BB37: Do Unto Others!



"EVE Online sits on the frontier of social gaming, providing an entertainment environment like no other. The vibrant society of interacting and conflicting communities, both within the EVE client and without, is the driving force behind EVE's success. However, the anonymity of internet culture combined with a competitive gaming environment encourages in-game behaviour to spread beyond the confines of the sandbox. Where is the line?"




I've got news for you, there is no line. It is all one huge blob of the exact same thing. Life. Reality. The universe, call it whatever you want, but Eve is not removed from our world just because it is a virtual one. Grow up and smell the coffee.


A thing either is or is not. A wrong is not a right. And a crime is a crime according to the laws of the country in which it is committed. Those laws may vary, and indeed they do somewhat, but generally speaking all "law" is built upon one over-riding principle - don't fuck with others. Or, more elegantly, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. There are a million ways to say the same thing. If you mess with people we can't have you around people. It's called the Golden Rule for a reason.


Now, how does that play into Eve? Certainly within the game and the rules that govern it, virtual violence is encouraged. Blowing up one pixel or another doesn't matter to the game and it shouldn't. Eve has a long and storied history of ultra-violence, back-stabbing, thievery, manipulation, lying, treachery, and other unholy acts that would get you incarcerated in any decent civilized country. ( It also has a good side, just thought I'd mention that )  But it is almost entirely pixel on pixel action. But not always.


Cause we've thrown in the Human Element haven't we? And humans are generally speaking a bunch of fucktards. Add people to the mix and the level of unholy acts is bound to cross over into the one-on-one personal variety. Such interactions can be small, such as the tears of a noob when I blow up their only ship just because... well for no damn good reason really. Or they can be more mega, such as the alleged MiniLuv campaign from the Goons. ( Or various other examples, this isn't a history lesson, learn things on your own time! )  The point being, it is going to happen. In fact it happens every single day, millions and millions of times.


And mostly it is harmless, internet style fun. Mostly anonymous people bashing each other over the head with pixel hammers. Sure it can hurt, you just spent twelve months working your ass off in-game building a great Corporation when some idiot steals every asset from you in the middle of the night. And all you get is a distant "Trololololol" on comms. That stings, believe me I know, but it is after all "part of the game". So you deal.


Or maybe you don't. Maybe you and that stealing idiot are somewhat acquainted in real life. Maybe you know where he lives. And maybe you just feel like driving over to his house and bashing him on the head with a real world hammer. ( Or a million variations on that theme, it's an example ) You've just committed a crime my friend and the police will want to talk to you.


Said bashing of heads is not CCP's issue. Oh sure, just like Led Zepplin used to convince teens to kill themselves, Eve might come out looking rather poorly during the trial. ( I just realized the Led Zepplin thing might be over your heads, so think Grand Theft Auto or Slipknot, or whatever you young people are into that you can blame for your personal failings! )


But CCP is not a Police Force. Certainly, if they learn of the hammer bashing, they might ban the offenders account. But they really have no legal obligation to do so. In the case of Eve we have the EULA, a standard contract by which we all agree to play nice in the same sandbox. Actions either violate the agreement or they don't. There shouldn't be a gray area. There shouldn't be a line.


Like I said above, if you mess with other people then we can't have you around. It really is as simple as that.


To borrow a famous use of the phrase, what happens in Eve stays in Eve. Step outside that sandbox, carry your troubles to your neighbors house, and all kinds of hurt will befall you my friend. They're called the FBI, Interpol, Police, SWAT, KGB, MI3, whatever podunk outfit your country uses to enforce the EULA we all have with each other. The one that says, Keep your business out of my business. Get off my lawn. Leave me the hell alone.


Don't think in terms of lines. Your reptile brain will start thinking of ways to cross it. And that is not going to go well for you.





3 comments:

  1. Excellent summation of morality ethics as I believe it to be. The only thoughts I might add would be the relativistic theories of morality. While I may not see it fit to continue an attack against a specific player in game to the point they believe it to be greifing, that may not be the held beliefs of other players. Just as laws are based on the majorities discretion, morals also can be deemed fit on the same basis.

    Cannabalism is a taboo to all civilized societies, yet certain tribes in Fiji have practiced that act in the past. While we, as civilized individuals look down upon them for their barbaric ways, they do have a right to operate their society as they see fit.

    I make this argument to show that while the majority of players may be confined to HS and do not condone the meta game aspects that are embraced by entities such as the goons, test, AAA, or any other large alliance, that does not mean that they are wrong in their choice of game play. It is up to the majority though, to either stand against the perceived aberration and force CCP to implement rules to constrict this out of game behavior as much as they can with in game penalties or to simply learn to live with the inconvienince. New Eden is after all built, run and policed by CCP.

    While I do not believe CCP should be interfering in any real world problems, they do have a moral requirement to try and help protect their customers from other ill-intentioned customers. Granted that would be a Herculean task to make local law enforcement or other authorities take any threats coming from a game universe as credible, it is still their place do what they can.

    If the majority chooses to do nothing to curb psychopathic behavior, they must then be held to condone the acts and are complicit in the behavior.

    The TL;DR is that we either stand together to stop bad behavior or we all must suffer the consequence.

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  2. In my first paragraph I meant to add that morality is as shifting as the dessert sands. What was appropriate behavior of the past gives way to sometimes better, sometimes worse behavior in the present. The racism of Americas past being one that has changes for the better and interpersonal relations can be argued have shifted to the negative. It is a fine line that must be navigated as to where we ultimately end up as a society.

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  3. I can understand your argument if seen from an existential point of view. Yet you have to understand the psychology behind why people make distinctions, if even subconsciously, between what they perceive is fantasy or reality. One could argue, certainly I would, that we could say to the river, 'you are not the sea'. To point back at the caves high spires, 'you are not the sky!'. Though you understand, as I do, that each has their limit, their reach and depth are far from comparable. The caves ceiling will only reach so high, and the rivers one day run dry. Even a child can tell you the terrifying difference between a tsunami and a puddle they were jumping in. But just as in the first, you might find the youth very hesitant when told to place their favorite jacket down for new shoes to step over, yet find the adult and the child forget about both at the sight of the flood. In many ways all things can be relevant, yet if we measure them without cheating the weights in the bag, we can surely agree that the scale is lower here and higher there. We each measure loss in different ways, but outside of game we all share things in common: if we lose an eye, we might have one more left. If we lose a tooth, it could be replaced, for a price. But I take my life, and threats on it, far more seriously.

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