#EVE #Cyber bullying #Cry for help #The Mittani #kool-aid

So this is what happens when you mix one ‘trendy’ topic (bullying) with another hot-button issue (EVE) huh? Hilarity ensues and the Internet lawyers and psychologist come out of the woodworks. Moar tears cannot even begin to describe what I’m feeling right now. I don’t think I’ve been this blog-entertained since the EG Darkfall review. And the goons have it right, carebear tears seriously are delicious, and so addictive.

But let’s play a little game shall we? Let’s pretend that everyone should be a hyper-sensitive internet white knight that is ‘raising awareness’ for some cause they don’t really understand or actually care about, and lets ‘solve’ cyber bullying (am I trending yet?) in EVE.

First the bounty system must be removed. For those not aware, the bounty system lets you put ISK on someone’s head, which encourages everyone else playing to stalk them down and kill them. The more ISK you have, the more cyber bullying you can encourage. And sure, maybe the person you bounty is not about to go play in traffic, but why risk it right? Also ban anyone who has ever placed a bounty, and send the local police to investigate anyone who has ever had a bounty placed on them to check for plastic bags and duct tape.

Next war-decs have to go. Imagine I’m the CEO of “Wrists to Razors Inc”, and some griefer Corp war-decs us, blows up our mining ships, and causes my entire corp to drink spiced kool-aid. Is this the kind of thing CCP wants to encourage? And again, the odds of an entire corp taking a group trip off a cliff is probably low, but why risk it right? Also ban any corp that has ever war-dec’ed someone.

Do I even need to mention ‘suicide ganking’? First the name is highly insulting and makes light of an extremely serious issue. Second what if your gank causes some poor ‘victim’ to test gravity from the 12th floor? Is the ISK really that important? Think before you shoot, that might be someone’s son or daughter on the other end, with one hand on the keyboard and the other on the trigger.

Killboards might be the worst of the worst. It’s bad enough that CCP encourages suicides with the bounty system, war-decs, and ganks, but now psychopaths have created entire websites that do nothing but highlight the agony of others, glamorize it with ‘points’, and display it for the whole world to see. What if I’m one step away from playing tonsil hockey with a 12 gauge, and the trigger event is seeing my 23b Kestrel loss in Jita posted, against my will, on EVE-kill? And then I have to read all those horrible comments by others calling me a retard, a waste of life, and telling me to go kill myself? Maybe they start stalking me in-game to try and get my next 23b Kestrel? The back of my skull will be all over a wall so fast it will make your head spin. Abolish kill boards, and arrest whoever created them. Also have the police follow up on anyone who ever had a kill posted on one to check for toasters near bathtubs. Sure, most people just kept playing, but why risk it right?

Finally anytime anyone ever types “if you don’t let me do X, I’m going to kill myself” anywhere, immediately let them have or do what they want. If you don’t you are basically handing a poor ‘victim’ a “Suicide for dummies” book and telling them to give it a read. Sure, most of the time it’s just someone typing to get what they want on the internet, but why risk it right?

Oh, and be sure to do your part; raise awareness by posting a blog about the dangers of cyber bullying, and let’s make sure we close every avenue that might lead to even one ‘victim’ hanging out in a closet. We are all in this together people!

(Perhaps the most comical part of this entire thing is that the person who got trolled the hardest here is Mittens. His ‘victim’ is completely fine (shocker), and used the “I’m going to kill myself” excuse to try to get some pixels back. Which of course Mittens ignored, and correctly so, at least until the white knights rallied and applied some pressure. I’m actually somewhat embarrassed that the man who speaks for all EVE players fell for such a simple scam. EVE players should be better than that Mittens.)

Note: If anyone posts a negative comment to my post, I’m going to kill myself. Also if you have ever posted something negative here, and I do kill myself, know that you are partially to blame.

Second-note: Best use of the “Perma-death” tag ever? I think so.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in EVE Online, Mass Media, Perma-death, PvP, Rant. Bookmark the permalink.

