Monday, September 15, 2014

And nothing of value was lost.

TLDR: Taking a vacation from EVE. No you can't have my stuff.

In my opinion, there is a little moral compass that directs what’s right and wrong.  A true sociopath doesn’t have that compass and if they do, its stopped working within the boundaries of society. The majority of people in real life follow that compass to a T.

But in the fantasy game of EVE online, that compass can be suspended, if you got the balls. If you can put aside that compass, be a bad guy, be terrible, you can profit from fame and fortune. But that path brings danger... thats the draw... the hook. To be good or to be bad. To eat the apple, or not.

Here we come my tattoo and I. People might be under the false impression of why I have my tattoo of a video game. That I’m some sort of ultra fan boy or insert reason here “____ “

The true reason I have this tattoo and I have said it many times before privately and publicly is, it’s a reminder of how diabolical humans can be to one another, when given the rope to do so. When given the choice between right and wrong, people can shock you and impress you. That little “compass check” for lack of a better term. EVE teaches you to be aware, cautious and question everything, because not to, has consequence. Just like real life.

I played EVE multiple times before it truly clicked in my mind the potential of this game and it got me “hooked”. My “hooked” moment was a guy was trying to recruit me to join someone else’s corp for the soul reason of tearing it apart from the inside. The idea that someone would want to destroy another player group from within and to lie to another group via a total new person… was shocking at the time. It was like video game role playing. Something I could never do in real life. I could be a double agent, I could join their corp, talk to them as one human to another on their voice coms, acquire their trust only to totally destroy them from within, and not without reproductions either. I had to be on voice coms with that person while I did it to them, to hear their hard work go down the toilet because they were dumb enough to put faith in me.

It takes a special kind of person to do that and not have some level of empathy. Someone without a moral compass to guide them. Or at least the ability to suppress that compass. That was the fantasy, that was the draw. I could be an internet sociopath without the real life consequence.

I chose to not do it, because at the end of the day, I simply didn’t have the heart.

But the choice was there. That choice, between right and wrong is why I got my tattoo.

A video game managed to capture and facilitate that choice over and over again. To do wrong, or not.  EVE made me a more critical person, to question human emotions and motives. I carried that new found perspective to real life, its proven incredibly useful and removed the level of naïveté I had about others I wasn’t aware of before.

People ask why I play EVE. My answer every time is, “Because its hard, and the people who play it at the level I do, are hard!”

The game has become less hard in my mind. Its devs have become less hard and its player base, the people I respect as opponents are less hard. EVE to me is the razors edge of morality, trust and betrayal. The thought process you had to engage to conduct yourself successfully, is that of a paranoid trauma patent.

In my mind, this is no longer the fact. What worse, it’s my view that the players, the people I called opponents, threats and victims are fully embracing this change. Those that don’t, well theirs the door.

This was made apparent to me in a conversation I had on reddit.

I said:  Quoted:  “ Clearly you are just trolling for trolling sake. “
“he isn't if you actually read the comments. He didn't get banned, he doesn't seem to care if people are banned or not, but what he is crying for is clarity, the same thing the rest of non-peons are asking for. Its not a huge request, its a logical one made by logical people who don't make a habit of eating the shit we are shovel” – Longinius Spear

Unrelentingone responded: 

“You'll eat it, you'll like it, and you fucking well know it. That is of course the source of all these wonderful tears. But you go ahead and see what making demands to CCP does for you. I'll wait here, you come back when you've got your answer, or you cancel your sub. Because after all, you won't eat the shit, right?”

This was my “Ah Ha” moment, the second I realized. Wait a minute, I’m paying these people to do this to me. I’m paying CCP for the privilege to treat me like a consumer and not even going so far as giving me the pleasure of a reach around.

It all fell into place in my mind. I’m paying these people who don’t even give a fuck about me, to give a basic explanation on how they are fundamentally changing the reasons I play this game.
By removing people from the ecosphere who are deemed less desirable, they are removing the choice that I value in this game. The idea that I could be terrible but choose not to. That choice is gone in my mind and now its just another video game.

