Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Reserve the right

OK! I seem to have started a bit of a shit-storm. That wasn't my intent, but I'm not going to shy away from it either.(1) This deserved and deserves to be discussed widely. I'm glad it will be.

I want to briefly address four more tangents that are being used to attempt to throw the discussion off track.

First one: "The victim could have left at any time." This is Erotica 1 and his supporters saying that all the victim had to do to prevent what was being done to him was walk away. This one just makes me laugh every time I read it. Suuurrrrrre. You have a choice: continuing psychological torture, or give up every single item you own in game. The people supporting this torture only bring up the first part and never bring up that second part, I notice.

Second one: "This isn't torture! [Person or group that was tortured] wouldn't say it was torture!" A child psychologically tortured by an abusive parent would disagree. A wife psychologically tortured by an abusive husband would also disagree. I agree what is done here does not involve physical agony. But torture takes many forms and the psychological ones are just as destructive as the physical ones. Maybe more so.

Third one: "The victim threatened Erotica 1's mom!" Let's go ahead and put aside the concept of what is or is not justified in this situation and just address this complaint on its merits alone. The EVE TOS makes it quite clear that such RL threats are to be reported to local law enforcement (bullet 5). Did Erotica 1 do this? If not, I would question why he did not do so if he felt his family was being threatened. I'm quite sure the police would have been interested in the story.

Fourth one: "CCP needs to find a EULA/TOS violation if they want to justify banning Erotica 1." I assure you that this is not the case. It's convenient, certainly. But at the end of the day, the EULA clearly states that CCP owns Erotica 1's account and everything associated with it. CCP can close his accounts, seize all items associated with them, and simply refuse to take this man's money ever again. They have the right not to want this person as part of their community.

But yes, I think it would be nice if the TOS were modified to state that you can't hunt for victims in CCP's game and then take them out of the game to torture them.


(1) And to those that care to bring up the tired old "he only does it for hits" strawman, I invite you to point me to the advertising revenue I make off this blo-- owait.

132 comments:

  1. It's interesting that people believe greed is the one true sin in EVE that can excuse any behavior against the sinner.

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  2. Well said Jester!

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  3. Damning with Faint PraiseMarch 25, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    "This is Erotica 1 and his supporters saying that all the victim had to do to prevent what was being done to him was walk away. This one just makes me laugh every time I read it."

    Laughter isn't a response with any value to others. I could laugh at anything, it moots nothing.

    "The people supporting this torture only bring up the first part and never bring up that second part, I notice."

    I wouldn't say I support the bonus room, I just don't think it's against the current rules. No one brings up the second part because it's obvious; stating it again isn't going to change anyone's opinion. They also don't mention that the victim of the scam was between the ages of 5 and 120, as well as the fact that he had at least 1 kidney; the list of things they don't mention is in fact infinite.

    The counter-arguments 2,3,and 4 above are basically red herrings at this point, the central issue is just point 1. Obviously rational discussion has broken down, people are throwing insults and laughing instead of discussing this calmly. Luckily I can log out of reading further comments about this without feeling the false worry that by doing so that I'm throwing away all my EVE assets; assets which in reality are already lost forever.

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    1. Sorry, but point 1 is actually completely irrelevant, if you'd have any kind of empathy.
      These actions show psychopathic behaviour (this is not a joke, look up the official medical definition, what you can witness fullfils enough of the criteria), which is a severe mental disorder.
      And you come here arguing on the basis of formalisms like EULAs or other official rules in EVE.
      I have to say, i'm really shocked to see the responses of some people.
      I know from psychological research that a lot of people suffer from insufficient empathy.
      But that there are people actually trying to make a case for Erotica1 in this matter, just leaves me baffled.
      If you really think that way, please check with a psychiatrist.

      Ohh and although I think it should not be needed, I'll try to argue on a formalistic level, too,
      in the hope that it might convince someone, who just isn't capable enough of empathy.
      Say, if someone comes to you with a knife and saying you have to dance naked on the street, or he'll stab you.
      You'll try to refuse and get stabbed.
      Who is the one to blame? Let me write it out for you: NOT YOU!
      Was it irrational to try to refuse? Probably
      But, that is NOT relevant. While you had the choice to humiliate yourself instead of getting stabbed, the attacker also had a choice.
      Your refusal doesn't make stabbing you perfectly fine. Neither legally, nor morally.
      If you think otherwise, please check with a psychiatrist.

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    2. The second point (i.e.: the guy has "skin in the game") is very much worth mentioning because it's the only hook that Erotica 1 needs to be able to torture his victims.

      An abused wife can walk out any time.

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    3. And how did Ero1 come into possession of all of the persons items?

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    4. Read again... how is this of any importance to the matter?

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    5. As i told before rules are not morals. By a normal human moral these people and the supporters should be executed. In a tribial society they would be executed publicly. I think in our society hiding behind rules and laws to defend yourself aganist a punishment when you clearly did something terrible shows how cowardish you are. Grow some balls and get banned forever like a grown up person should be

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  4. I will just point that I've been mildly puzzled to see Malcanis joining the apologist wagon with a slippery slope argument.

    Maybe he's haming his jerk pose... or maybe he's such a jerk for real. vºv

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    1. Malcanis seems to be, in part, arguing the very fine distinction that this happened out of game... as though this had nothing to do with EVE the moment they were talking on private coms.

      As for actions out of game, but involving in-game issues, SOE's community director had some thoughts on that a while back.

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    2. I think the problem here is that you expect too much from Malcanis.

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    3. I have no problem with Malcanis arguing the strict letter of the law if he chooses to. I just disagree with that position, that's all. Men of good faith can disagree.

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    4. He seems to be making a a claim that a normative claim, like the one against bullying, will open the door for a flurry of other normative claims. The problem with slippery slope arguments, however, is that you have to prove the slope is indeed slippery.

      Parading gay rights alongside the rights of cyberbullies is a highly unrealistic example. Furthermore, there are no 'rights' that we need to be concerned with upholding, unlike in the real world. If CCP wants to take a swing at a normative ball, they have every right to. It's a judgement call, and like you said Jester they have every right to make it.

      An aside: I've stopped playing EVE a while back Jester but I've always followed your blog. This was a good series of posts. I've always loved the grey areas of EVE but you're right that a line in the sand has to be drawn somewhere.