67 Responses to #EVE #Cyber bullying #Cry for help #The Mittani #kool-aid

  1. thade says:


    Calling it now. You’ll still be here QQing after today. <3

    As I understand it, the bounty system in EVE is pretty deficient; the cost-to-benefit ration of actually hunting somebody down (via agents and asking necessarily untrustworthy players) is massively skewed in the direction of cost. Removing it altogether wouldn't really change the game one bit.

    I think they can leave war-decs but make dec-shields more accessible; say instead of having to have a dozen dummy corporations with massive money flow, instead have a field in the corp settings where you can just input how much ISK it costs per day to maintain a war dec.

    You are ever a glutton for hyperbole, man. May you never experience a real life tragedy where you can't come up with an indifferent, dark comedy-style quip to simply brush it aside. That is my sincere wish for you.

    • Wloire says:

      You imply that everyone will react the same to a similar event. I have had a cousin who I was close with commit suicide. Not only am I still of the same general leanings as Syncaine but I think less of that cousin now for what they did.

      Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.

      • That our reactions are framed by our experience seems to be lost on some people. I got several “you’re a horrible person” responses in the previous thread.

        To me, somebody bringing up suicide in reaction to events in a game is more egregious than anything Mittens did. But in my own experience, the few people I have known in my life who have committed suicide did not use their emotional state to get their way in trivial matters. The real issues in their lives far overshadowed things like that.

        The people who have, in my life, threatened suicide over things on that level have been manipulative personalities who felt emotional blackmail was just a way to get what they wanted. They were the type of people who would take the reaction, “Okay, do it, kill yourself” and turn it into a, “See, you don’t really care about me” continuation of the guilt trip.

        So it is very difficult for me to take somebody’s threat of suicide over something so trivial as credible in any way. And people who automatically see this guy as credible seem hopelessly naive.

        But they haven’t been through what I have, nor have I experienced what they have. So what do you do?

    • Xyloxan says:

      “May you never experience a real life tragedy where you can’t come up with an indifferent, dark comedy-style quip to simply brush it aside. That is my sincere wish for you.”

      That’s nice of you but, the point is that RL tragedies happen to all of us and nobody is immuned. What differentiates us is how we deal with them. Quite likely you react differently to them than SynCaine. And that’s perfectly fine. Seems to me that SynCaine can come up with dark comedy-style quips in situations where you cannot. Again, nothing wrong with being different.

  2. Dril says:

    Okay, I still don’t really understand this issue after trawling through all the stuff about it (I was in the middle of a farm with no civilised connectivity whatsoever for a few days) and all I can really think of is three things:

    a) If you’re actually suicidal, perhaps you shouldn’t play a game where you know people will grief you and be dicks about it?
    b) If you’re not suicidal and you just had a “I’m emotional and you should know that even though you’ve never met me”, then it’s entirely irrelevant and Mittens might as well make fun of him.
    c) The staggering ignorance of Massively’s commentators makes me feel far more anxious about humanity rather than Mittens’ comment.

  3. hevy says:

    /signed with all my heart.

    White knights ftl. I haven’t laughed so hard at the amount of internet psychologists and lawyers in all my life.

    And what about this guy? He’s fine right? Well wtf! HOW COULD HE DARE LIE ABOUT SUICIDE FOR PIXELS?!?! Ban him.

    Seriously, anyone who posted ANYTHING about being ‘outraged’ or how Mittens is ‘deplorable’ for this (he’s deplorable for many other reasons, this not among them) or about how they have knowledge about the law or psychology without taking a photo of their office with their earned degree in said field should be ashamed of THEMSELVES.

  4. People need to learn to control their emotions and quit being babies about everything!

  5. kazamx says:

    Just to be clear. You believe that there isnt a line when it comes to this sort of thing?

    If you do think there is a line then where is it?

    Is it ok for me to post pictures of your kids along with your address, there school and there route home?

    • hevy says:

      I might have to bust out my trusty interwebs law degree and say there might be something criminal there….but again, my interwebs U education is very limited.

    • SynCaine says:

      I don’t want to derail things, but basically anything in-game or involving in-game characters is fine. If your virtual persona can’t take the heat, don’t sign up. Also anything written on the internet is a lie until proven otherwise.

