Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Monday, March 24, 2014

The bonus round

Let's delve into a simple story of EVE players behaving badly.

I'm not usually the type to call out individual EVE players on this blog. This time I'm going to. Erotica 1 is an EVE player. He is also a despicable, vile, evil human being. I am ashamed to share a video game community with him. I'm not going to tell this man's full story because that wouldn't be a blog post. That would be a novel. This blog post will be quite long enough. Feel free to Google him and look at the appropriate threads in Crime and Punishment on the EVE-O forums and elsewhere. No, I'm going to limit myself to a short introduction and then a single link to a simple recording.

It starts with ISK doubling. Now ISK doubling is a pretty standard scam in EVE and quite profitable for those that engage in it. You create a set of rules, and then you exploit the fact that most humans have a difficult time following a specific rule set. It's not nice behavior, but in the grand scheme of things, it's relatively harmless. People lose a few billion ISK and emerge from the experience sadder but wiser, and then they keep playing, or they become ISK doublers themselves, or they quit.

Erotica 1 has taken the practice to a new level. Every once in a while, he finds a victim and escorts that victim into what he calls a "bonus round." The purpose to the bonus round, supposedly, is to quintuple the amount of ISK put into the pot by the victim. The real purpose to the bonus round is to inflict as much humiliation on the victim as possible with the intent of making the victim snap. The entire thing is recorded and the recordings listened to by this slime and his buddies for their enjoyment, and very occasionally shared with the EVE community at large.

Here is one such recording of a "bonus room" and its victim.

I encourage everyone reading this to listen to this bonus round in part or in full. I have listened to it in full. I owed it to the victim to understand his story. He lived through it. The least you can do is understand what he was put through... for more than two hours.

The bonus round proceeds in three "phases." In phase one, the victim is instructed that he must have "faith in the process" and must volunteer to follow all instructions given to him. The victim is then pulled into an out-of-EVE Teamspeak session (to attempt to avoid EULA or TOS issues that might result). The victim is then instructed to create a full API to which Erotica 1 and his team of instigators will have access. The victim is then instructed to:
  • contract all of his assets to the instigators;
  • send all of his ISK to Erotica 1;
  • turn over any items in the redeeming system;
  • turn over any PI materials;
  • cancel any in-work science and industry jobs and turn over those blueprints;
  • turn over all in-game clothing;
  • convert any sizable balances of LP into items and contract them over as well;
  • turn over all balances in any EVE-related gambling sites such as EVE Online Hold-em, SomerBLINK, et cetera.
By now, most of you are saying that anyone who would agree to these terms is not thinking clearly and I would tend to agree with you. Except we've established for a long, long time that there is a subset of EVE players who are (a) ignorant about the nature of the game, and (b) greedy. I have no doubt that Erotica 1 gets his share of victims by simply dangling the prize of a quintuple payout. Who knows, perhaps from time to time he does even pay out for the sheer entertainment value.

In this recording, the victim follows all instructions (or as the instigators put it, "he shows faith in the process"). Things then proceed to phase two, the "educational component." The educational section involves the victim reading the most boring, pointless tripe imaginable for long stretches. Early in the proceedings, the victim admits to having a minor speech impediment that quickly becomes apparent. One of the instigators pounces on this and suggests that any word the victim cannot pronounce properly, he be made to look up the definition for and read that definition as well. Another of the instigators decides that the best possible "education" will be for this person with an admitted speech impediment to read a Wikipedia entry about Russian history(!).

By forty minutes in, the victim is understandably a little bit upset. How long is this going to go on? He wants to know. It's quite late at night for him. He has to go to sleep and go to work in the morning. "Have faith in the process" he's told each time he gets frustrated, bored, or impatient. "Think about what you're going to do with your winnings!" he's reminded. And the process continues, and continues, and continues, increasing the pressure on the victim. This phase goes on for more than an hour and a half!

Then phase three begins: the "social component." This starts with the victim singing songs and generally acting out childish behavior at the urging of the instigators. By an hour and 44 minutes in, the bonus room instigators are obviously having a very difficult time holding in their laughter and from time to time they mute the channel so that they can laugh at the bonus room victim. At these times, they alternate speaking. This gives one instigator the chance to get his laughter under control while other instigators continue to prod the victim. This alternating of torturers allows one to deliver a masterstroke. The victim finally asks in exasperation how many songs the victim he have to sing. The torturer casually says "We usually do ten or twenty songs."

