Thursday, February 21, 2013

Situational Paranoia

(Random Ramblings)

Paranoia is an unfounded or exaggerated distrust of others, sometimes reaching delusional proportions. Paranoid individuals constantly suspect the motives of those around them, and believe that certain individuals, or people in general, are "out to get them."

  • suspicious; unfounded suspicions; believes others are plotting against him/her *Check*
  • preoccupied with unsupported doubts about friends or associates *Check*
  • reluctant to confide in others due to a fear that information may be used against him/her -- Nope
  • reads negative meanings into innocuous remarks *Check*
  • bears grudges -- Not so much
  • perceives attacks on his/her reputation that are not clear to others, and is quick to counterattack -- No
  • maintains unfounded suspicions regarding the fidelity of a spouse or significant other -- Nope
 So I guess 3 out of 7 isn't bad right?

EVE has a way of altering ones perspective if played too long. I think I fall into that category. If EVE makes people paranoid, wormhole life only makes it doubly so.

I don't know if I have coined the phase "Situational Paranoia" or I'm simply labeling something known by a different name. It doesn't really mater what its called, but its real. I see it in myself and my fellow EVE players. The game has a way of changing people and not for the better. Unless you think becoming a paranoid sociopath is awesome. The situational part comes in that it only happens when playing EVE, or participating with the META game (things that involve the game but not in the game) like say this Blog.

In real life, I'm a well adjusted adult with a job, wife and family responsibilities. I don't think my 5 year old is plotting against me, but when I'm in EVE every interaction is calculated, weighed and balanced for intel leaks or potential targets/threats. I am a victim of "Situational Paranoia". Victim isn't the best word, "willing participant" is a better description.

If 2 hours of paint ball is most MMORG, EVE wormholes is a 4 year trip to Vietnam. I often hear on voice coms how freaked out people are in high security space. How so many ships on scan or on a gate is terrifying. I have the same feelings. Our gut reaction is to lock them up, hit D and begin evasive action.

Perhaps this game has  traumatized me to the point of me needing professional help. In the online definition of paranoia

Treatment options:

""Paranoia that is symptomatic of paranoid schizophrenia, delusional disorder, or paranoid personality disorder should be treated by a psychologist and/or psychiatrist. Antipsychotic medication such as thioridazine (Mellaril), haloperidol (Haldol), chlorpromazine (Thorazine), clozapine (Clozaril), or risperidone (Risperdal) may be prescribed, and cognitive therapy or psychotherapy may be employed to help the patient cope with their paranoia and/or persecutory delusions. Antipsychotic medication, however, is of uncertain benefit to individuals with paranoid personality disorder and may pose long-term risks.""

Self diagnosis is my strong point. Its easy. I'm cured. See, I just did it. But on a purely random note, if I was given any of those drugs would I be worse at EVE?

Since repeated psychological trauma could bring permanent damage the mind, is EVE making me crazy?

Recruitment Story

A guy by the name of Crake wanted to join us. This happens from time to time, and our recruitment is open for the most part. Our interview process is slightly well, for lack of a better description, "strange".

Our first step is to invite a perspective applicant into voice coms. This is before we have his API or anything. We then proceed in researching his corp history, kills, what he has ever said in any high sec local chat, in front of them. We put pressure on them from multiple directions, at once. We troll them nonstop with rapid fire questions. Our guys are not nice sometimes, we have helpful members, and loyal members, but for the most part we are a collection of salty a$$holes. We do not provide a welcoming environment.

We do this for a few reasons. The main reason, we want to make sure they can take a joke or harsh criticism. As a corp participate on the darker side of EVE sometimes, and morality often gets in the way. Offering hugs and a welcoming environment right off the bat is not us.

Our treatment of Crake wasn't nice. He has a shady corp history for sure. This sometimes doesn't stop us from recruiting people, hell one of our best members has done terrible things to previous corps he has been a part of. But something about him seemed 'off'. He wanted it too bad. His story checked out, but still our members kept calling him out.

Recruitment is a street gang voting system. We put a applicant through a serious ration of sh!t, if he can hack it, we ask every member online at that time, if they want him in they vote. In front of him. Flat out. If people pass this, we stop with the hazing. Interview over.

This guy needed further investigation, we couldn't figure out what his angle was. Enter Jhimmy, he is our corp creeper. The dirt he can find on people amazes me. He goes out of game, uses API's uses convos with people, connects dots that no one would even fathom, drills down to the point that would make the NSA blush. Jhimmy is amazing.

Jhimmy flagged him as suspect.

Now with that flag, our situational paranoia takes over. We told the guy to get lost. This guy could have been in the wrong place at the wrong time... not crossed a T or dotted an I when he should have. But because of this paranoia we have, he didn't make it. He was upset and pissed to say the least.

If the dude was legit, I want to say I'm sorry to him. But if he was the real deal, bent on the destruction of us, "work on your game bro".


Because of the inherent mistrust felt by paranoid individuals, they often must be coerced into entering treatment. As unwilling participants, their recovery may be hampered by efforts to sabotage treatment (for example, not taking medication or not being forthcoming with a therapist), a lack of insight into their condition, or the belief that the therapist is plotting against them. Albeit with restricted lifestyles, some patients with PPD or persecutory delusional disorder continue to function in society without treatment.
I wonder, if EVE is making me crazy, was this latest recruitment problem my wake up call? 
I would love to be vindicated and find out this guy was in fact a corp infiltrator, but if he isn't... 

(end of rambling)


  1. It has been my job to do the background checks on recruits for our wormhole corp for some time. These days we actually hardly recruit directly anymore but have people come in through another wormhole corp in our alliance or through personal invites/reference.

    I can tell you, I have been so actively paranoid about it that it isn't funny anymore.

    Actually, half of the time I am like that IRL too. So at least I know that EVE didn't make me crazy, it just puts my insanity to good use ;)

  2. I was diagnosed with PTSD and situational paranioat after my 18 year old son was murdered by a man who went on a random shootin spree. I was told because I create situations in my head that something might happen to me or my other children I have it. I wont go places because I am scared for my life and thiers. If I have to drive in a bad area here in Chicago I freak out that something might happen while we are driving threw. I wont go to places or peoples houses if I think of any possibility there may be danger. I still trust people I know I just dont trust random people in this crazy world. Does that make sense?