Welcome to the reincarnation of my blog. This will be a public forum (why else would I publish it to a blog?) but mostly I plan to use this space to organize my thoughts about EVE Online and maybe a few random thoughts that are only peripherally related to EVE. I'm familiar with the characters on EVE forums, so comments will be moderated. Trolls, griefers, and those with nothing constructive to add will be ignored. I may also delete anonymous postings; I'm putting myself out here and showing you my face - the least you can do is show yours.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Backed into a Corner

I've never cared for "The Mittani", his antics, or his alliance.  This post isn't about him.

The CSM chairman, a representative of the 'hardcore' EVE player base, publicly advocated the harassment of player that professed to being suicidal.  Whether or not the player was actually suicidal is not important.  The chairman realized his mistake and wrote and apology, and that's also irrelevant.

The terms of the EULA are pretty clear when it comes to harassment and when the MOST visible player in EVE violates those rules, CCP has a few options:

a) Ignore the infraction and be accused of selective enforcement of the EULA.  This option weakens CCP's authority to enforce their rules and makes the EULA a meaningless agreement.

b) Enforce the EULA without comment, as it would with any other player.  The problem here is that the chairman is a very public figure and the incident was very widely publicized.  A discreet response by CCP would do nothing to quell the controversy outside of the EVE community.  Also, the EULA would be damaged because the perception would be that CCP does nothing to enforce the EULA (even if they actually did).

c)  CCP makes a very strong statement in a very public way by enforcing the EULA with a disciplinary action even more severe than what would ordinarily be considered for such a violation.  This preserves their moral authority, maintains the integrity of the EULA, and shows CCP's intolerance for that particular behavior.

d)  The chairman resigns which saves himself the embarrassment of being the object of disciplinary action, saves CCP from having to make a tough decision, reinforces the EULA, and possibly earns him a bit of respect (and possibly loses respect from like minded members within his alliance).

Really, option A and option B are not realistic options for CCP.  Option D is not something CCP can do (and might not be enough of a response if the typical response to this violation is to ban the account).  Option C is really the only option CCP has.  CCP has to defend its EULA and has to send a very strong message beyond EVE-O forums that harassment won't be tolerated. 

Whether or not "The Mittani" had any malicious intent and whether or not the subject of his 'joke' took it serious, CCP has an image to maintain and and EULA to enforce.  CCP wants to promote EVE's 'hardcore' image and has two products that will rely on this hardcore reputation to be successful.  CCP has to draw a line with respect to acceptable behavior and be willing to enforce their EULA or else face the possibility that the next violation might be more widely publicized and more tragic.

EDIT:  An anonomous poster pointed out that the EULA gives CCP discretion about how to deal with bad behavior and that the TOS absolves CCP of responsibility from players' bad behavior.  (Sorta lke a legal 'dec shield' I suppose).  No matter.  I stand by my assertion.  Bad publicity will force CCP to address the situation.  Nice call, Anon.  CCP apparently doesn't take responsibility for fostering bad behavior.


  1. Heh.... all options are ALWAYS on the table.

    That applies IRL or in-game. Just because the potential consequences of an action (or inaction) are unpleasant, doesn't mean said action (or inaction) is "not an option". It's still an option, with unpleasant consequences. ;-)

    BTW, given the CAT5 hurricane of drama over this, it'll be over and forgotten about soon enough. Drama is like a storm -- it may blow hard and strong, but won't last long, or it may come in quiet and just keep going, and going, and going.
    This is especially so when internet slacktivism via YouTube, Facebook, blog posts, and other "social media" is involved.

    "KONY 2012!!!" "Wait, who?!" "You know, invisible children, Africa, all that???" "ohhh, that guy. Yeah he's soooo 32 seconds ago. There's this dude on this game who encouraged people in the game to harass this player so he'd kill himself now!! rabblerabblerabble!!"

    Mittens will be 48 seconds ago, in about 8 seconds. Watch.

    1. Yup. It was over before it started really. I guess there was a 5th option - CCP can let it boil over and ignore the whole thing. It is (was) a risky proposition.

  2. http://madhaberdashers.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/and-before-the-iron-gets-cold/

    Final notes about this before I lock the thread:

    The bully is not the only guilty party. Those who stood around and watched are no less guilty.

    EVE can't be real and not real at the same time. CCP plans on releasing a new product that actively promotes bad behavior, but I seriously doubt they'll take responsibility for the consequences of someone carrying it beyond WoD. The integrity of the people making decissions at CCP has to be questioned as well.

    Finally: I don't give a fuck if it was Mittens or Alt1097 that made the comment, the comment was shameful and embarrassing. That shame was amplified by Mittens position and broadcasted and endorsed by CCP.