Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Macy Li 2.0

 TLDR: The story of Macy Li, EVE collective judgement and the humans behind the keyboard. 

I would like to state right out the gate, I do not participate or condone the out of game harassment of other players, I'm simply telling a story of things I personally witnessed. <--- read that sentence again if you could possibly be confused. This means you CCP Falcon! I know this topic can go entirely sideways if interpreted incorrectly by people who don’t understand the definition and purpose of the word ‘satire'. So I’m going to provide the definition before I continue.

Satire is defined as the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.”

My use of this comedic form in my writing, podcasts and actions have the goal to bring humor and possible social change. Mostly humor honestly, but the byproduct of any good satirist is social norms being highlighted for the foolishness most are. It’s sad honestly, that I need to preface what comes next by explaining this, but meh, I just live in this world, I don’t make the rules.

Preface —My wife and I honestly enjoy being parents for the experience of passing on what we know and our way of life. I was raised in a household of all women and I live in a house hold of all women. I was brought up that women are as equal to men in every way imaginable (other than biologically, duh).  I’m the father of a 7 year old girl know it all, that looks like a smaller blonder version of me. I have and will continue to express to her what my family instilled in me which is women can do anything men can do. They don't need our protection anymore then any man ever would, to do so belittles them and the social challenges women have striven to overcome in the past.

I’m finding out as a parent there are significant social pressures that exist outside of my control, that apply influence, counter to my teachings. I discovered this when trying to get my daughter to take mixed martial arts lessons instead of dance lessons. She wants to be a princess, not a fighter. She would rather play dress up than help Dad build/destroy something in the back yard. It’s not that she is told from me that only girls can play dress up and not enjoy destroying something. Its just that media outside of my influence of control is making an impression on her. Some activities are a gender specific and she knows it. She is brought up thinking its socially acceptable, that little girls shouldn’t enjoy destroying things like boys do. That little girl, will eventually grows up to a woman who learned at an early age, destroying things is something boys do. Sure there are exceptions, but I'm referring to my own experiences.

Now usually a preface like that leads most people to think that I’m going to say something sexist next, quite the contrary. I think the whole situation is funny and a great target for satirical action.

The story of Macy Li.

This might have been the funniest example of digital sexism I have ever witnessed. Foedus (guy in my corp) links in team speak chat a twitch stream. He states "check this out, Black Legions newest member", Macy Li. The second I clicked on the twitch link I saw a very attractive Asian woman wearing a low cut top attempting to play EVE, I instantly knew this would be good and we had gold level content on our hands. How ever this ended, bad or good,  pure comedic gold was the outcome.

See EVE and the playing of EVE is a perfect example of gender specific role/video game. Again, not that a woman couldn’t play it, many do, it’s just that most don’t. I don’t make up the demographic numbers, this is just how it is.

What made this Macy Li scenario so perfect was how over the top the situation was.  It’s that a woman wearing full war paint level make up, working a low cut top is in a position of “perceived vulnerability”(being a newbie). This is a recipe for disaster. Should it be in this day and age? Nope. Is it?  Yep.

The twitch steam chat on the right hand side was amazing.  Trolls and white knights battling to the death for the honor of the fair maiden. As a confessed troll myself, I can’t fucking stand white knights.

For those of you who don’t know, a white knight is someone who attempts to befriend/defend to the death, every set of tits on the internet, in some futile attempt to deprive themselves of persistent virginity. Because in their minds, helpless females need their defending. These turds of the interwebs were defending Macy Li in droves. The trolls, smelling blood in the water, did their work. The more trolling, the more white knights. One compounded the other, the battle was epic.I watched in shock as this train derailment unfolded in front of me. I couldn't stop... it was the most compelling internet at the time.

These EVE players trolled the shit out Macy Li, and as much as you would think she should go screaming from her console, quite the opposite happened. She loved it. She seemed to thrive on it.

Though she never successfully made it out of the newbie starting system, she had over a thousand people watching  her in the 2+ hours she twitch streamed. What made the situation even more intense was, she would read some of the titles of her sexually explicit mails people sent her and laugh. This did two things, got her the attention she desired and bolstered the troll who sent the mail to recognition status (the goal of most trolls). 