      When you start talking RL names/addresses and all that, it gets shady. Did you hack the person to get their RL name, or did they offer it up? Did you hack pictures, or did someone leave a webcam on? What was actually done with that name/photo?

      • Wloire says:

        We’re talking about mittens here, who gave away an in-game name. Why are we suddenly discussing out of game information as extreme as “pictures of your children”?

        • Kazamx says:

          It was more about where we draw the line.

          I used a very extreme case and Syn explained where he draws his line. Anything goes in game. Once it starts hitting real life its gone too far.

          So if mittens had given out this guys real name then Syn would believe he had gone too far (I think)

        • Sand says:

          yeah, giving out the dude’s real name would have been going too far.

      • Kazamx says:

        Seems a fair position. I can’t say I fully agree with your stance, but I see where you are coming from.

  6. Mike says:

    We all know 99.99999% of threats are complete BS, so respond how you will.

    Had he kept it anonymous, it would be different question. The guy gave out his username, humiliated him in-front of tens of thousands of viewers, then asked them all the harass the victim in-game. (victim in terms of being scammer)

    That’s not right ever.

    • saucelah says:

      Yep, as I said elsewhere, I would have done the same as Mittens and held fast to the shiny, but I would probably have been polite about my refusal. And I never would have mocked him in public.

  7. Aufero says:

    As usual, I lost interest about half an hour into this mess. Internet drama? No, thanks.

  8. Wloire says:

    The most glaringly obvious question following this post: How many more euphemisms for suicide can Syncaine come up with?

    • SynCaine says:

      It’s impressive right?

      Like sure, I could have just gone with plain old ‘suicide’ every time, but did I? Nope, next-level blogging right here; just going above and beyond the call to offer up gem after gem.

    • Shadow says:

      He left off “pain the ceiling red”. Not many more I can quickly think of though.

  9. T'ango says:

    Syn – I liked the Reductio ad absurdum btw.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_absurdum for those non-worldly people out there.

  10. Sullas says:

    To continue the little game: let’s assume that everything you wrote is genuine and not just making light of suicide and doubling down on a remarkably stupid dog-eat-dog worldview. You’ll off yourself if we keep bashing Mittens.

    The proper analogy would involve Tobold writing a bloodthirsty post on his blog encouraging us to do so, in hope of finally doing away with your snide sandbox-loving ass. It’s the expressed aim of driving the fellow to kill himself (“Incidentally if you want to make the guy kill himself…”) that is the problem.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think one has to be a bear to find the whole thing malodorous. Good PvP, irl and in-game, isn’t Pv(some wretched weak bastard, trivial to defeat, proving nothing).

    • SynCaine says:

      Wait wait, are you possibly suggesting that I would be negatively affected to the point of actually killing myself IRL if someone wrote a negative blog about me? Let me guess, they would even post such a demonic piece on a Friday?

      Dear god I can’t even imagine such a scenario, or begin to tell you how quickly I’d start cutting myself…

      Go die in a fire Sullas, that went too far!

    • Rammstein says:

      “Good PvP, irl and in-game, isn’t Pv(some wretched weak bastard, trivial to defeat, proving nothing)”

      So…now that it turns out the guy is fine, you’re ok with me trying to kill him, just walk right up to him and punch him to death? Now that’s he’s not so wretched and weak? Not that I think you mean that, but applying your comments perfectly literally does lead to that amusing inference.

      Reading your post charitably, you’re still basically defining good pvp as the exact opposite of Sun Tzu’s definition, which should give you food for thought.

      competitive sport is rife with examples where players spur each other to greater heights. Some players, on the other hand, tend to intimidate their opponents into performing less than their best. Which is more warlike? Which is more ‘versus’. While the former case is more artistic, and better for a viewer; it is also more cooperative and less pure as a conflict.

      You seem to be defining “good pvp” as fitting the first type. Good as in enjoyable, artistic, but not good as in the purest example of its type. Eve has traditionally been more focused on the second definition.

