Thursday, March 27, 2014

The incident in a certain room

One of the things I like about Eve is that it is a game of consequences.

There are white knights.  There are black knights.  If I want a game with consequences, I need black knights; players who are prepared to catch the unwary.

There are scams, where players are encouraged to hand over everything in exchange for rewards.  Some of these offer double (or more) back.  Some offer ideal PVE areas where ISK rains from the heavens (or belts).

To those that succeed in successfully scamming, congratulations.  I don't want you in my corporation, but I can appreciate that a successful scam is a form of winning. 

I don't want to be scammed, but I also want avoiding scams to mean something.  We have received awox attempts, and at another time received an eviction attempt (close for the attackers, but no cigars).  To me, our successful defences are all the more precious because we could have failed.

I appreciate success, both in game and outside of the game.  There are players who want a buff to their play-style by nerfing certain modules.  I like those very same modules, as I see them encouraging more than cookie cutter fits.  I personally benefit from overuse of WCS, but that is a side issue.  Sometimes we will disagree in game, other times we will continue our discussions out of game.

I accept and encourage that some times we get changes by in game actions, and sometimes by being forum or blog warriors.  I support that those wanting certain behaviours to try to achieve them both in game and out of game, even when I disagree with the specific goals.


There has been a bit of buzz recently on the forums, on reddit and the blogosphere about a certain eve bonus room scam.  Jester has encouraged us to listen to it.  I am not willing to endure it. What I have read on the commentary (both for and against) satisfies me that I am as informed as I want it to be.  I don't watch situational comedies, I don't want to listen to a first life family in distress.

An extract from the Eve TOS.
  1. You may not abuse, harass or threaten another player ...
     
  2. You may not use any abusive,  ... harassing, harmful, hateful, offensive, threatening or vulgar language.
The wikipedia page on bullying contains : Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively impose domination over others.

There are those that wish a scamming lifestyle.  Eve advertises itself as a place where players get to be bad.  Eve needs bad players (both in skill set and in ethics).

The scam victim lost all his in game assets.  Congratulations to the scammer. 

However, they crossed a line, with their actions harming someone not even playing Eve (the wife).  At some stage, any reasonable person would call this harassment and bullying.  Yes, holding someone's virtual assets hostage and using that to coerce them into humiliating acts and dominate them is bullying, even if you never intend to return those virtual assets.  Using teamspeak to claim you are out of game is sophistry.


My opinion is that, in Eve, scamming should remain a profession.  While the consequences for the victim (if any) remain in game, then so should the consequences for the perpetrator (if any) remain in game.

When the consequences spill outside the game, adversely affecting players outside of Eve (as alleged in this instance), then I support the Eve TOS being applied. I have read that the victim did threaten the scammer.  An Eve holiday should be in order, for both perpetrator and victim.

31 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. From what I read, those threats were uttered in response to E1's button pushing. Are we now blaming OOG victims for even trying to fight back?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And since I wrote in a hurry, I better clarify.

      I am talking about using threats as an attempt to stop an ongoing situation of RL harassment - in my mind it is a case of verbal self defense; ill advised, but justifiable in that particular situation. I do not condone going through with such threats, as at that point the immediate situation would be long over, and the act would be simply revenge - something society with good reason takes a dim view on.

      And I'll re-emphasize that I'm talking OOG here. Threats uttered in game because of legitimate game play are not excusable.

      Delete
  3. ~I deleted my above post to edit for clarity~

    I've said most of what I think about this situation in other places, and in particular that reddit thread and FunkyBacon's blog.

    I think that most players who've listened to the recording would think that at some point it crossed from continuing a scam out into the meta-game, and crossed into some form of harassment or something stronger.

    It also appears that the the scammers involved revel in the concept of the bonus room. They also may well think they're done nothing wrong and that CCP won't or can't do anything about it.

    While I feel that Jester's crusade has probably sensationalised the issue, it is something that CCP really should address, and almost certainly will be forced to address.

    The TOS should really be clarified as it is inconsistent. The initial clauses like the one you quotes from are surely only enforcable within their game, and in particular clause 5 concludes with "We are not responsible for actions taken by our subscribers that occur outside the jurisdiction of our game servers or web site."