The thing is, without that moral compass, and that right and wrong to hide EVE’s actual issues. This game really isn’t good. It’s a terrible space simulator with a broken economic system, and I’m paying for 5 accounts worth.

$75 dollars a month gone in revenue because the devs can’t stand behind the idea that EVE is a harsh game filled with hard people. The game to me is less harsh… filled with people who are a little less hard.

Here are some very upvoted comments found on reddit voiced in response to people being banned, for reasons not even the responders know. They just know mean people are gone.

Darfidiot -- Good riddance. Fuck anybody who is involved in this shameful business.

Lowlevelguy - Oh that's a real shame. Now you can have more time for real life activities, like bullying your girlfriend, making fun of developmentally disabled people, suffocating puppies and kittens, and generally feeling like a badass because of all that cool stuff you like to do.

Bryn987 - Good. Gtfo

Paladin327 - At least nothing of value was lost

That final comment is what got me. At least nothing of value was lost. Remember what my hook was in playing this game. The danger, the moral compass that I needed to consult, that right and wrong choice matrix.

At least nothing of value was lost. When you remove the flavor of something, it becomes more bland. Sure its easier to consume by the masses, but easier to consume isn’t what kept me here as long as it did.

You could say that banning these people who are the equivalent of internet bullies, you can even spin it in random ways that these people were torturing another human. I say it was someone who was tricked, a stiff warning to others that the danger is real, that this is the limitations of meta. That consequence and difficulty are real.

BUT--  To remove these people without even so much as to what line was crossed, makes me sick. CCP would like you to think these people are just a different version of an internet bully. But the point is, no one banned bullied the HUMAN, they bullied the persona, the meta.. They were meaner than most, bragged about it and found wanting.. by CCPs never to be written rules. Because I quote "Will never be written,  so people can just skirt the edge".

I hope you get 5 more subs from this course action CCP, because you just lost my 5.

And nothing of value was lost.


  1. I will be waiting for your return. I am glad to see that you used the word vacation instead of quitting because I really enjoy your point of view on how the game should be played and I often feel like you and I think alike. We may not see eye to eye on this subject but if we agreed on everything then we would be the same person and that isn't fun at all.

    I do agree that something of value was lost. It may be a very harsh view but to me if you are being bullied in a video game or from the internet in general then you are probably a weak person in real life. I would never stand for any of the crap these people hand out and I would never choose to "trust" an internet person. The people that are hurt by internet bulling are as much a part of the problem as the person doing the bulling. This isn't real life and you can turn it off anytime.

    If you can't change your friends, change your friends. It is a game and being hurt by a game is like being hurt by words. Yes, it may sting but it didn't damage you physically and if you are not weak then it doesn't even damage you emotionally. This whole bulling thing is OUT OF CONTROL! We are teaching people that the world is full of puppies and rainbows and the only thing we get from it is a bunch of pussies and crybabies that are afraid to stand up for themselves or others.

    Sorry for the rant and sorry that you have decided on taking a vacation. I am looking forward to your return and awaiting your WH stories. Don't let people (CCP) influence you or what you enjoying doing and reject people (reddit) who only want the easy, politically correct path because they are weak or pandering to the weak.

  2. To quote someone I recently read: "Please remove your head from your ass and get the fuck over it."

    If the activities that you value in your gameplay were the type that resulted in, or was considered bannable, then you and half of EVE would have been included in this recent situation. The fact that this is not what happened tells you that the activities that did lead to the bans were beyond that level. In your previous post on this matter you quoted a definition of harassment. The key words there were not disturb or upset, but rather "repetitive".

