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.
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Monday, March 12, 2012

Quote of the Week: One change

I'm going to cheat a little bit and go with something that's actually eight days old for the QOTW, mostly because it's instructive when it comes to communication techniques.  Over the last week and change, a number of pod-casts have conducted debates between the various CSM7 candidates.  And if you still haven't decided on your CSM vote, lots of these have been extremely instructive, notably the ones held by the Lost in EVE pod-cast.  I'll have links to the various debates I've listened to at the end of this blog post.

Still, from an e-drama perspective, there's only been two candidates that have said in public that they're not only running for the CSM, they're running for the chair: The Mittani and Riverini.  So, when Lost in EVE had Riverini on one of their debates, I urged them on Twitter to see if they could get Mittens to participate in the same debate, mostly because I like the LiE debate format the best.  No dice there, but either the guys at EVE Radio saw my tweet or they had the same idea themselves, and they managed to book Mittens and Riverini into the same slot.

Needless to say, there was certainly no lack of fireworks!  The best single moment of the debate was Riverini's.  When asked what one thing in EVE he would change if he could, his response was rather hysterical:
I would change the CSM chairman!
Hee!  Were this a real-life political run for office, that's the sort of sound-bite that would have been on all the news networks for the next few days.  And to his credit, Riverini turned from that jab to a more serious response to the question.  So well done to Riverini there.  That said, there's no question who "won" the debate: Mittens pretty much steam-rolled the EN24 editor.  Although much like a typical EVE sov fight, the debate wasn't won by the victor so much as lost by the loser.

It's worth noting, though, that EVE Radio's moderation of the debate was extremely poor, particularly by the excellent standards set by the pod-casts this year.  Part of this was lack of structure.  Mittens opened the debate by asking if he could ask Riverini a direct question.  This is a no-no in formal debates for a variety of reasons, notably the ability for debate participants to set up gotcha moments.  The EVE Radio DJs (note that I don't call them debate moderators, because they weren't) allowed it.  Mittens stated that the primary task of the CSM is to "persuade and communicate", then called out one of Riverini's most controversial positions and asked him to "persuade" Mittens that the position was tenable.

It was a classic example of just why you don't allow this sort of direct questioning in formal debates.  Riverini couldn't persuade Mittens that the sky is blue, so framing the question this way was ridiculous.  But the question also exposed Riverini's biggest weakness right out of the gate, the fact that he gets emotionally involved in what he's speaking about and that when he does, his accent becomes much more pronounced.  This turned several sections of the debates into opportunities for the EVE Radio DJs to make subtle (or not so subtle) fun of Riverini's accent or regional expressions, a bit of cliche American ugliness that made the debate rather painful to listen to at times.

The weaknesses of the EVE Radio DJs didn't stop there.  At many points, Mittens took advantage of their inexperience with any sort of debate format.  For instance, the bulk of the debate centered on questions asked in various public forums.  The EVE Radio DJs would then ask these questions.  Mittens constantly, constantly asked Riverini to respond first, which of course not only gave Mittens extra time to think about his own responses but also pretty much always gave him the last word on any given topic.  Hell, The Mittani asked Riverini to respond first to the question "What do you feel is the role of the CSM Chair?"  Yes!  Needless to say, that's not how debates are supposed to work.

Mittens had no lack of time to think.  Even those two or three times Riverini asked him an unexpected question, he'd use a few moments of silence to encourage Riverini to start following up on the question or the topic.  This Riverini would invariably do, giving Mittens more time to formulate his responses.

So, yeah.  The overall impression was that of an amateur taking on a professional boxer, while the referee sat in one corner smoking cigars, drinking beer, and throwing the occasional banana peel at the feet of the fighter he didn't like.  The full debate is worth your time only if you're a big fan of e-drama.

Overall, I'm most impressed with the Lost in EVE debates.  All four of them are worth your time and are much more structured, well-run, and (thank Heaven) shorter.  Voices in the Void has also done a good job with the debates they've held.

My thanks to the pod-casters (yes, even EVE Radio) for all the hard work they did on the CSM debates this year!  Your work is very much appreciated!


  1. If anything I feel this "debate" shows Rivirini's  unsuitability for even being on the CSM, much less being the chairman, by highlighting his lacking grasp of debate and politics.

  2. ...because the qualities that would earn your election to the CSM are the qualities that will supposedly cause CCP improve the game?

  3. Replies
    1. Replies like that are exactly why Democracy fails at times to get the best possible person at getting stuff done elected to a position.

    2. Electing someone as a community rep. is a lot different than electing the leader of a country you dolt. Showmanship and communication skills directly translate into someone who can convince CCP they're retarded half the time.

    3. Not sure who brought up anything about leading a country. Nice troll though.

    4. The first half may have been out of the blue, but the second? I'd be willing to agree that showmanship and communication skills do in fact directly translate into being able to convince CCP that they're retarded.

      Nice attempt to dismiss a good point by ignoring it and focusing on a bad one though.

  4. No quality matters if one is unable to effectively communicate them. Building a better working relationship between CCP and the CSM is not something Riverini has demonstrated in this debate to be capable of doing.

  5. Oh come on, his accent was the funniest thing in the debate. But don't worry he will get voice lessons for next year and do better. OR maybe you should offer him voice lessons, since he syndicates your work.

  6. 30 minutes of life, vs juicy EVE-drama.

    It's a tough one, but I'll probably pass.

  7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4ZoJKF_VuA&feature=relmfu Around 15:15 there is a very good explanation of how our CSM candidates should build their campaign. :)

  8. No, unless you agree that democracy worked well when it gave us George W. Bush for four years.

    1. As has been stated above, electing someone as a community rep to serve on a panel of community reps is a lot different than electing the head of the executive branch of a country. You dolt.

    2. As has been stated above, you are making a category error. You are assuming that people who can get elected to the CSM are the same people who can best nudge the game in a positive direction. You twat.

    3. Except I'm not making a category error. But hey, stick your fingers in your ears and anonymously tell me I'm wrong some more please.

    4. Footraces select for the fastest runner, weight lifting selects for who can lift the most weight and elections select for those who can win elections. If a winning candidate is good at other things that is a happy coincidence, not a necessary condition of having won. The idea that Riverini's lack of political acumen is ipso facto proof that he would be a poor CSM is simply a fallacy.

      If you need a further example, Jester has referenced a past CSM who made a video of herself deepthroating a banana. Needless to say, she sailed to victory upon a wave of testosterone and frustrated sexual desires.

  9. Well...CSM will change nothing. Starting with Mittens,a pompatic bafoon and all around self centered pos. trying to squeez more from null sec than allready have, moving from virtual reality to real life politics...to all others that even sit at the same table with him. What is wrong with all of you voting for him, a guy who wants to make a MMO a single player game "all about mittens".
    Thousands of players that quit should get the credit for changing anything...all the corpmates and long time friends that left...I will drink to that.


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