Now that Massively has apologized (warning: Massively comments hilarity in full effect),after getting worked over by Mittens on-air, I believe the unofficial “who can make the least-informed EVE post” competition has come to a close. To all the blogs that participated, thank you for your deeply insightful commentary. Good work was performed, awareness was raised, babies were saved, and most importantly, lulz were had aplenty.
One theme (aside from idiocy) that was displayed was that, to many, the line that can’t be crossed is attacking the person behind the character. That anything you do in-game is fair (so long as it’s within said games rules), but going beyond the game is not. This, of course, is rather tricky.
For instance, if I make a forum post about a pilot, is that going outside the game? What if in that forum post I state when said pilot logs on, when he logs off, and what his in-game activities are? What if I also include that he speaks poor English, but fluent Russian? Is it the pilot who can speak Russian, or the player behind the pilot?
What if I know the pilot can’t log in on a specific day at a specific time for religious reasons, and I use that information to attack his POS at that time? If I infiltrate a Corp using Vent to talk to them, have I taken things too far and too “out of game”?
My point is that very quickly, that hard-and-fast line we drew gets real blurry. As I pointed out before, what if anytime I’m about to die in PvP I state I’m suicidal? God-mode right? If the whole Mittens thing was a forum post instead of during FanFest, does Massively even notice? Would you care to bet that the Goon forums have things much, much worse than what Mittens said? Where is the Massively/EG/White-Knight post on that?
If someone kills themselves IRL because they received an in-game threat (Corp ransom for instance) through in-game mail, was the line crossed?
One other point: Notice it’s only non-EVE players who believe the community has a sociopath/reputation problem? Even better, notice it’s only non-EVE players who believe the community has gotten worse ‘of late’?
Either EVE players are just that awesome at coordinating the same message, or what you see from the outside does not occur inside. Are there bad apples? Of course. I’d love to see a group of 300k+ without some. But take a random 300k sample of LoL players, WoW players, EQ2/Rift players, and SW:TOR players, put them up against 300k EVE players in a new, random real MMO, and guess which group is going to form the best community? Which group is going to offer the most help, organize the most in-game content, and do things other communities try to later emulate?