    Of course they ultimately can do what they like, clause 26 states "We reserve the right to ban any user from the game without refund or compensation."

    While in game harrassment clearly violates the TOS (and EULA for that matter) there is nothing stopping CCP from banning you for actions outside of the game.

    Given that there is plenty of cases where in-game happenings have affected things outside of the game, and that the game world is a quite different world to our own, I think it behooves CCP to clarify where they stand on this issue.

    I also would be very interested in what any prospective CSM reps would advise CCP to do.

    A final point which I wonder about is what actually happened to the victim? The recording in question is more than a month old. While it is perhaps irrelevant to the overall discussion, I am a little curious. Interestingly enough it appears that the character referenced in the minerbumping version of the posts is still active in eve.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "When the consequences spill outside the game, adversely affecting players outside of Eve (as alleged in this instance), then I support the Eve TOS being applied."

    I dated a woman that I met in an MMO once; I didn't know that our entire relationship was thereby under the TOS :/ I thought that once we took it outside the game, it was outside the game.

    "Using teamspeak to claim you are out of game is sophistry."

    I counter with: "Using the fact that you're having sex in a hotel room to claim you're out of game is sophistry"

    It's very easy to type the words "X is sophistry", but the effect it has is proportional to the effort it requires to type.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Was your relationship based soley upon both of your in game identities? I think not, therefore your counter arguement falls flat.

      The conversations carried out in the Bonus room were in-character. Characters and their names are owned by CCP, therefore one could argue CCP has a duty of care that their property is not abused in a way that would bring it into disrepute and use the EULA/TOS catch all clauses for punitive action.

      Delete
    2. "Was your relationship based soley upon both of your in game identities? I think not, therefore your counter arguement falls flat.

      The conversations carried out in the Bonus room were in-character. "

      "adversely affecting players outside of Eve (as alleged in this instance), "

      Your counterargument disproves the original argument, which was my intent all along, so I see no need to argue against your counterargument.

      Delete
    3. Anon: Did you offer ISK as the basis of your relationship?

      Delete
    4. No. How is that relevant? If you're going to say "Because Ero mentioned ISK to get the person into TS", don't bother.

      1. Most uses of TS in EVE have to do with ISK in one way or another, so focusing on that basically bans mentioning TS in EVE, for those that prefer to not skirt on the edges of the rules.
      2. It would be trivially easy to get around any restriction based on that, by simply not mentioning ISK until the person was actually in TS. Heck, he could even still use the term "bonus room", as long as he avoided defining the term bonus room as having any certain meaning in the EVE client.

      Delete
  5. @anon

    If you abuse your wife out of game, there are legal recourses, including divorce. I assume someone who gets married has more than Eve's isk in common.

    If you offered someone ISK for a real life conjugal visit, then yes, I consider that subject to the TOS. Even if you never intended to pay that ISK.

    Anon; while I respect pseudonymity, I note you are hiding behind complete anonymity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok, I'll use a pseudonym, how about..notanonymous. Am I now not hiding? Dating someone I met in an MMO is something I consider embarrassing; but no one here is using their real name, so I suppose I'm still fitting in.

      "If you abuse your wife out of game, there are legal recourses, including divorce. I assume someone who gets married has more than Eve's isk in common."

      There are always legal recourses, but you might lose, or the police might ignore your complaint. That's the gist of what you're saying above, is it not, that if this guy took his complaint to the police, they would ignore it? I agree, they would.

      "If you offered someone ISK for a real life conjugal visit, then yes, I consider that subject to the TOS. Even if you never intended to pay that ISK."

      I agree, that would indeed be covered by the existing TOS.

      I agree with everything you've said in your reply; none of it seems to relate to Erotica1, or anything I said, really.

      I don't agree with anything Erotica1 did, and I wouldn't associate with him in EVE or out; but that doesn't mean I think what I do when I'm not playing EVE is CCP's business. How can CCP ban Erotica1 taking victims into teamspeak without banning all mention of teamspeak/etc from EVE online? If you come up with a reasonable proposal, then I think CCP will implement it; if no one can, then I foresee them not implementing it, due to it not existing.

      Delete
    2. @notnanon : I only use a pseudonym, though I do tie mine to in game characters. I think that using a pseudonym is sensible.