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    5. If someone was to file suit against CCP, that would be a lot of bad publicity that could lead to Eve's demise. Whether or not they would win the case, CCP would have a black eye. Money spent on lawyers that need should be paid to developers. It would be a case of remember the game that...

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  5. "I wouldn't say I support the bonus room, I just don't think it's against the current rules."

    If you think the beef here is if this against the current wording of EULA I would like to point out that the more important question and the conversation I see Jester participating in is in fact if we want to encourage this behavior in our community.



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    1. it's being encouraged by the attention it is getting.

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    2. Damning with Faint PraiseMarch 25, 2014 at 2:45 PM

      If you're going to use the language of social community, then I would retort that you should ostracize him from your community, socially. Trying to get someone banned isn't about your community, it's about trying to get someone banned.

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    3. So Rodrigo, do you believe that hiding torture behind a rock is going to stop it happening?

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  6. Well said, Jester. I do hope CCP permanently ban Erotica and his friends, but will they? What has their reaction been?

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  7. >But at the end of the day, the EULA clearly states that CCP owns Erotica 1's account and everything associated with it. CCP can close his accounts, seize all items associated with them, and simply refuse to take this man's money ever again.

    Bans because 'we don't like you'

    Have you ever thought about just how bad that would be for any MMO company which openly did that ?
    How many players would quit instantly because they don't know if they would be safe from the banhammer if they come up with a new way to play Eve ?

    Eve subscriptions are paid in advance. Is taking money then refusing service because 'we don't like you' even legal under Icelandic law ?

    Changing the TOS to prevent using in-game means to target people for out of game harassment* could work.

    *Harassment is an easier charge to pin on Erotica than torture.

    How has CCP responded when you bought this up through CSM channels ?
    Or does the lack of NDA comments mean you decided to go public instead of talking to CCP and trying to get the problem solved through official channels ?

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    1. How does erotica1 or the bonus room inspire you to create new ways to play this game?

      Are you really claiming that the bonus room gets your creative juices flowing and excites you to what the future holds for gamers?

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    2. As you correctly state, any reply to this topic that CCP has made to me would be covered by the NDA. I look forward to CCP's public response in due course.

      And there's a very LARGE difference between "bans because we don't like you" and "bans because you have betrayed the spirit of the law while carefully holding to the exact letter."

      Laws can be changed and ex post facto enforcement doesn't apply here. An EVE account is a privilege, not a right.

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    3. >How does erotica1 or the bonus room inspire you to create new ways to play this game?

      It doesn't. But banning Erotica 1 for it may make other people afraid of a ban when they come up with new ways to play.

      >An EVE account is a privilege, not a right.
      A business refusing to take any money from a customer they don't like is one thing. A business taking money from a customer and then refusing service is another. The second is something that makes consumer protection agencies very angry and, in countries other than the US, those agencies typically have teeth.

      Change the TOS to disallow the bonus room and the bonus room will stop. Does it matter if Erotica 1 is banned ?

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    4. Perhaps you should just play a one player game and record your scenarios then send to CCP and see if you will get banned for them or not.

      Are you really not old enough to tell if something is dangerous or just too mean.

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    5. This isn't a question of whether Erotica1 broke the EULA or committed a bannable offense in (or out of) game. These posts are about the ethics the EvE community encourages and supports.

      It is posing the question whether we, as a community, and CCP, as the potentially liable party in all of this, should continue to foster a culture where bullying is tolerated and, in some cases, applauded. And make no mistake this is bullying of the worst kind.

      So the question is. Do CCP and the EvE community make a stand against such behaviour or do we do nothing?

      But remember one thing. By doing nothing you condone and support this behaviour. That makes you complicit in Erotica1's activities. I for one don't want to be complicit in that.

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    6. " But banning Erotica 1 for it may make other people afraid of a ban when they come up with new ways to play."

      Ah, "content creation", the ultimate excuse for any bad behaviour. Not all content is good. If banning Erotica1 makes other people afraid of submitting other players to intense humiliation and harassment, that's a *good* thing. There are so many ways to play eve, so many tricks we can play on each other. We don't need this garbage, "content" or not.

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    7. Which is why any such bans need to be made very public, along with the details that fueled the decision. CCP is certainly within their rights to ban such individuals, but if they want to preserve an appearance of fairness, they need be transparent about the process and the justification.

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    8. @Edward
      "Does it matter if Erotica 1 is banned ?"

      Yes, it matters. This type of personality is a cancer that can destroy the game for everyone else. If the "bonus room" is disallowed, Erotica 1 and others like him will just find other ways to abuse other players.

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  8. "continuing psychological torture, or give up every single item you own in game. The people supporting this torture only bring up the first part and never bring up that second part, I notice", I did said that he had to leave his game money behind for this. It is still just game money and not existence threatened unlike real world torture which makes a very substantial differences.

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    1. There are psychological tortures which in no way threaten your life. Everything from emotional blackmail such as "the silent treatment" through to the type of treatment inflicted on Picard by the Cardassians (although the setting is fictional, the treatment is used in places like Gitmo).

      Torture is about inflicting pain, not about threatening the victim's existence. Convincing the victim that there is hope to escape the torture if they just persist is one of the methods a torturer uses to gain more satisfaction from the torture. "Just one more song and we'll double your ISK!" "Maybe he'll let me see my friends again me if I can show him that I love him?"

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    2. Also, EVE is real. The whole "it's only space pixels" argument is a rationalization. Even baltec mourned the loss of his years-old, battle-seasoned Megathron when it finally popped, and that had nothing to do with the fact that it was one entry in a database that was indistinguishable from every other database entry that identified a Megathron; nor did it have anything to do with any real-world value. People construct narratives. People attach value to things based on experience. And people will not want to lose them all on a bad bet, because it makes them look and feel terrible. Erotica 1 is taking full advantage of the real, if non-quantifiable, value that people assign to their in-game stuff, not to mention their trust and their dignity.

      The difference between psychological and physical harm is that the former leaves invisible scars, not infrequently with worse consequences. When I was a kid, I got beaten up a fair amount, but the bullying I really remember never left so much as a bruise. Nearly four decades later I can still break down if I talk about it.