Needless to say, at this point the victim snaps and goes into a profanity-laden rant to the very great amusement of the torturers.

I do not use the word torture lightly. Look at any list of psychological torture methods you like. You will invariably find on that list:
  • Sleep deprivation. Check.
  • Creating a state of learned helplessness. Check.
  • Subjecting the victim to interrogation for long periods. Check.
  • Isolating or surrounding the victim psychologically. Check.
  • Inflicting pressure through greed or blackmail. Check.
  • Exploitation of phobias, such as -- say -- making a man with an admitted speech impediment perform long periods of public speaking. Check.
I remind you again that this is happening in the game that you play.

EVE is real. And I assure you, what is being done to this man is also real. If you -- for even a single moment! -- would think to defend what is happening here or if you think it is "funny", I invite you to share this recording with your mother or your aunt or your grandmother or your sister. Tell them that this is something that happens in the video game that you play. Tell them the "funny" tale of a few friends in EVE Online having a few laughs. Play her the recording. Let her judge this recording from outside the bubble that you're living in.

I assure you this female relative will look at you in a whole new light thereafter.

I do not know the mental state of the victim and frankly, it doesn't matter. It is quite clear by this point that the purpose to the "bonus round" is to inflict psychological torture on the victim for a long enough period of time until the proper pressure point is found and the victim snaps. Given the increasingly volatile nature of the EVE player base -- something I'll talk about later in the week -- I can't imagine this is too uncommon.

So here's the victim, having snapped. He's shrieking, he's ranting, he's screaming obscenities. His wife has to intervene and try to calm him down... unsuccessfully. She retires from the proceedings, apparently having a panic attack. At this point, any human being with any conscience at all... anyone with even the smallest drop of human mercy in them would put a stop to the proceedings.

Erotica 1 and his fellow torturers do not. They continue to exploit the victim's fear of losing all of his in-game assets and his greed and his rage for their own jollies for a further half hour, continuing to increase the pressure all the while! "Perhaps you could get your wife a paper bag to breathe into," one of the torturers says, trying not to laugh, "I hear that helps." Eventually, the torture ends.

And once it's over, Erotica 1 publishes the recording to the world. In the process, he can no doubt piously claim that the victim threatened him, screamed at him, swore at him. I suppose that allows this vile human being to look at himself in a mirror. More likely, he sleeps like a baby. I assure you, Dear Reader, that there is evil in this world.

"The bonus round isn't intended to be fun for everyone," the victim is told by his torturers. No doubt.

So, how does CCP respond to this vile human being? I can tell you that if I were in the position to make a decision about this person, I would seize his assets, permanently ban his accounts, and I would then go to work on his buddies with asset seizures, negative ISK balances, and temporary bans. I personally believe there is absolutely no place in EVE Online for this level of depravity and evil. To date, CCP has chosen not to do that. Sooner or later, they're going to have to decide, though: is this the sort of thing they want going on in their EVE?

"Isn't that the game where...?"

What's changing about EVE player culture? The intensity level, that's what's changing. Welcome to the bonus round, everyone.

327 comments:

  1. You give an perfect example of the evil that permeates Eve, and the type of people drawn to it. Of course, you have sat in a room with people like that in Iceland. The goons usually elevate people like Erotica to high positions, and if possible, get them implanted in CCP as dev's.

    Every attack on high sec that is draped in the guise of "it brings balance to the game", like this assault on looters and low skill miners that you let happen, is an example to a lesser degree of the evilness of the people running the show.

    This nerf, and who knows how many more we are going to see introduced in the coming days, was the design of sociopaths bent on exacting as much pain on as many helpless victims as possible. Hell, the grifers in the new order or erotica have got nothing on the null sec cartel leaders who dreamt up this latest attack.

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    1. Poe's Law strikes again.

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    2. God damn you are dumb. He was banned from the CFC, after being trolled out of goonswarm once he revealed how creepy and terrible he is.

