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...

Friday, March 30, 2012

Comment of the Week: Busy week

There have been 280 comments written on the blog so far this week, by far a record.  Thank you to everyone that's written for your thoughts!  I'm not interested in starting a forum around here, but sometimes it feels like I have one already, heh.  ;-)

I try to read every word of every comment, and I respond to many of them.  Comments are moderated here because I receive enough hits on the blog that I'm a constant target for comment spam.  Other than the spam, I've only not published two comments.  One was a one word comment with no value.  The other was a direct private message to me.  Everything else gets published, even if the comment calls me names or tells me I'm flat out stupid.  ;-)  Some comments get published faster than others, and for that I apologize.  I try to get comments published every couple of hours if I'm awake, and from time to time, I miss valid comments that get flagged by the spam filter and there's a longer delay on those.(1)

Anyway, in a very busy week for comments, I liked this one the best.  In my "Hats" post, I essentially went to bat for Mittens and argued why he shouldn't be removed from CSM7.  This Anonymous comment gave the most succinct reasoning why the commenter felt CCP's actions were correct:
The point is that [Mittens] should not have been discussing RL suicide in game, at all. There was no way for him to know, at the time, if the player in question was or was not actually suicidal. [Mittens] should have reported the player to a CCP GM and discontinued the in game convo. [Mittens] is simply not qualified to make such a judgement call, esp. when drunk.

And, he certainly should not have exacerbated his mistake by encouraging this sort of behavior from other players in a public forum.

Plain and simple, [Mittens] violated the EULA/TOS - twice, if you want to be technical about it (the first time in game, and the second time at the Alliance Panel). He was stupid and he got called on it.

[Mittens] was just lucky that the player in question was *not* suicidal, or he might be under criminal investigation now, for real.

Role-playing is not an excuse. Being drunk out of your skull is not an excuse. CCP was rather lenient; a court of law would have been much less so.

And yeah, I have to admit that's a really good way of putting it, and makes a quite valid counter-argument.  The same commenter, in another comment, made it clear that:
What he did was not only "morally reprehensible" but also illegal in many countries represented in the player base. Using communication technology to harass, offend, bully, gets people jail sentences. A student jailed last week for 2 months for a drunken rant on twitter in the UK for instance.
Yeah, that too.  Thanks for your comments!

(1) I still haven't figured out how the spam filter works, or why it flags the comments that it does.


  1. While I see the point of this argument, I still disagree that what he did would be a criminal act since he didn't give out any real life info or ask for the person to be harassed in real life, only in game. If you take this kind of argument to its logical conclusion, damn near EVERY Eve player would have run afoul of the law by now. If CCP takes this kind of crap too much to heart, the death of New Eden is nigh.

    Oh well, we're all criminals anyhow...everyone who breaths is probably breaking some law, somewhere. If they want you, they'll come and get ya.

    1. I agree, although his comments were both morally repugnant and ill advised, I don't think any laws have been breached.

      I however, wouldn't like to put that to the test in a court of law.

      CCP using it's TOS in a way it isn't meant to be used, terms of service are meant to relate to the service in question acting as a shield to protect a service provider from liability of end user misuse, they can have general clauses, but they are reaching wielding the document as a weapon not a shield.

      However I agree with the general sentiment, Mittens is lucky it could have been a lot worse if he was that drunk he was out of control, a few different words may have put an entirely different inflection on things.

      Ultimately, he's a Lawyer I believe in RL? We can sit here and pass judgement upon him, but he will be much more concerned that he doesn't get disbarred for bringing the profession into disrepute.... That, that would be of much more concern to him personally then being a CSM member, or any of our lowly opinions! :)

    2. I agree with Kunjeh, After every fight in EVE, after every gank, someone rages in local about shooting someone else in the face or some other form a physical violence.

      I find it interesting how a semi-celebrity gets held to a different set of standards than everyone else.

    3. he asked in real life for other real people to harass someone so that person commits suicide in real life. are that enough connections to real life for you? all the other cases of harassment on the internet obviously also dont happen face to face in real life and still its damn wrong to harass someone through whatever means to push him to suicide and thats why people get sentenced for such behaviour. i have to say im not even sure if that has been the end of the story for mittens yet. what he did could very well be considered criminal by icelandic law and we all know that there are a lot of people out there that would love to get the attention of the authorities on this case and see bad consequences happen to him because of this.

      i doubt the authorities would act in this case but im not 100% sure either so we'll have to see if that was all.

      p.s.: yes the end is nigh. 2012 and everything. oh and highsec will be way too save and ccp will ban suicide ganking just because of the name

  2. I think bullying in school and the comments made at fanfest are totally different. In school you are forced to go see your abuser, and you're a child. Meanwhile these are grown ass men (even if one isn't acting like it).