      Coming up with new and creative ways to blow up ships and steal in-game items in game has always been unambiguously endorsed by CCP, and there is no reason to believe that that will ever change. In fact, I will leave the day it does. Nor is there anything wrong with the initial stages of Erotica 1's ISK doubling scam. Having someone sing 'I'm a Barbie Girl' on comms to save their T3 is just good fun. But what's going on in the audio is in-game assets being used in a program of ritual humiliation and psychological torture. It crosses a very bright line into sadism.

      I don't think stomping on it will discourage anyone from coming up with new in-game ways to be the villain, because it's something that very intentionally happens out of game.

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    3. Torture is about inflicting pain, not about threatening the victim's existence. Convincing the victim that there is hope to escape the torture if they just persist is one of the methods a torturer uses to gain more satisfaction from the torture.

      Try telling that to the parents of the numerous teenagers that end up committing suicide every year to avoid the psychological torture perpetrated by their peers.

      Mara that reply removes any right you have to quantify what torture is.

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  9. 'Bans because 'we don't like you'

    Have you ever thought about just how bad that would be for any MMO company which openly did that ?'

    It would depend on what the public thought about it.

    "CCP bans a sociopath who tortured players" is not the same as "CCP eventually banned a sociopath who pushed a victim into suicide", let alone "CCP mourns the death of a sociopath who was hunted down by a former victim".

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    1. "CCP bans a sociopath who tortured players," is certainly different to, "CCP bans a player who used violent language towards a developer."

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  10. Congratulations on sparking a debate that is long overdue. It is funny how when you turn on the lights, the roaches scatter.

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  11. Seems like what is happening here is that one group is determining in game that a player is vulnerable and so taking them out of game to bully them.

    I can't see how the game comes off well out of this.

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  12. Ah morality. Here's what I have to do in these cases. I assume it was done to my daughter. Then I think of the minimum amount of response needed from the system so that I would feel I don't need to respond personally. 25 to life? I guess that works. Free and clear? That doesn't work.

    So in this case ask yourself, what would you do to this person if he did this to your daughter and what is the minimum response from CCP to keep you from feeling the need to do that.

    This is how order is kept. There are many people who don't want order, but listening to these people would be stupid.

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    1. Damning with Faint PraiseMarch 25, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      "This is how order is kept"

      Not where I live, we have a democracy, not a daughterimaginaryocracy. Where do you live that has that? No country I'm familiar with.

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    2. Yes, but if the democratic process breaks daughterimaginaryocracy you will get increasing numbers of vigilantes.

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    3. And maybe your judges are elected. What would happen if your democracy's judges stop punishing convicted criminals? What do you think people would do in the countries you are familiar with?
      Yes it is.

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  13. I commented on your original post that started this shit storm, as well as copied my comment to my own blog.

    People claim they could just walk away and lose their assets, and youre completely correct. What you're leaving out is that they can also get those assets back, either through trudging through the way they got them, or by PLEXing. Take your pick, both are options to regain assets.

    Its not impossible to recover from losing everything, many people have done it in game as well as real life.

    Yes, the participants could just walk away.

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    1. The twisted thing with psychological extortion methods is that they attempt to simultaneously coax you into remaining receptive while inflicting as much psychological pain as possible.

      You will be convinced - in the moment - that leaving is worst thing you could do for your situation and that any remaining hope is worth staying for; your entire world is that moment and nothing else matters. In hindsight, it all seems obvious and all the more embarrassing and shameful, but it pushes the same psychological "buttons" as many forms of more aggressive peer pressure. And like peer pressure, it just isn't that easy to resist, because it affects the impulsive part of the human brain; general logic stops applying.

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    2. Mara: why does an abused spouse stay with the abuser?

      Once people get in for a penny, they get trapped into feeling like "it'll all just work out in the end" if they stick with it. It's a classic psychological trap that Erotica1 is exploiting.

      Also, it never works out in the end....

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    3. The same reason an abused person stays with their partner.

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    4. As I mentioned in my comment in the post that started all this, E1 takes advantage of the weak willed/minded people. People who either cant stand up to their abuser or who choose not to do so, because "it will work out for the best in the end".

      They could walk away, but they're too weak to do so. Survival of the strongest, something that has been bred out of humanity for a few centuries, is alive and well in the EvE Online playerbase.

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  14. On point 4, CCP can close Erotica 1 current account, but they will never be able to prevent him from ever entering EvE again, as using another credit card will allow him to restart all over again. And farm more RL tears and psyco snaps.

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    1. Yes, can prevent him entering EVE again, the only issue they would have is identification. They have lots of tools for this (the Nosy Gamer has some excellent blog posts on it in connection with RMT). The job would be made even simpler though if he returned to former behaviour.

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  15. Jester deserves credit not only for bringing this issue to light, but also for trying to keep the focus on bullying.
    CCP has an unique opportunity to distance themselves from these bottom feeders, but only if they act fast!

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  16. The problem is that the *players* cannot punish Erotica1 in any meaningful way. In the real world, we can imprison people who commit acts that we deem to be crimes or worth discouraging.

    The only people who can punish Erotica1 is CCP. They are the only ones who can enforce the "laws of man". But that means that CCP has to define what actions are acceptable or not, rather than leaving it up to the players.

    The sheriffs need the necessary tools to rein in the outlaws. Without those tools, there are no sheriffs, only outlaws.

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    1. This is very true... and that's a bit of a broader/deeper problem.

      Let's say Joe gets in a catalyst and blows up Mike's retriever. (There is nothing wrong with that, part of normal game play). Now if Mike wants to get revenge on Joe, he's going to *really* have to work for it. The attacker has a huge advantage. It's part of what makes this kind of play so popular, effective retaliation is very challenging.

      (Part of the problem is alts really. Maybe Joe has 4 miner alts he multibox for isk. It will be very hard for Mike to figure out who these alts are.)

      Add that to Erotica1's complete absence of empathy, and you get a disaster. The reason why his shenanigans isn't normal gameplay is because most EVE players are *not* giant jerks.

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  17. I think the question CCP should be asking themselves is what they would say to their own family about such behaviour or what they would do it if happened to a friend of theirs. It's their game, are they proud to see Erotica1 abusing people like that?

