A little Eve
There was a small furor over in Eve Online. Now that it’s (mostly) settled I will put in my two cents.
Good for CCP.
Here’s the deal. Eve Online’s got a somewhat deserved reputation for being a sociopath generator. Scams by players are (for the most part) legitimate. If I con you out of giving me access to your corporation bank account, you have no recourse if I then empty it. Needless to say there are a lot of scams, many targeting ignorance and greed. And when someone is targeted they get a mix of ridicule and commiseration – how much of each depending on who is on and who did it and a host of secondary issues.
This fellow, goes by the game name of “Erotic 1″, used a fairly classic scam. The worm is to offer to double (or more) a chunk of money (ISK in Eve Online).
The scam works this way. That first offer is legit. When that worm is taken he offers to do it again, only this time to even more of the player’s wealth. Eventually the con’s offering to double the sucker’s entire account holdings, and that’s where the hook plays. Con gets the player’s stuff, and then keeps it. Or (and this is where things turn ugly, or uglier) plays mind games.
Now the scam pushes the limits of what CCP (Eve Online’s parent corporation) allows. And going to mind games, which is basically some sort of humiliation and/or harassment, crosses those limits. So to avoid the Terms of Service, Erotic 1 and his cohorts took the scam out of the game and into online talk (Teamspeak).
And there he and his cohorts proceeded to utterly humiliate the con. Among other things they had him singing songs that emphasized his speech impediment. All the while dangling the hook of returning his property. After about two hours of increasing humiliation and harassment the player snapped, swearing at and threatening Erotic 1 and his team. Yeah, ‘I’ll hunt you down and kill you’ types of threats.
And then as the cherry on top, Erotic 1 posted the whole session on soundcloud for public embarrassment. (Trigger and size warnings. Two and a quarter hours of bullies at play.)
A furor was raised, asking if this was ‘too far’. After some noise (some SERIOUS noise, with huge forum threads), CCP decided to permanently ban Erotic 1.
What saddens me is that roughly 20% of the posts in the thread were defending him. Defending on technicalities and slippery slope defenses and nature of the game defenses and, well, various defenses. What gladdens me is knowing that these people now know that those positions aren’t acceptable.
If you harass and bully someone by way of your Eve Online connection you are violating CCP’s terms of service. Take their in-game money and property, fine. Taunt, maybe. Trash talk, you’re skirting the edge depending on what you say. Act like you’re back in the schoolyard playing ‘keep the ball from Joey’ and ‘Dance monkey Dance’? Even if you took it to the curb outside the schoolyard, say bye-bye. CCP doesn’t want you trolling the yard for more victims.
Once more: Good for CCP.