      This is not intended as an invitation to debate semantics, but as an attempt to prevent semantical debate by laying the situation out clearly.

  11. Doone says:

    Something about your complete reversal in response to Mittani is disingenuous.

    Before his apology, you were raving about cyber-bullying. After his apology you’ve come to attack not only potential victims but those who would defend, and have somehow managed to put Mittani on a pedestal. Where do you stand on this? Is this just a sensationalist article with no real standing? Your stance on this is vague at best and it’d be nice to know what it is.

    As to white knights …why are they any more horrible or more dramatic than someone announcing at a PUBLIC TELEVISED INT’L CONFERENCE to bully someone? None of your rhetoric on this is sensible and in some instances you’re going in both directions.

    In all cases, there’s such a thing as culture and social systems. If all of you know what it means when someone says “socially acceptable” then you understand how the quality of that culture will emerge. None of it is a small deal: if you like having nice games where you’re allowed to act out fantasies you actually have a stake in defending against bullies, even (and especially) those you feel are “benign”. Your angst at people who REJECT this kind of behavior is more troubling than the behavior itself, since it implies you’ve bought into something and don’t know the price you’re paying for it.

    It’s ok to call people out on something they’ve done wrong. The response after they admit to it and apologize doesn’t warrant a defense from supporters. This is especially so since a public self-condemnation runs counter to the opinions of those trying to give the offender a pass. If he hasn’t given himself a pass, why do you give it to him?

  12. Shadow says:

    “The back of my skull will be all over a wall so fast it will make your head spin…”

    Now, I think it made YOUR head spin.


  13. cyndre says:

    You won the internets.

  14. s7 says:

    It just occured to me that your blog is really a persistent troll attempt.

  15. Kobeathris says:

    WTB Different topic… someone think of the horses!

    • thade says:

      So. Video games. :)

      • SynCaine says:

        Relax, tomorrow will be about spaceships baring anyone posting something even more hilarious than what has already been written.

        Although it will be about bullying with spaceships. No suicide though, that I’m aware of anyway…

  16. thade says:

    Wall of text incoming.

    Actually, cutting and suicidal risk are not correlated. Cutters are doing it to feel alive; the pressures that actually cause a person to destroy themselves are a whole other matter entirely: they don’t want to feel alive any longer.

    I am not nor have I ever implied that everybody’s reaction to a given trauma will be the same; that’s a gross misinterpretation of my remarks. The range of human response is pretty huge.

    Sure, some people use the “I’m gonna kill myself if you won’t date me or whatever” tripe in order to get attention or attempt to sway events they feel are outside of their control; I’m not disputing that this is foolish and selfish. There are also people who actually need help or they will legitimately destroy themselves. When you don’t take the situation seriously and the result is they’re gone, that’s awful because no amount of blaming them for their weakness is ever going to really give you resolution. Telling the difference is often methodical (do they have a plan? do they have a timeline?) and, tragically, when they’re really serious about it they often don’t tell anybody (lest their plan be stopped). Either way it’s not a game that I’d ever feel comfortable riding on statistics; when someone’s life is at stake I think it’s best to take it seriously until you can prove it is otherwise.

    A lot of the counter-argument to me is really unfounded: I’ve seen nothing anywhere to suggest that the player in question tried to leverage the “I will kill myself” in an attempt to gain an edge. What I’ve seen is that he admitted he was considering killing himself over a serious real-life event. Then Mittens the EVE Posterboy goes on stage at a CCP sanctioned event and tells the audience to harass him over it.

    CCP is taking it seriously and, hell, even Mittens stepped up and apologized…meaning, even if he’s not taking it seriously, he understands that others will and that his position and image are in jeopardy.

    • SynCaine says:

      The guy in question did not even remember the event. Don’t you think, if he was not just saying “I’ll kill myself” to get his pixels back, he would remember the event that ‘almost’ drove him over the edge? Seems kinda strange to not even remember something seemingly so important and dramatic?

      As for why Mittens wrote the apology, only he really knows. Maybe CCP asked him to, maybe it was a knee-jerk reaction, or maybe he actually does feel its warranted.