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  18. "Bans because 'we don't like you'"

    This is what all moral judgement comes down to anyway or maybe because "we don't like what you did" would be better phrasing.

    If you have 2 kids and one rule, "No hitting" they will try to push each others buttons verbally until one snaps and breaks the rule. If you are a rule believer you punish the kid that broke the rule and institute a new rule that says "No pushing each other buttons verbally". What happens next is one of them want to do something and other one get's in the way just to be annoying and you get to punish someone for pushing the others buttons verbally and potentially one of them for hitting if you don't get there in time. And you are making up new rules and in few iterations rules lawyering will pop up into the mix etc.

    You need the rules so you can have consistency in your punishments, but there can be understandable causes for the breaking of the rules and through that it comes back to "I'm punishing you because I don't like what you did". That is basically the only justification CCP needs and that is already the basis of the rules we have. Of course it's important for CCP to try to be as consistent as possible with the things they doesn't like.

    The idea of a sandbox gets quite a bit in the way here, because it is idealized as a set of rules everybody knows and can base their actions on. That's all fine and dandy until you add people into the mix. The edges of the sandbox are already pretty fuzzy on some part, for example the naming policies. I feel they need to be made even fuzzier in the future for the sandbox to be able to survive it's contact with reality.

    One way to establish this kind of a fuzzy edge would be to have document that specifies in somewhat general terms where CCP thinks the line of acceptable behavior is drawn. Some people might say that it's useless endeavor and they should just change the rules instead, but Erotica1 stated in the EO forum thread that if Hilmar asked him to stop or change his MO he would and I'm willing to take his word for it.

    Along with the 2 categories of OK and bannable we could have a third one. I'm sure it would effect some people if CCP said these are actions that are not inherently bannable, but if you care about this game you should avoid them and if you blatantly ignore this punishments are not off the table.

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  19. I've played for a couple of years and was warned early on about bad behavior in the community and because of time constraints I have mostly played on my own all this time. I always read blogs and keep up with news though.

    I was abused as a young child. Psychological torture leaves as many scars as physical torture. In everything I've heard going on in Eve never did I imagine such awful abusive behavior like this was happening. It disgusts me and surprises me how out of touch with reality people can be that anyone could actually think this behavior is funny or entertaining. Disgusting.

    Good on you Jester for bringing this to forward for the community to see. I sincerely hope that CCP takes some action against these people. What human being would want to even associate with these type of people, yet alone have them in the same gaming community?

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  20. Alright, its not the same as torture, but its equivalent to child/domestic abuse...how is this even an argument. lets just call it what it is, bullying. its unfortunate, this guys a dick, lets start a huge affair.

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  21. Greed is still not good eh.

    Regards, a Freelancer

    PS: if the victim of this particular scam, and I asked you to adress margin trading to, was in an active corp he would have had a social buffer/layer for protection.

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  22. So did you bring this up to CCP? I believe just stating yes or no is not covered either by the NDA or by EULA forbidding the communications on a petition. Or does the prohibition on CSM members involving themselves in petitions involving other players in effect?

    From the argument you make, it sounds like you believe that Erotica 1 has violated the first point in the Terms of Service.

    "You may not abuse, harass or threaten another player or authorized representative of CCP, including customer service personnel and volunteers. This includes, but is not limited to: filing support tickets with false information in an attempt to gain from it or have someone else suffer from it; sending excessive e-mails, EVE-mails or support tickets; obstructing CCP Employees from doing their jobs; refusal to follow the instructions of a CCP Employee; or implying favoritism by a CCP Employee."

    Notice that the actions listed include out-of-game activities directed at employees. But since point 1 also mentions players, that strongly suggests that out-of-game actions against other players are also covered.

    If you have tried to do something and been told that point 1 does not cover this situation, then I can see your effort to amend the ToS. But if you haven't yet tried arguing that point 1 applies, then I'd suggest doing that first.

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    1. look i wouldnt even be taking this assholes side (well not so much his side but defending his right to do what he does) if he had made physical threats or anything but in listening to that he toed the line of the eula pretty well......tbh i was kind of impressed by how far they took things without crossing the line. All that said its disgusting and vile to me yes, but he didnt break the rules.That I can see. i guess it depends on ccps definition of harass and abuse. But much like a damn vampire this scammer got his victim to freely agree to what was happening........

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    2. And there has to be a way to come down hard on people who hew to the letter of the law while utterly subverting the spirit of the law, because otherwise the law defeats itself.

      In this case, toeing the line just imbues the victim with a sense of powerlessness, because there appears to be no recourse. Torment them enough, and you get the prize of getting the victim to cross the line, then catching them, scolding them and getting them banned as the cherry on top.

      One of the critical aspects of psychological torture is that sense of helplessness, of it being all the victim's responsibility and all their fault, which is why CCP reserves to itself the freedom to act on the spirit of the rules, and thus has the obligation to do so.

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    3. Whether this topic came up with CCP is under NDA. That said, whether it did or not I am allowed to give my own opinions of the things CCP does. I just can't share the opinions of CCP devs on the topic or what I say about the topic. I haven't.

      In due course, I believe we'll see a public response from CCP on this.

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    4. When the spotlight hits CCP. One could perceive that it will bring in other people wanting to do the same thing while deterring others from even trying Eve.

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    5. Yeah but the victim isn't helpless, he's sitting at a computer he can just get up and walk away and never hear from this asshole again. What, but then he will lose all the worthless pixels that he already lost anyway? Its a video game. tomorrow CCP could just shut everything down and its all gone anyway. This guy got beat at a game and threw a fit. If they change the rules and erotica(?) does it again then ban him but as of right now, he didn't break the rules and I'm pretty sure his play style calls this a win. A major win now that its caused a shit storm.......should CCP have to send us all to psych classes so we can learn the difference between video games and reality just to make sure we are all mentally stable enough to handle Eve? Is that really a game developers responsibility? When I got hacked and CCP gave me 300mil isk for a freighter and a few billion worth of mins did i cry and bitch cuz thats all they gave me? No i thanked them for what they did give me because I accept that my account security is my responsibility. I didnt go on a rant about killing the mother of the hacker taunting me in my email, i just blocked his address and started over because when you fuck up you accept the consequences and move on. Or you can have some kind of mental fit in voice chat that you know(have been told and you agreed to even.) is being recorded. Its your choice no one is making it for you.