This then brought a greater response from the white knights and it just compounded from there. The whole situation got so out of hand that eventually CCP Devs attempted to cool it off by attempting to open up convos with her. This attempt to control the fire, backfired. What their actions did was brought a level of legitimacy to this obvious stunt from an attention hungry twitch streamer. Score 1 for Macy Li.

The whole thing couldn’t have been planned more perfectly. Though after watching her try and block her in game location via real life post-it note on the screen to“block what the viewer can see”, might have been too much, but it was so perfectly executed. She is either a total moron, doesn’t understand twitch streaming or one of the greatest actors of our time, we may never know.   

Sadly the established illusion was shattered when her handler(some random guy) wandered into the twitch video feed to hand her something. From the brief moment we saw the handler we knew we had been duped.  He looked like some nerdy guy who must have set this whole thing up for us, because there is no way Macy li could figure out streaming software, with real life post-it note on the monitor computer level understanding.

A pretty girl manipulating men for gain isn’t something new, which makes me wonder how men are so surprised when it happens to them and how defensive they get when they find out they were duped.

The BC show interviewed Macy Li after the fact. http://show.gamingradio.net/2014/11/26/the-bc-show-macy-li-chats-to-dirk-and-bc/  (she doesn’t come on till around minute 43)

In that interview the amount of back pedaling done by the hosts of this podcast was impressive to say the least.  When they say that they are interviewing her because she is a good example of a newbie and not an attractive female is fking comical. Its so cringe worthy, its sad.   

Even when the Black Legion guy says the only reason she is in black legion, was a joke. The hosts of the show won’t stop trying to say they are just talking to her for a newbie perspective and not because she was wearing heavy makeup, yoga pants and a low cut top. Yea right. Lets call a spade a spade guys. I'm sure its not the first time the little head has made discussions for you.

The wheels of my plot machine started to spin.

What if I recreate this level of conflict and social awkwardness on demand?

A plan was born and I approached my wife with my plot. I asked her if she wanted to participate in the “new player experience”. She agreed.

I got my attractive wife to put on her yoga pants (just like Macy) a pushup bra (just like Macy) and don her facial war paint (just like Macy). I was trying to replicate the hilarity of Macy Li all over again for my own satirical amusement. Call it female exploitation, call it what you will, I thought it was funny so I did it. FU if you think its wrong.

I prepped her with knowledge that she was going to have some explicit language come her way. Some terrible things would be said to her. So on and so forth, but my wife is a stronger person than I am and she welcomed the challenge. To my surprise, none of that happened.

People in the twitch stream were helpful, respectful and didn’t abuse her anywhere near the level that Macy Li experienced. It was weird. I wanted to draw out the trolls, pervs and white knights to have my wife torment them in ways only an attractive female could.  

 Nothing. Just friendly gamers being friendly. Where were the attention hungry trolls? The self righteous white knights? It was just cool peeps being cool. So this made me re-evaluate that whole situation.

I think where I went wrong in my recreation was not distancing myself from the whole experience. 

There was a picture of my wife and CCP Guard that I used as a chat blocker. My wife was a plus 1 for me at EVE Vegas. This clued people in that this wasn't your typical‘helpless female trying to play a new game’. The illusion, was never really established. 

Even if that illusion was well established, I think people would have been just as respectful. It was weird. Then it clicked in my head what the issue was. 

The reason Macy Li got the response that she did, wasn’t because of her being in a low cut top, or yoga pants or that she was a woman. It was because each and every person who trolled her and harassed her, somehow knew that the whole Macy Li illusion was fake. The community was taking a collective action to troll her out of the video game. 

What people dislike more than anything is someone who is fake, man or woman. This is why the trolls attacked Macy Li, not because she was an attractive female, in a helpless newbie role, but because she overplayed her hand.

In summary;

Lightning may never strike twice. The recreation of another Macy Li phenomenon may be impossible, but at least I can say that when the community is tested and the lowest common denominator is expected,  Eve players will act like human beings 1st and trolls 2nd. 

But...  if you bring a weak ass game, over play your hand and go over the top in execution, EVE players will make your in game life shit.  



  1. Next time you have to fly around and spam the link in systems to get the trolls. post it in jita local.

  2. When you get to the part attractive female +low cut top combined with eve+twitch streaming you know it is a setup.
    The only thing I don't understand is why CCP fell for it. Perhaps they were unwilling to take the risk she was an actual newbie?

  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLBaq9IRL6Y

    Was this her?