Sunday, April 15, 2012

Real life consequences for in game actions

A day or so ago, Jester made a post about some poor chap in a Hel who got scammed by some corpmates who convinced him to by GTCs for the sole purpose of pimping out his Hel so they could kill it.  Needless to say it elicited some interesting responses and spawned this reddit thread.

While I would have to say that that level of meta game scamming is past even what my own desensitizeed EVE persona finds acceptable, I want to state that it was still an in-game action and as such, real life consequences should not be applied.  Outside the whirlwind of media frenzy that Jester spawned lies a mob people who have gotten on this moral high horse spree, down voting anyone who suggests that a game is just a game and people should only be protected from their own stupidity to a certain degree.  I'm sorry, but suggesting that stupid gamers should be protected from their own stupidity via real life consequences for those who might take advantage of them is absurd.

According to  Jester-logic, if you ransom someone and they buy GTCs to pay for the ransom and you blow them up anyways you should be banned and possibly recieve real life punishment.

This is dangerous thinking, because within the greater context of gaming and cyber bullying these attitudes can have some rather serious slippery slope ramifications.  At what point does a game cease being a game?  At what point do real life consequences begin for in game actions?  While people say that this is different because the scammers had him buy GTCs for the sole purpose of them killing the mods he bought with them, its a very thin line that has the potential to cross into all other aspects of EVE "scamming".  Imagine making a post informing people they should buy Zydrine since its about to shoot up in price, trying to get people to create a speculation bubble that you can cash in on, and then gettting banned from the game and going to jail for a year because your in-game action caused all the people who invested in your attempt to cash in, real life loss.  I know thats an extremely extreme example, but the thing to remember is that often times once you show you're willing to set a certain precedent, you throw the floodgates wide open.

Imagine a world where you can potentially face jailtime for typing something in game sarcastically or with a tone that got lost due to being written.  Imagine a world where trash talking in Xbox can potentially get you real life jailtime.  Imagine a world where sitting down to play your favorite video game can end with a police car showing up at your house and taking you away.

A lot of people are getting behind Jester's post and reddit is downvoting the shit out of anyone who suggests that a game is a game.  This is disturbing because it reminds me quite a bit of the ultra conservative groups of mothers out there that would love to see video games super regulated in the same manner these people are suggesting.  I hear in Arizona they're trying to make trolling a punishable crime, true story.


One last thing, am I the only one who noticed that Jester is arbitrarily choosing his sense of morality and justice despite his sensationalism of the article?

"EDIT (13/Apr/2012): Just to be very clear: my accusation of fraud and EULA/TOS violations extends only to those players -- if any -- who talked this pilot into spending real money on GTCs and then spending the resulting ISK on his super-cap fitting.  Helicity says that he is not one of those people and I believe that.  The pilots of Stop Exploding You Cowards should be examined more closely."

Sure the people directly involved are bad, but Jester defends Helicity because he wasn't one of the people talking the guy into buying GTCs, he just supported them blowing the guy's ship up despite knowing about the scam.  I'm pretty sure if you're going to get into an extreme morality discussion chock full of accusations, being an all knowing accomplice makes you just as bad as the actual perpetrator.


  1. Great post. I have to agree with you on the morality bit. If some random reader finds this and wants to morally condemn the scammers, Don't play eve, ever. We don't need that kind of moral high-horse bullshit in a video game.

    As to Jester flip-flopping, make up your mind before I dub thee Mitt Romney.

  2. If you consider the game as a medium with which you interact with another person, just like "reality" and consider that in griefing or scamming or whatever else your actions will involve deceit and hurting another person emotionally, then all these actions are no different then actions irl.

    I find it quite hard to watch people suffer from my action, personally, even if I could shield myself from the consequence or discovery. It is much easier to do it in eve and even then only if i don't think about the other person, turning off my empathy. in a group setting, it is even easier, because my corpmates would reinforce me with cheer and encouragement, saying a job well done and that i pwnt the noob. it is sort of like joining a gang making doing crime easier, i guess, so gangbang participant "going along with it". etc.

    the game makes it seems unreal, putting barrier between you and the other person, dehumanising the whole process. it is like those drone pilots dropping bombs on pixels.

    i felt i was edging closer to the edge. you can't deny that game and "irl" aren't completely seperated, infact quite intertwined and to say they don't is just lying.

    i used to tell myself the same reasons i have since heard many times:
    the noobs got what he deserved
    its a game
    learn to play
    if you're stupid then not my fault i exploit the rules to pwn you
    hate the player don't hate the game
    if i don't somebody else will
    im doing it for the eve economy

    all of this are just excuses for the real reason, some sort of psychological process which makes me enjoy griefing. maybe its the feeling of superiority or sadistic tendency to be cruel to others.

    i don't know. what i do know is that it is fun for me. that blowing other people is much more fun than blowing up rats, even if they are equally easy. that making money from scamming is more fun even though i already have more money than i could spend. that i would make an alt to infiltrate a corp to scam them for 2b after 2 months work just because i can watch them cry later.

    but after i really thought about it, i realised just how bad it is and how unhealthy it is for me. i keep thinking about what the logical conclusion of my behaviour extrapolating into irl means, whether or not it could happen in the future.

    and so i quit. such a strange way to quit i think but im happy i did. i think eve in a way reflects very much real life, that people will exploit you and get away with it and it is quite valuable experience for young naive teenagers perhaps.

    it would be impossible to stop griefing in eve. the game nature of it just lures people into thinking that they are safe and some of them are quite shocked when reality hits. the ability to get isk easily from $$ compounds this, since without by the time somebody has 200m he probably already knows that industrials are only good for carrying rocks.

    and there is no real consequence as deterrent in eve. irl, if you fucked somebody's wife you are liable to be shot in the back of the head. in eve, you can pull the most insidious of scam and at most you will get banned or hated and even then you have alts.

    its just a breeding ground for anti-social behaviour.

  3. Yay solipsistic societies. The line between reality and fantasy is blurring, and that is to my mind, a bad thing.
    Shooting someone in a video game is NOT the same as shooting them in real life.
    Cyber-bullying? What a crock of BULLSHIT. Tis a sad fucking commentary on how "protected" and "coddled" our society is when some words on a screen carry the same "weight" as being literally beaten or having trash thrown on you, or being thrown IN the trash. Good job, Pinky, you brought out my hardcore HTFU side IRL. ;-)

  4. So I've been thinking a fair bit about this, and have duly reached a conclusion:

    I couldn't agree more with this.


    The victim had the choice. He chose badly, and EVE being EVE, that meant he paid the price, which is exactly how it should be. I misremember the exact figure now, but IIRC, didn't he spend something like USD 1000.00 real money for all those PLEX'? Clearly, this is a guy who has cash to spare, but if, on the other hand, he really couldn't afford that, then really he needs to re-evaluate his life, and re-learn the boundaries between "game" and "real world."

    So, basically seems like a RL-rich know-nothing who thinks "more Gold = win," and found out the hard way that this is anti-ethical to everything EVE is supposed to be.

    TL/DR: Working as intended, zero sympathy from me.

  5. I think this is a great thing, people should definitely be punished for in-game actions.Too many times that I've played multiplayer games I've found myself being murdered over and over by these griefer fellows and I can't wait for the day when they'll be sent to prison for life on multiple counts of murder.