      Name: beancounter Jaynara ** BANNED ** (his alt he had in gsf)

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    3. Dins there is merit to your argument. Its bizarre to me why CCP cannot figure out how to bring in the players. The formula isnt rocket science. Perhaps its not through ignorance that we have a broken null .. or cyno drops with hundreds of ships from the across the map .. or game logic that actually promotes market scams .. interesting

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    4. Self-serving, slanderous tin-foilery at it's finest again. And again, you're provably wrong in your assertions. Quelle surprise Dinsdale Quixote.

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    5. Honestly, I used to think like you while in highsec hearing stories about goons. While some CFC alliances have their very particular and insane culture, Not all are created equal. And in CFC I have found most of the more adult and fun loving ppl in the game. The surprise was all mine.
      In the alliance I'm in right now I assure you this Erotica 1 dude would be kicked and blacklisted 1 hour after having published that soundcloud.

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  2. Actually, the.goons kicked erotica out of the cfc for being very creepy and crossing the line. Twice.

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    1. How did he get back in the 2nd time to get tossed out a 2nd time?

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    2. He did not. i tried to be funny and enhance the “crossing the line“ figure of speech. i failed.

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  3. This sort of behaviour, while despicable, is an outlier in EVE. I wouldn't change the entire game simply to combat some tiny subset of the playerbase. That would be like changing the Constitution because Fred Phelps and Friends hide behind it in their acts despicableness.

    What I'd like to know ... you should write an article on this ... you've obviously brought up all these concerns and suggestions to CCP Games ... what has been their response?

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    1. Of course it's an outlier! But outliers have a funny way, over time, of marching toward the fat end of the bell curve.

      You bring up the Constitution but EVE Online is NOT a free country, it never has been a free country, and it should never be a free country. If you doubt it, I invite you to start advocating Naziism in Local somewhere.

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    2. This sort of despicable behaviour has been an outlier in EVE for years, with no indication it is increasing. Other than you highlighting it, most of us would have never heard of this scam. I'd never even heard of Erotica 1 until this article.

      And again ... What I'd like to know ... you should write an article on this ... you've obviously brought up all these concerns and suggestions to CCP Games ... what has been their response?

      I'm assuming you're making this a public crusade because the response from CCP Games has been "This is not a serious problem." And you didn't much like the response. I know how you're feeling. I've done the same.

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    3. You don't keep up with Eve so well anymore Poe, so allow me to enlighten. He's applying to the CSM.

      Last year we had James' idiotic crusade getting outsized press for stupid ideas. This year we get Erotica. Almost makes me wish James was back.

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    4. Like that Neo-Nazi guy last year, CCP is well within their rights to deny a seat to anyone they want. If CCP would like to deny a seat to Erotica 1 (assuming he wins a seat or is even allowed to run), then I have no problem with that. CCP Games might not be able to ban the guy, because he conducted himself outside of CCP's purview, but his scams are still super public. Whereas Erotica 1's actions don't really register on the game as a whole, his actions would register with a small, but important, body purporting to support the playerbase and representing CCP Games to a degree.

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    5. Erotica 1 run for CSM, how likely is that in reality? When you get your jollies from torture and humiliation the last thing you want to do is have your identity available to you victim base.

      As to this "not being a serious problem" Poe, how many real tragedies could be avoided if that attitude were less prevalent.

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    6. I'd rather have some freedom and tragedies that go along with it ... than a completely buttoned down society where everything is dictated to us for our well-being.

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    7. For the love of god Po, please never post anything anywhere again. Your inane armchair-philosophy opinions smack of someone with no real-world experience at all.

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    8. No, Po's right. In EVE we need freedom of action more than we need restrictions.
      At the same time these actions by Erotica1 cross way too many lines to the point where banning the player would be the best course of action for the sake of the player base.

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    9. Have there been instances of people being humiliated for two hours in the past? What about being scammed to the tune of photos of themselves naked, smeared in mayonnaise?

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    10. "What about being scammed to the tune of photos of themselves naked, smeared in mayonnaise?"

      What?

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    11. What "rules" should / could CCP implement to limit this behavior?

      What are you going to attack him for? Because he convinced someone to get on coms and embarrass themselves for isk? I don't feel he usually breaks any rules here. He is performing a silly scamming, and his participants are willing and able to walk away.

