Sunday, March 30, 2014

SCASSSS - Bringing the Game into Disrepute

In this weeks short I want to talk about where 'the line' is between teasing and bullying outside the Eve Online Client. This subject has been a hot topic following Ripard's 'expose' last week.

E1's bonus room is now well known where as two weeks ago very few people had heard about it. Whether this was a set up or troll is neither here-or-there as this topic has been rumbling on for years. How do you draw the line when it comes to player harassment/bullying outside the Eve-O Client?

Is 'the bonus room' (if it is genuine) on TeamSpeak harassment?
Is Sindel Pellion's "Makula Cries" on SoundCloud harassment?

How do you judge between the two? I think its obvious the first one (if genuine) is a bit OTT, the second one is a bit of light leg-pulling and I would hope nobody ever thinks about taking action.

However, now try and put that distinction into words. Try to write a water-tight rule that clearly states one is harassment and the other is just a bit of fun. You can't can you? Here is the problem. There is no way to define in words how far is too far. The rule that bans the bonus room could also apply equally to the parody song. Here is CCP's current "official" stance:-

CCP strongly disapproves of clear and extraordinary levels of real life harassment against our players in the outside world.

What is a "clear and extraordinary level"? This is still way too subjective and open to various interpretations.

In UK football (soccer to you Yanks) there is a rule/law which is "Bringing the game into disrepute". Now unlike many laws that say you can specifically do this but you cannot specifically do that, this one is not clear cut. May be that is an answer in the EULA question? If we are going down the "trial by threadnought" route surely this is the best way to word it? If it takes 400 people to cry "this is unacceptable" is that bringing Eve Online into disrepute?

I'd hate to be the one at CCP who has to "draw the line" in written form here.


  1. "Bringing the game into disrepute." Good analogy. Heck, the analogy is so close it's practically not an analogy. At the end of the day, the game of EVE is still dependent on image and marketing, and we have to expect CCP to act in ways that aren't clearly defined in public. The Bonus Room may not have done a lot of harm to the game image, or not yet, but CCP is trying to prevent the next one from blowing up in public with a story of real harm done to players.

  2. Nearly used this analogy myself! Good work.

  3. Funny thing is, that is also a law in the military. I was charged with bringing the defence force into disrepute several times when my misdeeds didn't break any "official" rules. Scary possibilities exist!!!