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    6. News flash: video games are part of reality. The people you're interacting with are real people. The things you are saying to them are real things. The way you are treating them is real treatment. The game is just a medium of communication.

      Besides, there have been studies done that show that the human brain can't reliably distinguish between fact and fiction. The persuasive power of well-executed fiction is something that bullies, abusers, propagandists and demagogues have been taking advantage of for millenia.

      Remember, PvP means "player vs. player," not "avatar vs. avatar" or "proxy vs. proxy." Player vs. Player. The game is just a medium. You can't PvP without a metagame--it's right there in the name--and so you can't PvP without bringing reality into it, because the whole point is to interact meaningfully with a real person. If it really was "just pixels," people wouldn't care whether the ship they were shooting piloted by an AI; but they do.

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  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can always judge the merit of a reply by how much capitalization it lacks.

      Delete
    2. I rather enjoyed the punctuation myself.

      Delete
    3. I particularly enjoyed the use of "berated". I'm fairly sure it doesn't mean what he thinks it means. Above all though I love his non arguments... EvE voice, crossing the line, he could leave, out of game tools etc. etc. All rhetorical waffle.

      Delete
    4. You guys win. I suck at typing with my thumbs I'm sorry. I have been bullied by the Punctuation and Capitalization Mafia into deleting my post. I don't have a choice in the matter. I can not just ignore them they are torturing me.

      Delete
  24. So the way I read your differentiator is that if Erotica 1 had used Eve Voice instead of Teamspeak, and therefore stayed in game everything would be a-ok? It must be that, because being ransomed for your stuff and singing for release, on TS even is as old as Eve.

    I just don't understand how the guys playing a game by scamming and getting people to sing on coms are the bad guys. While the guy who threatens to "gut" a player and his mother in real life while uttering a string of the most vile racial slurs is the good guy.

    You want to find a poster boy for why the Eve banhammer should fall on scammers, but I don't think the racist death fantasizing Sohkar is it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah +1 to this tbh if this gets petitioned id be shocked if sohkar wasnt the one banned.........the true measure of a man isnt how he acts when everything is going right its how he acts when everything is going wrong imo......it seems most of the ppl here think its ok to stab someone just dont twist the knife.

      Delete
    2. You're missing the point. Eve Voice would have meant and automatic ban, because it would violate the TOS to use Eve for the purpose of harassment. The discussion here is about banning beyond the TOS.

      I feel like you haven't experienced someone doing everything they can to make you feel like shit, for hours on end. Just as evidence obtained by torture is illegal, reactions caused by being abused for this long aren't the responsibility of the victim.

      Delete
    3. If he had used EVE Voice, and someone had proof, it'd actually be trivial to ban Erotica 1. As it turns out there is a lot of precedent in that case, and, sort of like getting banned for posting porn in fleets, if he did this on EVE Voice, there would be a slam-dunk case for getting him banned for abuse. TeamSpeak isn't properly in-game, though, so....

      Delete
    4. you mean they would have banned sohkar for going on a raceist rant right cuz i didnt hear anything in appropriate come out of the dickheads that were scamming hims mouth "well lucky this is a video game and not a real game show" yeah thats sooooo horrible and ban worthy.........as opposed to u know threatening to gut someones mother.....tough choice.....

      Delete
    5. Fire Bush, not only are you unable to capitalize , spell and punctuate your words and sentences correctly, you also appear to be lacking in reading comprehension.

      Protip: Eventually, any victim will lash out at their abuser, that's a fact.

      The fact Erotica1 thinks bullying somebody up to and beyond that point is so far into the black area of what human interactions should be that I have no words to describe it in but the most basic fashion.

      Delete
    6. I think you don't get the definition of bullying here, it is a sustained action(s) against someone specifically. What happened here with Sohkar is not a sustained action, a couple hours ain't worth squat. And Sohkar had maxed out his plays in the doubling game anyway.

      And this is far from harrassment, again we are talking about a very sustained action, and Sohkar started bitching because he had to sing "Queer" by Garbage. Just one song got him to dig in his heels. Ero and friends even said he could choose a song himself if he wanted.

      And again you are all ignoring the fact Sohkar agreed to this of his own free will. And I will state the point that he didn't even have to accept the invite to the bonus room, then he would have been able to keep all his pixels.

      +1 to Fire Bush and Malcolm

      ---A message from your Friendly Neighborhood Scoundrel

      Delete
  25. I'm astonished that people are defending this shit! Jester, please keep doing what you're doing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I soooo agree. Sickening to see people defend Erotica 1's behavior.

      Delete
    2. What about the so-called "victims" behavior? Its now ok to throw insults and real life threats at someone who scammed you?

      The participant of the Bonus Room should be banned

      Delete
    3. I'm astonished people are actually outraged by this. Let me explain what "Bonus Room" is, in real life terms.

      It's a complete stranger calling you and telling you: "Transfer all your money to my account. Give me your car. Place your house on mortgage and give me the mortgage money too.

      Then strip naked, shave your head, write 'I SUCK COCKS' on your chest with your own shit, go out on the street in front of your house and sing the USSR's national anthem while jumping all around the street."

      Would you do that? Or would you just cut the connection halfway through his obviously insane demands? Remember: it's a phone call. He is not threatening you with physical force. He is not blackmailing you. He is not using a position of authority, legal or moral.

      Erotica 1 is an asshole. But the only one at fault here is the idiot who did everything a complete stranger told him to for no reason whatsoever.

      Delete
    4. Let's not also forget that Ripard has the sensationalist vibe going on, he's making this a big deal because it's become a "hot-button" issue. And Ero is running for CSM, so my guess is Ripard is slinging mud.

      I will tell you now that everyone's bonus room experience is different, it's not made for everyone, look at the recordings linked here: http://www.minerbumping.com/2014/02/read-code-follow-code.html

      Have a nice day...

      ---A message from you Friendly Neighborhood Scoundrel

      Delete
    5. Scamming is as much about power as it is about stuff. Some people scam for money sure, but this wasn't about that. The motives of Erotica1 were pretty clear -- he and his gang were out of laughs at the expense of another human being's emotional well-being. The fact that after prolonged abuse they got a rise out of him isn't surprising. We all have a breaking point. Denying that fact is either deluding yourself or lying for the sake of trying to win an argument.