      • thade says:

        Honestly, the particulars about that case weren’t as important to me as the general “This is kind of serious, guys” message I failed to deliver here. Not the forum for it…but after a previous career in human services I couldn’t just let it slide either. Possibly the guy was full of bullshit and a poor example; at least he’ll survive then. Silver lining. ;)

        I’ve seen photos of Mittens being all chummy with CCP staff members, so I have little doubt that CCP put some pressure on him. As to his own motivations, I’m no more certain than you, man. The guy’s kind of a curiosity to me, all told.

      • Kobeathris says:

        I think he wrote his apology because he realized what he did was bad for Eve. I mean, disregard all the nonsense posting about this for a minute, do you think this whole fiasco has been a net positive for Eve (or PvP gaming in general)? Look at your blog, look at the threadnaut on massively (or don’t, may cause suicide). Mittens basically handed everyone who hates Eve and impact PvP a bunch of free ammunition to fire off against both. Eve has an edge to it that most games don’t, but it isn’t actually populated by a bunch of bloodthirsty maniacs (IRL, in game, sure).

        • SynCaine says:

          Eh, maybe. The idiots too thick to ‘get’ EVE are having fun rolling faces across keyboards posting away. But they were never going to become subscribers, so at the end of the day, they don’t count now just like they did not count yesterday.

          I doubt anyone who was going to try EVE, and is the type to actually get it, is going to look at any of this and walk away.

          On the other hand, I’m sure a bunch of people who never heard of EVE before know about it now, and even if only a few get interested enough to try it, EVE wins.

        • Kobeathris says:

          This is from the GW2 Reddit thing from a month ago:

          “Not showing enemy names in WvW also helps players that are less pvp-oriented feel less threatened about venturing into the battle because seeing enemies as anonymous ‘invaders’ creates a sense that opponents won’t be able to recognize them and pick on them because of their lack of skill in a fight, so they in turn feel more embolded to go out and fight in the first place. Not showing names also makes it so people can feel as if they can ‘hide’ in a fight if need be, but still be around to help out. That’s a pretty critical part of making WvW feel more inviting for people that would normally never think about playing PvP in any other game.”

          Now, clearly, GW2 != Eve, but the sentiment I get from that is that there are a lot of people out there who can be drawn into the hobby, and who will really enjoy it, if you can get them past certain barriers. I think that is just as true for Eve as it is for any other game, even if the numbers are smaller then they would be for something more main stream. Now, I wouldn’t want to see Eve compromise on gameplay elements in order to draw more people in, but I don’t believe reveling in dickishness is a core gameplay element, it’s ugly, and it’s offputting, and the funny thing is, it’s not even a real reflection of the Eve community, at least so far as I have experienced it, but it sure looks that way from the outside.

  17. Hong WeiLoh says:

    Hey you forgot we have to remove all rape references too, “facerape”, “rapecage”, etc, you insensitive asshat. And Corelin just wrote about that a couple weeks ago, too! You monster.

    PS–read in the same light as if you were a modern Swift, Twain, or Mencken (probably more Mencken, he was a funny but mean-spirited cynical old bastard lol) … very well-played. :-)

    PPS–I guess I should have mentioned to “qualify” my remarks in the other thread (and give out valuable personal information ohnoez) — my Associates was in Criminology, which, “done right” is a combination of psychology and sociology as applied to criminal/outside of societal norms behaviors. So, while it may not be MUCH formal education, it’s still SOME, took place in RL, and amounts to a hair more than most of those who went to “wikipedia U”. ;-)
    My interest in narcissism is personal — had a number of them in my life growing up, so have plenty of first-hand experiences to apply all the “edumacation-lurning” to, and it’s becoming more of a psychological factor in the commission of crime.
    Surprisingly, narcissistic people (NOT just those who would meet the diagnostic standards of the DSM for NPD) are more inclined to commit crimes, both mundane (speeding, 5 finger discounts) and serious (rape, murder, etc), because they feel they’re “special” and “rules don’t apply” to them. *gasp* Shocking…isn’t it? lol

    Another shocker for you about who scores high in narcissism: cops, and even more–non-law enforcement “white knight” types.