      Erotica1 offered ISK in return for humiliation. That the ISK was never meant to be paid does not change this. This ties it to EVE, and makes the behavior subject to the TOS.

      Did you offer ISK in exchange for certain favours from your girlfriend? Therein lies a slippery slope, but if it was consensual, then no one is likely to know.

      If you offered ISK for recordings of certain behaviours, then published them so that CCP becomes aware, then consensual or not, it is prohibited by the TOS

      The ISK as bait prevents it from falling outside TOS#5. If at any point the violator said your ISK is gone, with no chance of redemption, but we would like to still toy with you, then TOS #5 could then apply.

      The TOS may in fact be over-broad. The legal language is there, should CCP wish to use it.

      "You may not abuse another player." (see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abuse for a definition of abuse.)

      "You may not use “role-playing” as an excuse to violate these rules. While EVE Online is a persistent world, fantasy role-playing game, the claim of role-playing is not an acceptable defense for anti-social behavior. Role-playing is encouraged, but not at the expense of other player. You may not create or participate in a corporation or group that habitually violates this policy."

      You may not advertise, employ, market, or promote any form of solicitation – including pyramid schemes and chain letters – in the EVE Online game world or on the website.

      You may not market, sell, advertise, promote, solicit or otherwise arrange for the exchange or transfer of items in the game or other game services unless it is for in-game sales of in-game services or items.

      The sticks are there should CCP wish to enforce them.

      Delete
    3. "If you offered ISK for recordings of certain behaviours, then published them so that CCP becomes aware, then consensual or not, it is prohibited by the TOS"

      This is common behavior, however, and so if CCP enforces them in this case, while ignoring it in every other case, there will be a large outcry. The TOS contains some very broad phrases that one could probably use to justify banning every single player of the game; there's really no practical point to playing 'find the loophole' as you have done there. (I think it actually includes the phrase "we can ban anyone for any reason whatsoever", or some reasonable facsimile thereof, does it not?)

      Delete
    4. To clarify:

      There are two things going on here:

      A. There is what people actually want CCP to ban Erotica1 for, being mean to some guy on teamspeak.

      B. There are various violations of the TOS that are extremely common, that people find and offer as 'sticks' that CCP could apply to Erotica1 and ban him in accordance with the TOS.

      A and B are different; there is no real benefit, legally or in terms of public relations, accruing to CCP for participating in a charade where they ban Erotica1 for A while claiming they are banning him for B.

      Delete
    5. Another clarification:

      There are two groups of people.

      A. Group 1 thinks that singing 2 songs and reading some piece of text aloud for 2 hours is torture, and got this guy screaming and yelling in anger.
      b. Group 2 thinks that singing songs and reading boring pieces of text for an hour reminds them of many other boring things they have been forced to do in their life, and that the reason these guys always get mad and start screaming is that they FINALLY realize they've been scammed.

      Group 1 thinks this is a huge problem, and that people who have this happen to them probably all commit suicide eventually. Group 2 realizes that the real emotional distress these people suffer is that they got scammed, and this boils down to people being against scamming being allowed in EVE online. Many of the people who are in group 1 claim that this isn't true, that they are actually for scamming, but I have yet to see anyone in group 1 be a scammer, praise a certain scam, or anything else that would make me actually believe them when they claim that. People claim things like that all the time, Bush Jr said he was a 'compassionate conservative' who was 'for the environment'. Often when people say, "I'm against A, but don't worry, I'm for B in general", the actual meaning one can take from that statement is "I'm against A, because he is B".

      Delete
    6. Wow, Anonymous -- this is like a textbook case of false dichotomy. To me the legalistic ramifications (which you seem to revel in one minute and disdain the next) are irrelevant.

      To me it's simple -- Erotica 1 is a piece of human scum who makes the game worse for other players and damages the EvE brand at the same time. CCP is well-justified in taking any action they wish to against this person. It's their decision. Personally, I think they would be well-served by permabanning him, but it's not my call.

      Delete
    7. To me it's simple-- Naysayer is a piece of human scum who makes this blog worse for other readers and damages the reputation of all humans at the same time. The government is well-justified in taking any action they wish to against this person. It's their decision. Personally, I think they would be well-served by sending him to hell, but it's not my call.

