Over the last few days I've been playing a mind game with myself and with my readers. Not for any spurious or evil reasons, but simply to examine some underlying issues that exist within Eve. It seems to have succeeded beyond my wildest expectations, Parity examined his own morality, Marc looked more closely at the GCC debate, Rhavas is starting a series on Risk & Reward, Logan questioned Rixx's assertion of freedom, and I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting. (please feel free to mention yourselves in the comments)
Of course Rixx is indeed a criminal. Just yesterday I hunted down and pointed a 2 month old player in a Retriever and held him until my Alliance mates arrived. They also pointed him and we held him like that, toying with him, for a few minutes. Even after we exploded his ship, we held his pod and followed along in a conga line while he tried vainly to escape. After he didn't answer our ransom calls we dispatched his pod.
I also spent twenty minutes in a convo with another young player who saw me in local. He is trying to get into PvP and had lots of questions for me. As I always do, I took the time to answer them as best I could. Some noobs are better at taking advice than others, but he seemed like a good guy. Earlier I had also engaged a Catalyst on the Station. He actually fired back, launched drones and shot at my Devoter. He was doomed of course, but for his bravery I let his pod go safely on its way.
There is a duality present in Eve that none of us can escape. It isn't role playing, or character immersion, or anything like that. It is simply us. We exist in two worlds when we play Eve, the real us and the virtual us. No one can escape that, it is true for us all.
As amazing and deep as Eve is, it is also a self-contained world that only exists within its own self-created game rules. It is amazing and I love it, but it is finite. It is also hypocritical. We all know this, both of us the in and out of game us, and we all create these shells around us to secure our place in the hypocrisy. This is what I meant in earlier posts about labeling Rixx a criminal. Anyone that engages in PvP in Eve is a criminal. We are all murderers and death-dealers, either against or for the very systems that have been created specifically to encourage us to fight.
And it is ok. After all it is part of the game.
If I've killed millions, and I have no reason to believe that is not true, then for goodness sake why doesn't someone stop me? They can't obviously, because the rules don't allow it. Plus if I was stopped I wouldn't be paying a subscription anymore.
Because ultimately Eve is simply a game. An entertainment designed to remove our real selves from some money. We accept this, and we should of course, because that's what we signed up for. But that's the "real" me talking, so what about Rixx?
Rixx, like any real criminal, doesn't believe he is one. Ask almost any prisoner in jail, they are all innocent. I'm sure Stalin believed his cause was just. Muammar Gaddafi is probably hiding somewhere in Libya right now wondering why his people would rise up against him? Don't they realize how much he loves them? Unlike the bad guys in certain movies, real bad guys don't usually believe they are bad. They might know some of their methods are wrong, they are usually aware of it, but they've built up reasons for why it is justified.
Same with Rixx. Betrayed multiple times by the Null space Alliances he served in the past, Rixx believes that his current life has been forced upon him. That he has no other choice. Barred from returning to his Caldari home, his family pushed to the edges of space, he has no choice but to make a living doing what he does best - killing.
But I'm cool with it, the real me is, because it is much, much more fun than what I was doing before. Being a scum-sucking pirate is a blast. Personally I believe it is the best life-style choice in the game, but that's me. Others may disagree and that is their right.
It doesn't make the real me a criminal. Just Rixx. And that is something that he has to live with. He has to pay the price for his own choices. And he does, every day. He is flashy red.
I've skirted the edges of deeper role-playing this week and that is far enough for me. I'm sure other people can make two minds, one for themselves and one for their character, but I don't want to work that hard. I am Rixx Javix and Rixx Javix is me. I just happen to be a lot nicer than him. And more handsome.
Now, about GCC...