    I have no doubt that the actions taken by those banned were at a level that exceeded any reasonable expectation of behavior for EVE and extended beyond the game (and not just a meta game activity as you pointed out). You, however, ask for clarity on what those activities are. I, for one, would never want to be on the other side of that fence. The types of depravity that community managers have to deal with are the kind that are resulting in companies providing psychological counseling to those in those positions due to the content they have to deal with on a daily basis. I'm not sure if you're a fan of "A Few Good Men", but you need those people on that wall. No specifics dos and donts will be given because those that engage in this type of reprehensible behavior that got them banned will simply use those specifics to toe the line and then use it as shield as they continue doing what they do.

    I hope that you return to the game, Spear, because your presence does add value. I suspect that if indeed were were on the other side of that fence with the information about the specifics, we would not be having this conversation and this entire thing would not be an issue.

  3. Sad day for eve and wormholespace :( You have been, and still are, a much needed voice in keeping the game fun and interesting.

    Not much to say except I think you have a too bright view on humanity as a whole :P
    "The majority of people in real life follow that compass to a T." is not a statement I would feel a strong agreement to. Human beings are not naturally good beings. They all have the capacity, but given the opportunity or just the right conditions they can all be incredibly cruel and evil aswell. There are enough examples from history where entire towns have turned to cannibalism due to hunger, where parents have eaten their own children.

    Taken the rotten state of human nature into account I must say I am actually suprised perma bans are not handed out more often due to harasment. And I have no issue believing that the people banned would actually dont mind bringing real life harm to the people they were harassing. But that is a hard desicion to make on CCP's part. To "interpet" the nature behind the action. Less hard and difficult games than EVE have seen real life murder and injuries due to ingame actions. To put it beyond people in EVE's playerbase to be capable of that would be naive.

    Let me ask you this. If you feared a ingame situation would escalate to have real life consequences of the worst kind. Would you not rather throw a permaban on the instigators of that situation then let it play out its potential?

    And if such a situation actually did occur, would you be able to go out and announce that a certain person allegedly put forth real life death threats? Or would that in turn endanger this persons life or well being? What if the allogations were false? Or what if they were even worse?

    If a person is intent on performing a evil deed, but given the opportunity to be on the right side of the rule by just "wording it correct". Would the rule really be a help at all in such a situation?

    A bit more questions then planned but have not heard/seen them asked in any other discussion on this subject. Not everyone is the villain, in the game only. Some take joy in being evil in real life aswell.

    1. If you feared a ingame situation would escalate to have real life consequences of the worst kind. Would you not rather throw a permaban on the instigators of that situation then let it play out its potential?

      Punishment for real life actions should be addressed by real life authorities. As of right now in America a serious digital threat made via any electronic communication falls into the jurisdiction of Homeland security. I know this because I had a friend text his 'baby momma" that he was going to kill her. He did 6 months for that.

      This is clearly breaking the laws of the country you live in, which is clearly stated in the ULA of something you can not do!

      As for CCP's role? They are simply the medium in which that electronic threat has passed. That is the boundary of their role in this situation. The government/Interpol could sooner go after CCP as the medium of that threat than the government/Interpol could go after the Cell phone manufacture because of what my friend said via their cell phones. See my point?

      Now you may be wondering what level of threat should you be worried about. Well the law clearly defines that. "What a reasonable person would perceive". Thats IT, and the burden of that perception of threat lies with the victim and sure as shit doesn't lie with the people(ccp in this case) who govern the medium in which the threat came.

      If a person is intent on performing a evil deed, but given the opportunity to be on the right side of the rule by just "wording it correct". Would the rule really be a help at all in such a situation?

      Nope. The law doesn't see it this way. CCP and its game EVE online is mearly the platform in which information travels. Its a platform to provide data. CCP could make all the 'rules' in the world and the rule of your countries law will always over rule it.

      Now when it comes to if your account is banned or not. Well. thats clear again. "Was any law broken during the use of this game" Yes? Ban. No, not ban.

      What CCP essentially as done is ban people for not breaking any countries rules. Not only that, it banned people for violating some kind of moral code that it refuses to define. If the people it banned had broken a law in their country, i say ban the fuckers Good day! But thats just it, they didn't. They were just super mean people, and the mob didn't like it.

