'll ask you instead as one of my top vote receivers during your run for CSM.

    What do you think can or should be done to give new players a place to start without being as easily being driven out of the game?

    Would a new class of corporation be a good fit? Something that didn't have all the privileges or benefits of a regular corp. Maybe has a low level tax that goes to the empires but can't be war decced or declare war.. Just a place to keep a social structure together? Can only have offices in highsec.

    This would only fix the war dec problem of course. But it could be a start."

    Pardon for the rambling nature of this reply.

    1. It's an interesting question though you'd probably want to pose it once the fury over the current incident dies down.

      My answer would be along the lines of it being fine as it is. There are already systems in place to protect the new bro systems. Did you know CCP takes a dim view of any kind of new player being victimised in normal EVE ways while in the starter systems?

      As for war decs, it's not my area of expertise. I'll read up but I'm very wary of anything that reduces danger and difficulty. Not only is it one of the signatures of EVE but it's also one of the things that brought me to the game. Though I don't indulge in the asshattery of wardeccing new player corps in hi sec I think it's something players should plan for, I think it's something players should expect to deal with, I think it's something players should enjoy. I like to feel I'm a quiet guy flying against a dark background. The fear of attack, the very darkness of EVE, is my adrenaline boost from the game. It's why I came here. I think if someone consistently targets a particular individual, hounding them out of the game, then there are already systems in place to deal with that too.

      There is the other thing about EVE too. You want it to grow but you don't want it to grow at the rate of the other lareger MMOs because it would be unsustainable with the current tech underlying the single shard.

      Its a great, if divisive, question and has got me thinking (pardon the rambling nature of my response!). I may post on it again. Thanks for asking it. If I were you I'd give it a week and then put the question on the forums and then mail the link to the CSM candidates and see what they think.

    2. I wouldn't want to add anything that lessens the danger that didn't have costs.

      Such as currently you can't make as much for the same activity in high-sec as you can in low, null, wh.

      Same as you have to pay a high tax to remain in an NPC corp if you don't want to join a corp.

      So if there was a version of corp that were player controlled but couldn't be war-decced, they should have costs. A tax on bounties, refining, maybe even industry. They should not be as competitive as a regular corp. It should also be a one way switch. You can start your corp in this mode and later you can switch to a regular corp, but you can never go back.

      Of course nothing is protecting them from being ganked, awoked or bumped. But it's still EVE.

      I think the 2 main benefits are this gives people a chance to build up assests and skill points for later. While given them the current corp tools (which need lots of help) to share resources. I don't think just a shared chat channel in game is enough.

    3. There is some discussion at the moment of social organisational tools that might be the kind of thing you are suggesting. See Mangala Solaris on Crossing Zebras, and Mike Azariahs CSM post on the forums where he refers to such future tools being "Corporation-lite". If it's that kind of thing then throw your weight behind them both in the voting.

      As for corp resource sharing : what kind of resources were you thinking? I'm probably not in favour of Corp benefits such as POS and hangars without the attendent danger. In fact I think it might be harmful to new players to have too easy an introduction to Corp life.

    4. Really only having a shared corp hangar, in corp offices, only in highsec.

      I'm not sure if they should be able to do anything else. I think if you want to put assets in space you should be able to be war-decced.

      I'll have to start looking more into the candidates here in the next week or so. But I'll check out their ideas. Mike is probably high on my list this year. Sugar Kyle is still looking like my top choice.

  3. Hisec without Marmite, Pod Repo and even CODE would be so boring.
    I prefer to avoid them but knowing they are out there is what makes it interesting.
    Bonus room sickens me, there is a line.

    1. Pretty much my opinion too. I have my problems with CODE but it's a league apart from the bonus room.

  4. Nice position post, well done


  5. Much enjoyed, and agreed with, everything you wrote here.

    Thanks for taking the time. It's a nice little corollary to the issues, and a nice summing up of the sane middle path of what I would describe as the best EVE mindset to have: Common Sense, translated to life in New Eden.