    ^^ if anyone wants to give it a shot. ;-)

  18. bhagpuss says:

    For what it’s worth, in the jurisdiction where I live courts are already taking stuff not dissimilar to this pretty seriously.


    So far the focus has been on making examples of people mouthing off on Social Networking sites but I wouldn’t count on gaming chat channels staying under the radar indefinitely.

    • SynCaine says:

      The key difference being facebook is YOU, while ‘internet spaceship pilot’ is not a real person.

      • Azuriel says:

        Are people their Twitter handles?

        If you read the article, people were jailed/fined even when there was no person on the receiving end of the “menacing.” About the only real defense in-game chat has is its impermanence, whereas Twitter posts can stay in the limelight. Of course, there is forums and Youtube…

  19. kalex716 says:

    I’m not embarrassed to be an EVE player because of the “suicide” and “cyber bullying” questions that are being raised…

    I’m embarrassed because this guy was given a chance to give a speech at a convention for a hobby we all love and he thought it would be great to give his “cool troll story bro” to an audience of thousands of viewers. It was just poor taste, and not classy at all IMO, and a waste of a great opportunity.

    • SynCaine says:

      The entire point of the alliance panel is to tell “cool troll story bro” stories. And this was not the first alliance panel at fanfest. Nor was Mittens the only person to call out the name of some internet spaceship pilot for the ‘world’ to laugh at or possible troll after.

      The only difference was that Mittens continued the ‘suicide’ joke the original miner started.

  20. lordboink says:

    If you decide to kill yourself, make sure you have Aria come into vent and tell us you gave up first blood again.

  21. Morg says:

    But really this entire thing has taken up to much time…
    I don’t care, other than the call to further harass.

    If this is what people want to whiteknoght for and expend there energy on…fine.
    But spending it on just about anything else would be better.

  22. Sand says:

    Syn, i just wanted to let you know that this is my favorite post. ever. i don’t think i could ever have upstaged the internet psychologists and white knights so adroitly. well done and keep firing till the barrel glows. o7

  23. Matt says:

    Agreed about white knights, but this mittens fellow is a moron who had it coming. Whatever your importance in the world of EVE, CCP is a company with liabilities that isn’t going to let you say whatever you want.

  24. FluffyHyena says:

    Thanks to Alex G., loads of bloggers have been able to prove how hardcore or mature or articulate or [add in your favourite trait] they are. I hope they sent Alex a thank you note. Because I’m quite sure CCP didn’t.

  25. Morg says:

    Mittens steped down as CSM chair…
    This entire things is silly.

  26. Professer says:


  27. Gesh says:

    Nice post. Also your analysis of the post-step-down-situation are my thoughts exactly. Anyway, I really think that most (see – most, not everybody) of the white knights are chair-warriors, who have nothing better to do, besides – let’s be honest – it’s always funny when you see someone to fall from the same height as mittens.

  28. Pingback: The Gray Moral Morass « In An Age

  29. MrLoki says:

    Sorry Guys but I don’t agree. Bullying is and will always be a fact of life.

    The one and most important thing being bullied taught me is to be careful of certain people and places.

    For most of us the exact details are blurred beyond recall. Perhaps purged; so our bodies can self-heal. Typically a process that takes place without our being at all aware of the process. All I have left is an image of me in school that was sometimes fearful. What came before and what came after is hazy. All I know is that I’m 100% better of having gone thru the experience.

    Why is it we never heard much about it till recent years? Past decades “bullying” wasn’t newsworthy in those days, but it was very much a fact of life just the same.

    Parents be careful when you intercede for your children. Most of the time you are just going to make things worse. When as parents did we all the sudden feel the need to celebrate mediocrity? If anything I feel the need to protect my children from the modern day Soccer Mom or Baseball Little League parent.

    There is no blueprint for dealing with bullies. There is no simple, universal solution. Fighting back can be as dangerous as running away.

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