      Whats worse? when called to task about it, by a reasonable group of players. "Hi i see you are banning people based on shit thats not in the ULA or any actual countries laws" "Could you please give us the common curitsy of telling us what the fuck those rules are?" CCP said " Nope. Get fucked and figure it out yourself."" If you get it wrong, we will tell you by banning you"

      I say fuck that. CCP you can get fucked.

    2. Laws differ from country to country, but still your points are valid.

      I understand an aspect of what CCP has done, but its not exactly best practice. I'll leave the argument as I have no interest in defending ccp on this.

      While you take a break from EVE you should try out the boardgame "Diplomacy". Play it with rl friends! (you'll understand why :P )

      Btw. Thank you for the shoutout on dtp. very kind. and as said above. I really hope you come back "soon". And if you ever find yourself online an early afternoon (also known as eu prime) your welcome on our ts or something (I'm admin on it so dont care what you say MD :P )

  4. Well crap. I just want to say "Thank you." I've loved you on Down the Pipe and other podcasts. It's sad that you are leaving. Sad for me, that is. It may be great for you; I don't know or care. I'm a selfish bastard.

    Also, I tend to agree with this particular post, if only for the fact that I want an Eve full of sociopaths. It's more entertaining for me. If I want warm fuzzies, I can go tell my children that Daddy loves them today. But when I log into Eve I want some dark shit.

    Thanks again.

  5. Truly awful news. You were and remain an inspiration to more people in the game than perhaps you realise. Are you contactable in game still?

    1. My primary account in which holds Longinius Spear is still active for the time being. Skill que online. I still monitor my ingame mails, though I haven't logged in.

  6. Sorry man, I couldn't disagree more with your stance and what you say. I usually find most of what you post interesting and I normally like your point of view but I can not in this case. There is more than enough oppertunity in game to be the "bad guy without a moral compass" and what happened out of game in the "Bonus room" has nothing to do with eve at all. I can't defend actions that bully and belittle someone for hours AFTER having all his assets and isk. What went on in the bonus room had nothing at all with scamming and has everything to do with malicious RL actions. Scamming is a part of eve, but what was done goes beyond that and I actually applaud CPP for taking action and not having to define's not a democracy and there are NO entitlements. Get off your high horse and bitch about something more worthwhile...

    1. "I actually applaud CPP for taking action and not having to define why" You and those like you are why I'm walking away for a bit. This idea that taking away a potential threat and "sending a message" to the evil of EVE is some how making it better. WTF bro. Do you know why terror exists? Because of the unknown, because of the perceived threat, not actual threat. To "send a message" to the threat makers that you can and will be banned with little no explanation, justification, content creators (for evil) you are hindering their ability to free think within the boundaries of evil.

      All your hard work for evil could be removed from the game at the monstrous applaud of shit heads like you. Without the threat, and the precieved threat, the game loses its danger. Its core being of right, wrong and the choices that follow both.

      You are focusing on the activity and how its a moral choice in your mind that you simply want GONE. I'm not saying that choice is right or wrong and debating if its right or wrong. I'm saying the CHOICE is GONE. Because without clear boundries set by the GMs/CCP people like myself and other evil dooers are stifled in our level of creativity.

      I don't see why its so hard to understand this point. But so many of you clearly don't understand, so I throw up my arms in disgust and must choose to do something else with my time. O boy .. do I get to make money ingame? Do I get to one day fly a titan? Who fucking cares about that shit. Maybe I'll get to scam a noob for some ISK ! yay.. wouldn't that be something. Been there, done that.

      What makes a content creator a content creator.. is his/her ability to be original in thought and process... Sometimes shocking.. CCPs and people like you wanting to keep the status quo what it is.. makes my game play shit.

      You are absolutely correct this isn't a democracy, there are no entitlements. There is simply a bottom line that must be respected, CCP is beholden to its account holders, and as of right now. It has 5 less.