      Delete
    8. Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if we forgot all about rules and laws and just went around randomly killing each other? Now you know why I've picked such an optimistic name for myself, everything makes me happy!

      "To me the legalistic ramifications (which you seem to revel in one minute and disdain the next) are irrelevant. "

      I'm sorry that my attitude towards the 'legalistic ramifications' has confused you. The united states has a ton of weird laws that are no longer enforced, but they have neglected to take them off the books. I'm not for randomly enforcing those laws against people because the government is angry with them for some unrelated reason. There's a legal principle against doing so, 'selective enforcement': http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_enforcement. I am against selective enforcement; I am also against enforcement of laws which do not even exist; which I gave an example of in my last post satirizing yours quite directly. I do not believe that these two positions make up a 'false dichotomy'; at this point I doubt that you even understand what a false dichotomy is.

      Delete
    9. You are making a fundamental error here (aside from the false dichotomy), one which many people make, and which I failed to explain fully in my original response. Relating CCP's action or lack of action vs Erotica 1 to governmental action is not valid, and that relation has characterized most of your reasoning in these posts. CCP has no more (or less) than a business relationship with Erotica 1 -- Erotica 1 has no "rights" to continued gameplay on CCP's servers or access to their private intellectual property whatsoever, so concern over those nonexistent rights is pointless, whether or not there has been a TOS violation (although in this case there clearly has been).

      If CCP suddenly decided to stop offering the game to subscribers in, say, Denmark due to expenses, taxes, or some other reason, Danish players' "rights" would not be violated in any way -- CCP can offer their game to whom they wish under any terms they wish, as long as they comply with appropriate laws.

      Delete
    10. I'm also quite comfortable letting the readers here decide whether your earlier argument constitutes false dichotomy, particularly given that it starts with the classic "there are two groups of people" and then sets up two wildly exaggerated strawman positions.

      It sure quacks like a duck to me.

      Delete
    11. "You are making a fundamental error here (aside from the false dichotomy), one which many people make, and which I failed to explain fully in my original response. "

      Ah, this is the misunderstanding here. I'm trying to have a conversation with those other people only, those people who can properly understand the metaphor between CCP and government. If you're not one of those people,you're not part of the conversation. Buh bye now.

      p.s.

      Here's a hint, to help you (possibly) catch up with the rest of us, eventually.

      " CCP has no more (or less) than a business relationship with Erotica 1"

      Yes, and that business relationship consists of what? CCP takes our money, for which they maintain the servers, software, and enforce the rules. Ironically enough, your argument here is a...ding ding ding...false dichotomy! A real one, after all this time.

      Delete
    12. Your metaphor between CCP and government is fundamentally flawed. As I'm sure you understand, there are qualitative differences between a citizen's relationship to their government and a customer's relationship to a business. Citizens have obligations to their government, and vice versa, that simply don't apply in the context of a business relationship.

      I'll leave it at that. If you want the final word, feel free.

      Delete
    13. " As I'm sure you understand, there are qualitative differences between a citizen's relationship to their government and a customer's relationship to a business."

      Yes, you keep saying that, and it is absolutely true for most corporations. However, we're not discussing an analogy with "most corporations", but specifically with CCP and EVE online, where your business relationship is paying a corporation to act as a government in a virtual world: and the analogy is directed inside the virtual world, not outside. If you're not capable of making that distinction, then I simply wasn't talking to you, and all of your posts replying to me have been a giant waste of time.

      Delete
    14. Another example: a corporation, in the future, buys a small nation, and becomes both a corporation and a nation. If you lived in that nation, and you made that argument; "" As I'm sure you understand, there are qualitative differences between a citizen's relationship to their government and a customer's relationship to a business."", it would be a false dichotomy, because you would be making the argument that "X is either A, or B; here X is A so it is not B", but in reality X is allowed to be both A and B. This is a classical false dichotomy, whereas the false dichotomy you were accusing me of was merely that implied by not explicitly listing all the alternatives, which is not a very valid accusation in an informal setting, where people aren't as obligated to check every box. This is a similar situation, because CCP is both A and B, though B only in a fictional sense; and yet the fictional sense is the one that people are generally more interested in. The actual business relationship is not very interesting; CCP's role as a pseudo-government/worldcreator is much more intriguing. Anyone who focuses on the strictly real business relationship is probably trying to be deceptive, in general--but I'm open to the possibility that you're simply very confused and not really part of the discussion yet; and now, since you're not responding, never will be.