      I can tolerate someone scamming as a living in game. I cannot tolerate someone scamming because they like hurting people. That's reprehensible. I imagine the main point of gaining this person's stuff wasn't so that they could have his stuff, but rather so they could have leverage over him to humiliate him and satisfy some basic need of theirs to cause emotional pain. Intentional emotional distress is a crime in a lot of places.

      Delete
  26. Keep it up Jester, this shit is disgusting and is a mark against all of us as Eve players. People quickly lose sight that it's other people they're playing with - at least I hope that's the reason as the idea that someone realizes and fully understands what they're doing to another human being here is sickening.

    ReplyDelete
  27. My 2 cents.

    I think all the stuff done in the game is ok and in the spirit of EVE. Though if one of the devs could think up a way to warn new players that the rest of us are evil in game and we really will take all your in game stuff and not to trust us right away would probably be good.

    I think using EVE to hunt for victims to bully is actually evil and the TOS or EULA should be amended in some way to give CCP more justification for banning these types of players. Until people like this grow up or get their heads fixed they should not be welcome in this community.

    I also believe CCP doesn't need to do anything to the EULA and if anyone has made public acts such as these, recording the bulling of others, they should be banned anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Straw man alert!

    Jester says: "You have a choice: continuing psychological torture, or give up every single item you own in game."

    If I knew how to do it in response to a blog post, I'd boldface the "in game". This individual's livelihood was not at stake, nor his real life assets or his children's college education. Some doofus playing a game got scammed out of his stuff... The horror!!! Ridiculous.

    Jester says: "Second one: "This isn't torture! [Person or group that was tortured] wouldn't say it was torture!" A child psychologically tortured by an abusive parent would disagree. A wife psychologically tortured by an abusive husband would also disagree."

    The child has no choice and is in the legal custody of the parents, including the abuser. The wife has a choice between real life assets (and potentially the welfare of a child) and accepting the abuse. See point 1 above; this is a game, not real life. Walk away if the game is too stressful or abusive.


    I like the actual gameplay/mechanics aspect of your blog. You are often insightful and entertaining in your analysis of combat. This awful whiteknighting for morons is a bit offputting. Erotica1 is obviously a sadistic scumbag, but he/she/they can't "force" anyone into anything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm thoroughly impressed by your complete lack of understanding of people's psychological behaviour.

      Delete
    2. I am thoroughly impressed by your complete lack of understanding of the difference between being mean to someone and torturing him.

      Delete
    3. So am I.
      There is a real life asset at stake in that story: time!

      How about you spend 500 man-hours building a pop-sickle stick replica of your favourite monument, then (mistakenly for sure) entrust it to someone that makes you go through all the stuff in the video to not burn it to the ground?

      Wanna go ahead and walk away? Bollocks!
      You'd be screaming like a baby and hating yourself for years.
      Don't come up with the lame "it's only a game" excuse.

      That poor guy learn something for sure and I bet he'd consider you part of the problem too.

      Delete
    4. Time is the big thing here. Just because the scammer doesn't value something doesn't mean the person who has it doesn't. But it's not even about the stuff. It's about the abuse. The scam was used as leverage to continue the abuse. And, as a person, you don't get to abuse me just because I don't walk away.

      "I'm sorry judge. I just felt like I kept having to abuse him on because he wouldn't leave even though I brought him there specifically for that purpose and used my own previous victories over his own self-worth as leverage to make him feel like shit. I believe I should be absolved of all wrong-doing because he made it so easy."

      Delete
    5. More like: "I'm sorry judge, if he didn't want me to punch him in the face 50 times he shouldn't have agreed to the boxing match."

      Delete
  29. If CCP can temp ban a person for a momentary lapse of drunken judgement which offended and hurt people, they can permaban someone for a calculated, repetitive action designed to inflict hurt and pain, and continue doing so through public humiliation.

    There is a line being crossed, and those who are defending these actions ought to be ashamed of themselves. Has there been an EULA breach? probably not. But this is bullying. Actual bullying.

    Yes a fool and his money and all that. Yes the player could leave however there is some reasonably convincing social engineering going on here that hooks victims early. Learned helplessness is a state where even though the way out of the helplessness is obvious a victim does not take it or cannot see it.

    Jester, please do express your concerns about this kind of behavior to CCP. It would seem to violate the unwritten principle that "whatever happens in the game stays in the game" by deliberately dragging it outside the game and into real world bullying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. never mind that the GIA has infiltrated other corps fourms just to get their jollies and "forum porn" for years and is also completely acceptable metagame. but im sorry if u think it was drug outside the game what happened could have happened in eve voice so its magically part of the game then???? this is eve entire null sec wars are fought out of game technically. i think someone trying to cut a titan pilots power so they can gank its is far more disturbing than some words spoken by an asshole in TS......Hell the recordings ive heard leaked of PL fcs sound worse than anything that this asshole says to the guy hes scamming. and they are in the same fleet. Its ok for the victim to go on a racist rant tho cuz he just lost in a video game....totally just not some dumb asshole getting what he deserves

      Delete
    2. lol Fire Bush. Don't ever change. When I'm feeling low & worthless I'm going to drop by these threads and read your posts. Pretty sure they're going to make me feel better in myself.

      Delete
  30. Hi Jester
    Keep up the good work in bringing this type of scumbag to the attention of us all.
    Hopefully CCP will get their act together and get rid of these low lifes.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Regarding Point the Fourth, wasn't Mittens banned for actions taken out of game? One could argue the precedent already exists here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, and it is a terrible precedent. Mittani didn't give out the Wis' real name or identity, only his in-game one. Just like Erotica's "victim", that guy was under no compulsion to play a game that caused him mental or physical duress.

      Delete
  32. Hmm the following quote seems strangely familiar - I wonder who wrote it. Ripard if you are going to play politics please don't make it so obvious.


    "The Mittani dropped character, became Alex, and is doing that. And I sincerely believe that he means it. Does that mean The Mittani is gone? Hell no, he'll be back.

    Bad pennies always turn up.

    But Alex is back there trying to make this right. Let's talk consequences.