      This isn't about me being on some moral high horse, its about something magical dying at its core, and the response is the mobs thunderous applaud.

      I say, enjoy your game. I'm happy you like it. I'm talking my walking papers and playing some WoW.. I'll enjoy my theme park and let the sandcastle building be done with my money vs be done with my hard work only to be shit on by people like yourself.

    2. I'll jump in here aswell. If you have a playground next to a highway but with no clear boundries in the form of a fence then the kids on the playground will be too afraid of the highway to even play on the playground. If you put up a fence you are giving the kids freedom to utilize the entire playground and even climb on the fence.

      CCP think that not having a clear fence is better but they are wrong as it hinders gameplay in a lot wider area then the dark grey areas and that is what Spear (and others) makes a case of.

      Clear boundries create freedom and creativity. Unclear boundries hinder both.

  7. Wow. Spear you're someone I've always admired for being so tough, but this is the weakest I've ever seen you.

    Continue being a sadistic asshole, who cares, you won't get touched by CCP there's psychotic crap going on all throughout New Eden every day, trust me I know, I help perpetuate such activity.

    Are you that scared? Are you quaking in your shoes that big bad CCP might come and stomp you out? The odds of that are very very low and if you even have the slightest fear you'll get fucked over for what you do, you're crossing some sort of line in your head and you know it and that's why your reaction is so strong.

    "Nothing of value was lost"; Fuck you. Fuck you Spear. That's bullshit. Eve just lost Spear. And it's weird coming from the guy who got pissed at Jade Cougar for leaving for what he saw Eve and CCP turning into, yet you're leaving for similarly bad reasons.

    Hopefully you'll see how badly you've fucked up. It sucks for J-Spacers, it sucks for Bronya and DtP, and it sucks for your audience. But if you don't, The only one who really loses, is you.

  8. Spending all my nights, all my money going out on the town
    Doing anything just to get you off my mind
    But when the morning comes, I'm right back where I started again
    Trying to forget you is just a waste of time
    Baby come back, any kind of fool could see
    There was something in everything about you
    Baby come back, you can blame it all on me
    I was wrong, and I just can't live without you
    All day long, wearing a mask of false bravado
    Trying to keep up a smile that hides a tear
    But as the sun goes down, I get that empty feeling again
    How I wish to God that you were here
    Baby come back, any kind of fool could see
    There was something in everything about you
    Baby come back, you can blame it all on me
    I was wrong, and I just can't live without you
    Now that I put it all together
    Give me the chance to make you see
    Have you used up all the love in your heart
    Is there nothing left for me?
    Is there nothing left for me?
    Baby come back, any kind of fool could see
    There was something in everything about you
    Baby come back, you can blame it all on me
    I was wrong, and I just can't live without you
    I was wrong, and I just can't live
    Baby come back, any kind of fool could see
    There was something in everything about you
    Baby come back, you can blame it all on me
    I was wrong, and I just can't live without you
    Baby come back

  9. If EVE was a true sandbox, then it would allow communities to enforce prevailing moral standards and expel dissenters both forcefully and permanently. But of course unlike the real world, it's much easier to escape social censure, make off with stolen goods, and completely reinvent yourself in EVE. And despite all the cries of EVE being a sandbox, historically there was very little people could do to challenge any of that.

    The real world has consequences, and not just "EVE is real" consequences, but actual permanently getting buried in the dirt for not playing nice with this or that group of other people consequences. Yet people being the creative types they are, some have finally figured out a way to replicate this real world sandbox behaviour in our highly behaviour limiting so-called virtual sandbox. They've figured out that the metagame consequences of massed consensus actually lets you not only completely kill off characters and further deny their players the possibility of recreating their public persona in game ever again.

    Permanent EVE death is now a consequence of losing the social PVP metagame. If anything EVE has gotten darker, and the stakes have gone up. Whatever happened to HTFU?