Blog Banter 37:
“EVE Online sits on the frontier of social gaming, providing an entertainment environment like no other. The vibrant society of interacting and conflicting communities, both within the EVE client and without, is the driving force behind EVE’s success. However, the anonymity of internet culture combined with a competitive gaming environment encourages in-game behaviour to spread beyond the confines of the sandbox. Where is the line?”
Politics. Social Interactions. Bullies, jerks, victims and crybabies. The EVE landscape is filled with all of this and more.
So, where do I stand on all of this? Well, there’s my own personal code of conduct, and then there’s what I think is just part of the game, and what goes beyond the game.
My general rule is “Don’t be a dick.” It’s what I try and follow.
One thing to understand is, you cannot blanket apply how you feel about a situation on others. So, maybe it’s just pixels to you. But to someone else it may be a lot more meaningful, and if you can’t accept that, you’re just being a dick.
Now, if you don’t want to be a dick, stop engaging in what I call ‘non-consensual PvP.’ That is, don’t high-sec gank, and be occasionally kind to the idiot noob autopiloting his hauler in low sec. Ganking people who want to gank you is completely acceptable, though—I derive the greatest pleasure over tears of people who had the tables turned on them.
However, if you’re comfortable (or even embracing) of dickishness, then by all means, EVE is a paradise for you. Go ahead and make my day when I blow you up (and even better make you whine in local about being blobbed/ganked).
Others - acceptable (if often irritating)
Trolling: OK, this is gonna happen. Sometimes it’s deserved, sometimes it isn’t. But in this case, just MTFU and take it. It’s just words. Whether on the forums or in chat, this is a pervasive aspect of the internet. Again, so long as it doesn’t devolve into an extended, ongoing personal attack that hasn’t been asked for (and believe me, some guys ask for it!) it’s the price of being in any social network where you can’t pick the members.
Crude behavior: So long as it doesn’t step over the line into sexual harassment or blatant racism/homophobia, it’s gonna happen. And it’s often funny, though just as often it isn’t. If someone spams too much on comms, I just block them. Blocking is your friend.
LOL ganks/high sec piracy (often followed by extended trolling): This is EVE. You are never really 100% safe. Yeah, it’s bullying. Especially if it generates tears. And you’re being a dick. Still, without this it wouldn’t be EVE if this wasn’t possible.
In-game scams: I think anything allowed by game mechanisms are OK. Spies, thieves, cons—all OK. EVE is and should remain survival of the fittest.
General out-of-game mischief: Fake killboard posts, forum warfare, etc. It’s all in the context of the game, so again, this is irritating but needs to be tolerated.
Unacceptable/Over the Line
Outright racism/sexism/sexual harassment: I’ve experienced all of these in EVE. Female players subjected to verbal abuse. Outright racist names for players and corps. I personally find homophobic comments also unacceptable, but it’s so ubiquitous (even the Late Nite channel is called “Gay Nite Pride”).
True Metagaming: These are out-of-game options, such as DDOS attacks on chat servers and network hubs during battles and against forums, hacking passwords and accounts, etc. are all crossing the line. This is out of game context and are also illegal.
Real life personal attacks/threats: If someone threatens to find your house and burn it down, it’s not OK. Note that this can be a somewhat anticipated outcome if a) you’re being a total dick, and b) the guy happens to take the game very seriously.
Now, if he just happens to say he’ll like to punch you in the face, to me that’s OK. You deserve it for being a dick. I’d punch you too, probably. Or at least key your car and let all the air out of your tires. Not for blowing up my ship—anyone who wants to do that should do that. But if you act like a dick about it, you gotta expect consequences.
True in-game bullying: This is a tricky one. But the ability of a very large corporation filled with assholes to make the life of an individual pilot miserable to the point of rage-quitting is an issue. EVE needs to allow carebears to be carebears in an environment where, although they can’t be 100% safe, they can’t be easily war-dec’ed or be subjected to individually targeted harassment. Don’t know specifically how this could be achieved and still keep EVE dark and dangerous, but there has got to be a way.