[EVE] How not to do in game/ out-of-game boundaries

I’m not sure if the EVE community has been working up to this over several years, but it’s like being at the drama bus stop at the moment, with several ‘stories’  all arriving at the same time.

First up was The Mittani (recently elected head of the player council of stellar management) dicking around during a live presentation and telling his corps mates to go grief some guy who claimed to have been suicidal, using the phrase “If you want to make this guy go and kill himself …” and giving out the player’s in-game character name.

He subsequently got a 30 day ban, lost his position on the council, et al.

Then apparently someone gave out The Mittani’s real life address on EVE radio and someone in chat there threatened to go round and rape his wife. (Garnered from threads on the EVE forums, which have now mostly been deleted.)

(You’re probably thinking at this point … are these people for real? Or maybe … is this a police matter yet?)

Being as metagaming is a huge part of EVE, chances are that none of this was intended by the speakers to be a serious threat (I’m not aiming to minimise rape threats, just too gobsmacked that it even happened to really comment), but there’s a certain batshit craziness to the entire story which does not reflect well on the game or the people who play it. And if I didn’t happen to know EVE players who are sane, well balanced PVPers, I’d be wondering what kind of an internet cesspit it had become.

Also, how is it that these players, who are presumably old enough to know better, have not twigged that some of the people listening to their rants or threats might in fact be dumb, obsessive, or deranged enough to either take them seriously or take them as a sign that this type of OOC threat is now within the parameters of the game so they should go do it some more too?

Oh and apparently Stabs says EVE players regularly refer to  mega industrialists as  ‘jews’ without any sense that this might not be appropriate slang. (PS. I don’t care if this is standard in your state of birth, and you should not need to be told this.)

Anyhow, this was a post I copied from one of the EVE threads on the subject before it got banned. Elsebeth is the name of the character (ie. not the player). I think it’s worth everyone reading carefully, because it is about the danger of making the boundaries between IC and OOC so thin.

Elsebeth Rhiannon wrote:

Disclaimer: I absolutely do not approve of threatening anyone in RL, not even “as a joke”, and hope anyone who does anything like that gets permabanned immediately, I do not even approve of pointing and laughing at people in the game in order to make them bad in RL, and I do not approve of the recent Mittani-bashing threads that have popped up. Any behavior the sole purpose of which is to “harvest tears” (and those are always RL tears, no matter how much you say “it is just a game”) is deplorable, regardless of target and how much they deserve it.

But that said, a Goon asking “Is this what Eve Online has degraded to?” is mind-boggling. You folks have tried for years to deliberately degrade EVE, to make it about pointing and laughing, and you have stepped across civil behavior lines repeatedly by e.g. circulating private evemail from people who appear RL hurt, even suicidal. How can you now be indignant that you have actually succeeded, and beyond what you hoped? Did you honestly think that if you encourage human beings to bring out the worst in themselves and go further and further in being tough assholes, you suddenly can stop the development when it suits you? Did you honestly think that when you feel that things are now assholish enough, people will telepathically notice and stop going further?

That’s not how it works. If you encourage people to “ruin the game for you”, “harvest tears”, “make them ragequit”, etc, it will become a competition in which someone will always go one step further. Maybe in your head there always was a limit to it. Maybe you believed that people knew what it was. But people are not like that. If you encourage them to be mean, they will be mean. And some day they might very well be meaner than you liked. “I never meant it to go this far” won’t help then, if you never explicitly spoke of the limits or encouraged a culture where it was ok to admit that well, really, we are not such bad guys, I really did feel bad blowing up that ship.

As sad as it is, you lie in the bed you made.”

Incidentally, if my partner was involved in a hobby that resulted in me getting personal threats and I found out, I would be making him choose between that hobby and me. You don’t do that to someone you care about.