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BB37 – Grit in your gruts

July 6, 2012

Seismic Stan has kicked off another Blog Banter and again, it’s a bit of a doozy:

“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?”

Well, there’s your problem right there. See. Right there. There just isn’t one line. Hell’s teeth, there are probably as many lines as there are people playing EvE. One person stands up and says “here’s my line!”. Another stands up and draws theirs right through the first persons, demolishing it in the process. Queue name calling, posturing, pouting, and usually some fairly bad spelling in local.

Line in the sand + knickers in a twist = grit in your gruts. Not just irritating but damn uncomfortable. Something you really have an intense desire want to do something about. Not the least of which is the removal of said irritation with extreme prejudice.

The question is why do people get so angry? I suspect there are two main sets of people that play EvE.

Both sets tend to invest time, energy and usually a fair amount of effort in the game. But the first group is different from the second in that they’ve set the parameters in the way in which they choose to live their lives and that has (usually unconsciously) spilled over into EvE. Carebears are particularly bad at this. I should know. I was one. The invalidation of their line is an invalidation of their belief system, how they view themselves and essentially who they are.

And when someone else comes along (second group) and destroys their carefully crafted line, then steals their shovel AND the sand, well it’s tears before bedtime.

In essence, there are those who who strongly believe in their line in the sand. And then there are those who don’t give a crap about theirs or anyone elses.

The funny thing is oft times when a ganker gets ganked, they really throw their toys out of the cot. Their line is different to others but it’s there all the same held onto just as tightly. They’ll carry on like it isn’t, but if you invalidate their playstyle (and by consequence them) well stand back and watch the fireworks. It’s kind of like those anarchists who are all “destroy the system” and “down with government” but who all dress the same and whine like you would not believe when their dole payment doesn’t come through.

They reckon they’re all the business, but in reality they’re not. They just want the sandbox tilted in their favour so they can blow other peoples shit up easier.

Lets be clear here though. There is a fundamental difference between an honest to god, red flashy low sec living pirate and some whiny gate camping wannabe. One says gf, reships and has another go. The other… well, doesn’t. One acknowledges the line but is free of it, the other holds onto the line for dear life just as some carebears do.

So, we now have two basic sets of people but both operate within the sandbox. What about the ones who don’t? Lets just say that the use of innocuous tools such as teamspeak or dotlan is an accepted part of making life a darn site easier.We’re not talking about other tools like corporation or alliance forums here,Β  we’re talking about are those people for whom all is fair in love and war.

It might be a DDOS attack, it might be hiding yourself from appearing in local, it might be something as simple as finding out an alliance leaders phone number and having multiple calls initiated at all hours right across the various TZ. Anything to cause a disruption. And even within that, there are likely those we could loosely label the dirty tricks squad as a subset of the anything goes crew.

I’d like to think that EvE players are the most sneaky, devious, smart bunch of internet spaceship pixel jockeys in the history of pretty much forever, but having been around a few years myself and seen some of the less pleasant aspects of humanity, I’m also not going to kid myself that we’re the most principled bunch on the planet. We reflect humanity in general, both the good and the bad.

Let me put it another way, if you were an alliance leader about to be crushed to the tune of trillions of iskies worth of hulls fighting an unwinnable fight and you had the tools and the skills to infect a large percentage of your opponents players PCs via their forums, would you?

For me the answer is pretty simple – anything you do outside the sandbox to another persons detriment is a step too far, from a petty slander right on up. I have some skin in the game, subscriptions and quite a considerable amount of time (years), but nothing like the above. Nor do I have a reputation to uphold or any real weight of expectation unlike some. But I think I could understand the temptation to use such a tool under certain circumstances.

Perhaps we’ve not seen too much of that kind of thing because EvE players are generally speaking smart enough to acknowledge that it is just a game. That and perhaps the knowledge that once you open that particular can of worms, it could get really messy very quickly indeed. Maybe detente is alive and well after all.

Fly Smart


P.S I just reread Stan’s post and I managed to miss the point he was making. D’oh. If you wake up before 5am and stumble over to the computer to catch up on blogs etc coz you can’t get back to sleep, make sure you have coffee before posting. Will resubmit another later. D’oh d’oh d’oh.

P.P.S Done some amending so it makes a wee bit more sense as far as the question goes. I’m sure you lot will let me know if it isn’t πŸ˜›

From → Eve Online

  1. -K- permalink

    sorry… what was that? I missed it cause I was busy booby trapping my line and stealing part of someone elses πŸ™‚


  2. Stan was talking about the line outside which the actions you take are very definitely external to the sandbox…. and I posted about lines very definitely within.

    I feel like that kid in exams who read the very last question wrong….

  3. Oh, and coooooofffeeeeeeeeee! πŸ˜›

    • -K- permalink

      meh, here a line there a line lets just blow them all up then everyone is happy right? Or better yet, get rid of the sand entirely and replace it with jello! Oh wait… whole different game… nevermind πŸ™‚ for being that kid who read the last question wrong, you should probably try spell your name right too :p

  4. -K- permalink

    lol wheres the fun in that? need an excuse to call in my knight in slightly crinkled tinfoil to save the day!

  5. LOL Reading yours inittially gave me a mental twist… I was waitin for the RL/VL line and like that 5th step up a dark 4 step staircase I went… WHA!?!

    • I know. I goofed πŸ™‚

      I can see an extrapolation though based on what I’ve already written… give me a little time to mull things over a little more…

  6. I’ve only just got around to reading the BB37 entries, sorry had a thing to organise. I’m intrigued by the version that I missed. There’s never a wrong answer to a Blog Banter – it’s all subjective. There’s certainly nothing wrong with focusing on exploring the moral definitions within the game world. That segment alone gave me food for thought.

    It made me realise that people probably don’t have a set line in the sand. In most cases, people won’t have even thought about it and in truth it’s not something that is defined until an individual is pushed. Then and only then do they draw the proverbial line in the sand. So most people wouldn’t know where there own is until they reached it.

    But the thing I like best about your banter was this; “…if you were an alliance leader about to be crushed to the tune of trillions of iskies worth of hulls fighting an unwinnable fight and you had the tools and the skills to infect a large percentage of your opponents players PCs via their forums, would you?”

    I wish that was the question I asked in the Banter. I would love to know everyone’s answer.

    • This version is not all that dissimilar tbh. In fact it’s pretty much whats written now plus an expansion into the external sandbox view. I would have to agree – most wouldn’t know their line until pushed. Oddly, I suspect roleplayers would probably know better than most, purely because they are defining what and how their character would respond under certain circumstances. That kind of thing requires a little self awareness on how that would differ from their normal views on things. Or at least I would hope so πŸ™‚

      As far as the big question goes, the thinking that led to it was something along the lines of how people or groups of people conduct themselves under normal circumstances, under severe pressures, and then how they might behave when in a state of war. I’m not drawing a parallel between war and EvE (though it simulates it in some ways), but the rationalizations that people make when committing those actions and under those circumstances.

      After all taking an action like the above, meta as it may be, could be viewed as just another form of electronic warfare if you have a certain mindset. I wouldn’t want to be in CCP’s shoes if something like this does happen. If you want to ask everyone, then please be my guest!

  7. “In essence, there are those who who strongly believe in their line in the sand. And then there are those who don’t give a crap about theirs or anyone elses.”

    I agree completely.

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