    Should Mittens lose his position as CSM Chair over this? My feeling is no, he should not. His offer to resign is noble, but not warranted. There should definitely be consequences from this, and the act of contrition and the ISK are a great start. But he should not lose his CSM position nor his Chairmanship over this in my opinion. Smart people do dumb things. Bill Clinton performed a sex act with a woman not his wife in the White House. No one has died here, been harmed, or been publicly humiliated in real life. There's a blue dress here, sure. I doubt Mittens will be wearing a wizard hat or drinking to excess again any time soon. And an EVE player nobody knew has been thrust into the spotlight, but he doesn't currently seem to be in any danger of suicide. In fact, aside from a little bit of apathy (which I'm told by someone with reason to know is actually a bit troubling), he doesn't seem overly impacted or troubled by this at all. I've looked at the EVE Terms of Service, and it would take a real **** to try to argue that they've been breached."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, and what of it? You know about that blog post probably because I pointed to it myself. I'm the same guy that said Mittens should not be thrown off the CSM. But I DID say he should be punished, and he was, and not as harshly as I recommended.

      Delete
    2. Because a one-time drunken slip-up is equivalent to a designed and sustained program of ritual humiliation.

      If Erotica 1 had gone over the line once, then apologized profusely and backpedaled as fast as he could, then this would be a completely different conversation. This conversation is happening because he knows exactly what he's doing.

      Delete
    3. Like there is any comparison between the two situations. Unless you are grasping at straws, of course...

      Delete
  33. I've had a long day so maybe I'm just letting this get to me too much, but after reading all the htfu or it's just a game stuff, I'm having a hard time wanting to play this game again.

    I used to think my sub went to making a good game better, but now...am I paying money to people who think this sort of thing ok? Maybe entertaining? I won't do that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only if you sing a song...then stand on your hands...then...
      Oh wait, that's E1 job's...

      Delete
  34. Other than this - and maybe a forum post - Im staying the hell away from this topic. I refuse however, to be part of some silent majority. I must thank you for bringing this to my attention, although I knew some EVE players could be horrible people, I never imagined they could be this psychotic. I feel ashamed and aghast to learn what Erotica 1 has done here, even more damning though, I find CCP's silence.


    EVE is what EVE is because of the grey areas. Yet as you said, grey areas can quickly turn black.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I've pointed the spotlight on Erotica1 a time or two, but I had no idea he'd been pulling this type of thing still. I thought he quit after the "podding to alpha clone" incident, but I should have known better.

    I'm not gonna hash it out. I'm just gonna add my 2 cents: Ripard is right across all boards. It's time for CCP to purge their system, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Massively picked up the incident. The majority of the comments is, of course, that "EVE is a shithole".

    If CCP wanted to prevent the game getting a bad rep, I'd say they are far far too late.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pretty much CCP MO really

      Wait till horse is frolicking half way to Timbuktu and call a security consultant to figure out how the horse escaped.

      Delete
    2. Yep!

      E1's now starting tu hurt where CCP can't ignore him.
      I'm guessing (hoping...really) Jester's campaign will soon reach a successful conclusion and we'll see a formal apology for letting that scum in the system.
      Followed by a swift kick to send back E1 to wherever that douch came from.

      In the words of my Boss: "We are not amused".

      Delete
  37. Now don't get me wrong, I love your blog and appreciate all the time and effort you put in for the community, however it is beginning to feel less like and actual issue and more like a personal agenda.

    Please don't take this that I fully disagree with some of your points, but this recent article is looking purposely weighed towards your personal point of view.

    All in all this happened in game, not out of game however much the angle of the story tries to pull it 'oog'.
    Sooner or later EVERYONE in game must realise the high levels of distrust and paranoia are (sometimes unfortunately) essential to be successful.

    I short this is all as simple as:
    Scammer (turd) tries to convince capsuleer to part with his stuff.
    Capsuleer (victim) through stupidity, naivety or just greed is hooked
    Scammer proceeds to feed off victims tears.

    there were mistakes made on both sides:

    Victim was stoopid.- He SHOULD learn from this.
    Scammer has showed himself up to be a very immature and insecure human being and is no doubt now seen as aforesaid turd by his peers.

    Don't see why CCP should get involved, this is a human issue and they have game mechanics to fix / improve which is far more important to the general populous.

    If there are such deep seated feelings against this action IN GAME, then try to get your pound of flesh IN GAME. I'm sure there are many organisations willing to help you strip him of his assets.

    ReplyDelete
  38. So if it is torture why haven't you called the police yet?

    You would call the police on an abusive husband wouldn't you? You'd definitely call them for child abuse. So why not this torture?

    ReplyDelete
  39. Does CCP really need a new rule against that?

    From EULA:
    CONDUCT
    A. Specifically Restricted Conduct

    "Your continued access to the System and license to play the Game is subject to proper conduct. Without limiting CCP's rights to control the Game environment, and the conduct of the players within that environment, CCP prohibits the following practices that CCP has determined detract from the overall user experience of the users playing the Game."

    The essential part: "to play the Game is subject to proper conduct. Without limiting CCP's rights to control the Game environment, and the conduct of the players within that environment,"
    to proper conduct, if erotica 1's action is proper conduct something is wrong.
    CCP has all the rights (as it is not limiting it rights) to control the sandbox and remove subjects from their environment if they don't fit into that.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Ero 1 has thrown down the offer for a live debate

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is there to debate? I think the recording speaks for itself. Of course, at this point he has seen that over half the player base thinks he is a shitbag, he is scared of getting banned and so he needs to distract from the real issue. Just like his comment yesterday about Hilmar telling him his behavior needs to change. As if any reasonable person needs someone to tell them this stuff is unacceptable. Does this guy ever stop with his bullshit and his lies?

      Delete
  41. BTW, how much has the guy lost and do we have his contact information?
    I might reactivate my account just to send him (some of) my stuff … I mean when we do plex for good, we are giving away eve stuff away as well, why not for a guy we feel sorry for?