      Delete
  6. Mabrick probably sums up why we should be having this discussion the best:

    http://mabricksmumblings.com/2014/03/27/it-a-discussion-the-gaming-community-needs-to-have/comment-page-1/#comment-2804

    ReplyDelete
  7. To all the anonymous, please give yourselves a pseudonym. Even notanon made an effort.

    I generally am against "Make everything illegal and selectively enforce it". However the rules are there for a reason, and if anything is going to be acted on, the outliers seem to be suitable candidates.

    I consider certain actions that inspired a ragestorm (on both sides) to have crossed several lines.

    Oh for the record, you would get me to sing, read boring stuff, and probably other stuff as well, but because I too love an audience. My kids hate it when I sing; as all the rest of the family have more musical ability than I do.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I find a few things. E1 isn't the problem, his audience is, and once the idea of cheering sociopaths isn't cool, e1 losses his power.
    and keeping the fallout to a minimum is the other. Goblin is still talking about it, and it gives publicity and ammo for e1

    ReplyDelete
  9. Apparently Erotica1 has been banned. I'm a little disappointed that CCP would ban someone for something they were fine with before, just because Jester stirred up a shitstorm. This sets a bad precedent for mob rule in the future.

    However, someone pointed out that Erotica1 explicitly says on the recording that they're on TS explicitly for the purpose of not breaking the TOS. That's pretty much an admission of guilt, which tempers my concern somewhat.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Im still confused about the fuss. Im one of notanons group 2s. The guy got mad and started yelling when he realised it was a scam and they wouldnt give him his stuff back. He got mad cos he was scammed. So ban scamming? I think it should be banned. I dont see banning it harming the game. Or dont ban scamming, keep it, but in which case dont punish scammers just because of whom their eve enemies happen to be.

    I dont see anyone speaking out for the guys on local who get ganked and when they say "why?" they get told cry moar cupcake. Even when its a 1 week old toons venture and some sod drove a catalyst into it. Why? theres no expectation of profit there. Thats not a 4 yr old character with resources to fall back on. Why is that "lol hftu or go back to wow" ok, but Er1 all of a sudden isnt? espec when the victim himself after he calmed down said good fight guys you got me good.

    ReplyDelete
  11. 27 comments on an article, on this blog. Just wow.

    I feel the TOS is overbroad, and covers too much. The majority of comments I have read are happy with scamming to continue. The questions seems to relate to whether a certain scammer went overboard once the scam was complete.

    Some feel that Erotica 'did nothing wrong'. I feel he did. For me, over a line was when he started providing advice about the wife. A timeout is in order.

    Very worth reading is Nosy Gamer's article : http://nosygamer.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/the-eula-and-limits-of-sandbox.html

    He saved me the necessity of writing another post, covering what I wanted covered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't be too surprised, Foo -- you write a good blog. Sometimes just takes a bit more to get the lurkers to decloak...

      Nosy Gamer's article is a good read. One thing that tends to get overlooked in all these discussions is that CCP reserves the right to change the EULA and TOS at their discretion (as most MMO companies do). When they do, you end up click-approving the changes when you log in, or you don't log in.

      The bottom line is that CCP is going to do what they feel they need to do to protect their business, and bonus-room controversies hurt their efforts to recruit new blood. The best thing to come out of this is that CCP has (somewhat) clarified their position on out of game harassment -- we'll see if it plays out the way they intend.

      Delete

Posts older than 14 days are subject to moderation before being published. I do so sporadically. If you have a question regarding older posts, also evemail dotoo foo.

Blogger comments supports basic html. You can make a link 'clicky' by <a href="http://yoursite/yourpage">yoursite/yourpage</a>

While I currently accept anonymous users, please include a pseudonym. I get confused answering anonymous.

If the word verification is preventing you from adding a comment, please evemail DoToo Foo for alternative methods