    Also, welcome to the internet. Saying things like "die in a fire" or "kill yourself" doesn't mean you really want someone to kill themselves. Still done in poor taste, but people seriously turned this into a way bigger deal than it is.

    1. I think you've gotten to the core of my thinking Derkata. These guys ARE "grown ass men" and what's to stop any of them from turning off that computer for a while? There is just so much anti"eve is real" from Gevlon and other such bloggers that has caused a more of a ruckus than needed.

  3. If he was encouraging suicide, and it's criminal, then half the online players in the world should be prosecuted for death threats. It's a silly argument. Also, goons receive a lot of this. People who say they'll kill themselves if they don't get back scammed isk, or if they are getting ganked, or whatever. It's very hard to take these kinds of statements serious after you've seen some of them.

    Not really defending what Mittens did, I still think it was clearly wrong, but saying it is "morally reprehensible" and illegal is so far out there I just can't take it serious.

  4. On the spamfilter:
    It probably just checks if the captcha is filled in correctly. And regular people do make mistakes in those too?
    Check: this one I'll try and get right...

  5. According to this logic gathering IRL to plan corporate heist ingame should be a crime, no? I struggle to understand why writing letters ingame to people is baaad, but ganking them in the same game is OK.

    And no, threats to commit suicide do not change the equation, not unless you are prepared to see pretend suicide CTAs becoming a preferred warfare method.

  6. Jester, While i don;t always agree with you, the fact you post the good with the bad is better than most of the EVE stuff out there. keep up the good work!

  7. This reminds me of a scene from Star Wars, " Apology accepted Captain [Mittani] * choked by Vader-CCP". But seriously its like that person next to you texting while on the highway and swerving into your lane. The goon argument of nobody got hurt is a complete denial or any RL consequences their actions might lead to. While Mittens was apologetic and we commend him for that Pandora's box has been opened and hopefully it does not damage the game in general. It takes a lot of people to build something good but only 1 person to bring it all down.

  8. Uh, the only problem with that argument is that *it wasn't Mittens* who got the eve mail. It was another director in Goons, you can see the report of it on Kugu here: http://www.kugutsumen.com/showthread.php?11617-Goonswarm-Shrugged-The-Gallente-Ice-Interdiction&p=322286&viewfull=1#post322286

    In fact, the goon in question said he reported the dude to CCP at the time.

  9. An XBox Live crackdown would probably imprison most of the 18-35 demographic.

  10. I don't know if you'll take this as a compliment but you remind me of NPR, if they get something wrong (Not saying you did) or just get better information, they revise their statements and happily thank people. You sir, are the epitome of what a blogger should be be! Keep on truckin' Jester!

  11. Please explain to me CCP's duty of care (or lack thereof) by allowing this content to be shown in the first place?

    1. You mean their inability to prevent someone from popping their mouth off in an unscripted Q/A session? Nice job dumbass.

    2. CCP made a bad call in assuming that all of the people whom they selected for the Alliance Panel could be trusted to act in a mature and responsible fashion, with minimal supervision - ie. as adults.

      This trust was clearly misplaced and subsequently abused in this particular case, and, as a result, you can expect that such leniency - particularly with regards to alcohol consumption and panel content - will no longer be allowed at future events.

      Another "change" for which we can all thank The Mittani....

  12. Still waiting for the moment where it's unveiled that this was a Troll all along and Mittens makes the game completely better for everyone in it.

    I have a feeling it'll be coming up soon. hah.

  13. It seems a bit silly where I'm sitting that there's all this outcry over Mittens giving this guy's character name out and asking people to harass him ingame - which is very bad, don't get me wrong - but none whatsoever over the original hisec ganking and scamming that lead to the mail being sent in the first place. That may not have been Mittens acting against the guy directly but the Goons who did it certainly had his blessing. Why is the act of harassment (yeah, it wasn't targeted against this guy specifically but I bet he felt harassed) getting a pass compared to a (joking) call for further harassment?

  14. Well Mittens...how do you feel now? After all your espionage you got your di#k pulled. How does it feel not to be in control anymore? You just been Punked. Byaatch.

  15. well, to weigh in a bit. British law is not something we should be aspiring to. They lack free speech. That is bad. Being a dick online should not be grounds for jail time. Trod on one man's freedom, and every man is injured.

    On the other hand, compelling someone to commit suicide is also a terrible thing. But I would tell you, flat out, that online harassment alone is not going to cause someone to commit suicide unless they are seriously mentally unstable. Online harassment can combine with other forms of harassment, but even then, I'd say online harassment is a flat out lesser problem then the other times of harassment any person is getting.

  16. I have been reading up on this controversy lately. I think what need to be taken into account is that there weren't just drunken remarks. They were pre-meditated, and is an indisputable fact.

    Let's not forget that the person in question has a history of being manupulative. I believe he was once a lawyer? that alone pretty much makes him the scum of the earth.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.