I've really enjoyed reading all of the comments here, at EN24, on TMC, and on the EVE Online forums regarding the hiring of Sean Decker last week. And of course the threadnaught is still rolling, now up to 44 pages which is higher than the point that usually gets CCP's attention, particularly if there are a lot of different player accounts writing in it. But I have to admit the type of comment that really interests me are the ones that generally go like this, from two anonymous comments here, this one:
He is from EA, the scourge of the gaming world. That should be enough to make us all very, very nervous until he proves otherwise.and this somewhat longer one:
Jester I would be less concerned if the prick's job was Head of DUST 514 development, the fact that he a Head of CCP Product Development makes me very, very nervous."Very, very nervous" is the general attitude of the vocal EVE players, all right, where it isn't outright hostile. But the two comments above are the combined comment of the week.
When EVE players are hostile toward Decker, the general gist of the comments seems to follow a pattern of logic that goes something like this:
- Electronic Arts is evil.
- Therefore, everyone who is in an executive position at Electronic Arts is evil.
- Therefore, Sean Decker is evil.
- EVE Online is famously full of racist, misogynistic, hateful neck-beards.
- You are an EVE Online player.
- Therefore, you are a racist, misogynistic, hateful neck-beard.
This is a fallacy because what you're really saying is "All X are Y. Some Z is X, therefore all X are Y." If Electronic Arts is evil, that doesn't automatically mean that every person in EA is evil. "A few bad apples spoils the bunch," as the homey old saying goes, but nobody stops to consider the good apples that might be mixed into that very same bunch. When I was growing up at the height of the Reagan-era red scare in the United States, the homey little ward against such thinking was "Communists love their children too." In both cases, that's the "undistributed middle" of the fallacy.
Am I saying that Sean Decker is a good guy? No, I'm not, not automatically. What I'm cautioning you against is jumping straight to the logical fallacy that he's automatically a bad guy just because he was a Vice President at Electronic Arts. Jumping straight to that logical fallacy is an excellent way to have your opinion ignored by CCP, and for a good valid reason.
Let's be clear: you don't need the fallacy. Sean Decker has said enough things out of his very own mouth to justifiably make EVE players "very, very nervous." That's what my original piece was ultimately about. Now that he works for CCP, he's walked some of them back. But if you're going to rage about him, rage about him for the right reasons and not some logical fallacy, OK?
One last thing on this topic. I've been catching some heat lately on EVE Radio and elsewhere from EVE players, claiming that I'm backing off on CCP now that I'm on the CSM. That one makes me smile because as always, some EVE players think I'm being too easy on CCP, some CCP devs think I'm being overly hard on them, and here's me caught in the middle. Except now that the CCP devs have direct access to me on a more or less constant basis, they're not shy about letting me know about it. As always, I can't win.
But you can rest assured that when I write this kind of piece, I'm giving you my true feelings on a matter. When I say step back and give Sean a chance, I mean that. But it's not going to stop me from saying to you: if you are going to criticize or even be "very, very nervous" about him, do it as a result of things he actually does or says.