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hopefully this shitstorm will cause Ero to go back into hiding like after the Darius Johnson incident so we wont get flooded with CODE threads by his army of alts all day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What was the Darius Jonson incident

      Delete
    2. Believe it or not, Erotica 1 was once in GoonSwarm. You may or may not know this, but the goons themselves celebrate scamming outsiders to the point where they have an entire subforum on their forums (which, incidentally, all the allies can read) where people can share their exploits. (Scooter McCabe is a frequent poster there; some of his chatlogs are ... fascinating.) Erotica 1 posted some of the stuff he managed to get people to do in his bonus rooms to that forum. Goon leadership, which I think included Darius JOHNSON, decided that the stuff he was doing was too sick to be associated with GoonSwarm and booted him.

      I might be conflating multiple incidents, but let me repeat the important part for emphasis:
      THE GOONS kicked out Erotica 1 for being too depraved and committing acts associated with his scams that they considered unacceptable.

      Delete
  43. While I had already decided to let my sub lapse for lack of casual content, this cemented my decision in my mind. I'm not interested in playing in a community that allows such behaviour.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I've only played EVE for about 5 weeks, and it really doesnt take a genius to work out giving your assets out, on some random internet guys promise, is a bad idea

    "First one: "The victim could have left at any time." This is Erotica 1 and his supporters saying that all the victim had to do to prevent what was being done to him was walk away. This one just makes me laugh every time I read it. Suuurrrrrre. You have a choice: continuing psychological torture, or give up every single item you own in game. The people supporting this torture only bring up the first part and never bring up that second part, I notice."

    Which makes this paragraph a moot point, the guys clearly stupid, and he further proves this by SINGING for them, just wtf kind of idiot must you be to not see whats going on

    However, I will agree, the scammer's a scumbag for the offkey methods used, but again, im finding it hard to see how a victim could end up in that situation



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Objectively, there's no reason to gamble, either. The rules are set so that the house wins.

      That doesn't stop people from trying their luck. And how many people have been shot over a hand of poker again?

      Delete
    2. The house is also legally obligated to pay out should you do win, there's rules and laws set in stone to cover both parties, unless your playing in some shady basement with some shady dudes, then, like eve, you should be prepared for the worse and bring some common sense along with you

      Delete
  45. Jester, I'm with you, good work! This is the kind of shake up the EVE community needs to weed out the rotten apples.

    - Sagarkor

    ReplyDelete
  46. I'll just leave this here: https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=319488

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. About what I expected. It's harder and harder to justify playing this game. I get harassed by my girlfriend for playing it. She calls it the game for psychopaths or the psychopath simulator. And she's played it herself. She got these ideas first-hand.

      It's hard to get people to play a game while there are people also playing the game actively trying to make you miserable. The best thing CCP could do is send a clear message that keeping your 'dickishness' in game-terms and not engaging in emotional abuse will keep you from getting banned.

      Delete
  47. My boy friend who i had dated for 9 years,already living together suddenly woke up and said to me last January that he does not love me anymore,he is not happy with the relationship,he said he does not want us to live a miserable life together,he said to me that he has already rented a new place and wants to move in with a girl he meet at work,i begged and pleaded with him but all my effort fail,i became desperate and searched for solution,that was how i meet the great spell caster winexbackspell@gmail.com he told me all i needed to do,he cast the WIN EX BACK SPELL for me and after 3 days my lover came back to me living the other lady begin for my forgiveness,i was so surprise if such help still exist,i am so happy winning my
    heart back again.

    ReplyDelete
  48. fingered crossed that there is collateral damage into New Order. A Roll Player veneer for an organisation that traffics in player misery for its sake. They have received some of the proceeds of erotica1's "efforts" now they can share in the downfall.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hi Jester, Thank you for bringing this stuff to light. Hopefully some change can be brought about in what EVE Players and CCP view as acceptable behavior.

    ReplyDelete
  50. #2828Posted: 2014.03.26 14:43 | Edited by: Fara'a
    9
    Read about this today at work, waited to get home so I can post my 5 cent, I guess..

    To you Erotica 1, I'm ashamed we're both part of the same species.. Cause if you've had only put half of the effort you've put into showing another human how easily is to break someone's spirit, only half the effort instead into showing him how it can be easy to be good to someone, you would have possibly found a friend for lifetime, and such short lifetime it is.

    To you dear sir that got the opportunity to witness first hand how an aspect of ones life can sometimes become one's personal nightmare in a heartbeat, I'm sorry you didn't have enough wits or any other know-how to see the path that lied ahead of you, and I hope you will not judge the rest of us, having the human behind Erotik 1 'internet game name' treat you the way he did.

    WE ARE NOT ALL LIKE HIM.

    But most of us have felt, and/or endured hard times in our lives, created for us by chance, faith, or bad luck, and most of us try to learn, adapt, deal with the hardships the best way we can.
    I'm sure you're finding having someone close to you helps deal with life so much more. With that in mind, I'm hoping you'll not abandon the reality of 'goodness' instead of 'evilness' in all people, also the very much of fun in Eve-Online against the one that made you sad like this event.
    I'm just a random passenger in this thing we call life, connecting with you, through this media in this place in time, wanting to let you know that we all know why this was both wrong and sad, but also that you're not alone. If you ever need anything I personally can help you with in Eve, please do contact me in game, I would be happy to help.

    o/

    ^^ This guy's post right here.. Thank you sir.

    ReplyDelete
  51. My boy friend who i had dated for 9 years,already living together suddenly woke up and said to me last January that he does not love me anymore,he is not happy with the relationship,he said he does not want us to live a miserable life together,he said to me that he has already rented a new place and wants to move in with a girl he meet at work,i begged and pleaded with him but all my effort fail,i became desperate and searched for solution,that was how i meet the great spell caster winexbackspell@gmail.com he told me all i needed to do,he cast the WIN EX BACK SPELL for me and after 3 days my lover came back to me living the other lady begin for my forgiveness,i was so surprise if such help still exist,i am so happy winning my heart back again.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hmm I haven't listened to it yet, and it does sound like Erotica1 went way too far with it, but

    This guy was a moron to fall for it in the first place. I mean seriously, a stranger comes up to you and says 'Give me your wallet and I'll keep it safe for you' then you give it to him and wonder why you never see your wallet again

    ReplyDelete
  53. God dammit run for for CSM again.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Just a quick response to number 1...

    At what point did he seriously think he was ever going to see those assets again?

    I mean really...

    He was gambling, and couldn't come to terms that he was getting scammed.

    Greed is a deadly sin for a reason.

    ReplyDelete

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