Any time anyone -- game developer, blogger, pod-caster, CSM member, video creator, whatever -- puts themselves out in public to have their stuff played, read, viewed, or judged, they take a risk. And the blow-back on such creative efforts can be brutal. The article I posted this morning pointed at the gamer culture and how harsh and unrelenting we can collectively be. Well, the EVE culture is to the gamer culture as gamer culture is to the rest of humanity. While some EVE players are the nicest people I've ever met, others...
Let's be blunt: a few of you out there -- not many, but a few -- are disgusting, sadistic grotesques lacking the most basic human qualities of empathy and compassion. And you take a perverse joy in that fact. You get off on being nasty. You get off on crushing the dreams and creative work of others. "That's EVE," this group will say when confronted about it. "Harden the fuck up!"
EVE positively attracts such people, and we'd be kidding ourselves to think otherwise.
I pointed at the Penny Arcade Report take on this subject earlier today:
How bad did it get? "Efforts, too, were made to track down and harass my family, including my two school-age sisters. After one particular round of rape threats, including the suggestion that, for criticising neo-liberal economic policy-making, I should be made to fellate a row of bankers at knife-point, I was informed that people were searching for my home address. I could go on," she explained.That's also something that anyone involved in any aspect of EVE also has to endure. Hell, that list of threats seems tame and common-place relative to some of what happens in this game. CCP usually does what they can to stem the madness, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.
That's the cost of the attitude that this is just something that you have to endure if you hope to be a creative mind today.
Net result? From time to time, we lose people who put themselves out in public to this community. And there's never ever a single cause around why that happens. It's always a pattern of abuse endured over a long period of time. Don't kid yourself thinking that there's ever a single thing that drives people away from developing for this game, writing about this game, or creating content within this game. Anyone who does this -- whether CCP employee, community fan-site, or just a fan of EVE -- endures a constant stream of low- and medium-level abuse... which often escalates to high-level abuse if they show any weakness to it.
Sometimes, these people decide "screw this noise" and leave. And then the dancing begins over the grave. "Good!" some will say, "You were always an idiot!" But a few will express confusion. "You're leaving over that? That was nothing! Harden the fuck up!"
I assure you that in almost every case, anyone who has signed up to put themselves out in public has -- by definition -- a pretty thick skin.
But as we've learned in EVE over the years, even the thickest shield tank can be broken, even the thickest armor buffer can be worn down. And just as in EVE, sooner or later there's a final blow that silences that developer, blogger, pod-caster, CSM member, video creator, or whatever. The final blow might not be the shot that did the most damage. It just happened to be the one that broke that final bit of structure and generated the kill-mail.