      Really, two things need to be addressed here:
      1.) What type of person takes pleasure in torturing others? I would look at Erotica's 1 behavior and socially ostracize him. I find his values and persona disgusting, but I don't think he's reached the "we should ban him" level.

      2.) What about the behavior of people that get on coms and willingly do this stupid shit. I'm under the impression they are participating for the attention (even if it is very unhealthy attention). I think such behavior is just as distasteful as Erotica's.

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    12. This pretty much falls under harassment on a whole new level. As Jester said this is torture and Tiere is no way denying it. And in my opinion this is and should be banable.

      I've known about that scammer for a while and I dont like what he's doing. I've scammed too but just normal contract scams where you add a few zeros. I've never ridiculed the "victims" and if someone politely even gave them at least half the money back. Funnily they rarely asked, which is why it didnt matter to me to give some of them the money back.

      I've started this game in 2004. Now i dont play anymore. The turn nullsec, supercaps and the community have taken ruined the game for me. And quite frankly a big part of the community disgusts me, especially after reading more and more people defending this behavior of someone like erotica 1.

      Of course its okay in eve to make a few isk when someone is dumb, thats why normal scams are okay and I dont feel like Jester is questioning the usual scam. But the scam has to be about the money and not about embarassing or even torturing someone. After all we still play this game together.

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    13. An outlier? The leader of the biggest nullsec group publicly encouraged people to bully a depressed person until he comitted suicide IRL, for f***s sake!

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  4. You seem to be under the impression that this person is somehow unable to leave the chat once he starts calling them scammers. The scammers haven't broken the eula at all from what I have seen on the recording. They have not made death threats, they have not persisted in harassing a single character or anything like that.

    What they have done is convinced the victim to willingly give them all his assets, you would have no problem if it just stopped there? Remember the victim can leave any time he wants, and is under no obligation to give the assets to the scammers anyway. The victim stays because they do not want to lose their assets even once they know its a scam.

    The victim goes on, knowing its a scam, and begins throwing out death treats and all manner of vulgarity, the scammers don't do anything to antagonize him, they ask him to calm down and not be mad. I listen to this recording and think the victim should have actions taken against him because it is never ok to go that far over a video game.

    There is nothing preventing people from learning what common scams are in eve and there is nothing forcing them to go off spewing hate and death threats regardless of the situation. Maybe if CCP actually took more action against those resorting to irl threats the game would be better as then the only people getting scammed, trolled, or playing the game period would be the ones who understand it is just a game and don't treat it as something it isn't.

    The only time that a 'line' got crossed imo was when death threats started flying and if you think it's ok for that from anyone just because its the victim of a scam or troll or gank or whatever, you have a very biased view of player interactions.

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    1. I invite you to share this recording with your mother. See what she thinks. Get a neutral observer's perspective as to who's to blame here.

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    2. So taking everything this poor bastard had earned was fine. Torturing him for two hours was fine. Continuing to torture him after giving his wife a genuine panic attack, was fine. Releasing a recording to the >world,< publicly humiliating a poor man with a speech impediment whose biggest crimes were inexperience and trusting his fellow man when he shouldn't have, that was fine? All in good fun? There's no harassment going on there?

      I don't think anyone is saying that death threats are okay. But I think what is being said is that this form of torturous scamming is >not,< and that his snapping is understandable based on what his tormentors put him through. What is worse than THAT is that Eve exists in a culture where this behavior is being... defended. By anyone.

      The only bias I'd attribute to Jester is that he's still human. S'why I keep reading his perspective on a game that had the potential to amuse me. Blows my mind why he still plays. Might like to see a post on that sometime.

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    3. Damning with Faint PraiseMarch 25, 2014 at 1:28 AM

      VoV makes a fairly valid point, that the victim was free to disconnect from Teamspeak at any time. If we allow the following definition to be used in situations where the 'victim' is actually choosing to participate in the activity, then let's see what else qualifies:

      Sleep deprivation. Check, Sov warfare often involves 'alarm clocking'
      Creating a state of learned helplessness. Check. The goal of sov warfare is to create such a state, causing a failscade.
      Subjecting the victim to interrogation for long periods. Check, interviews to get into nullsec alliances, to participate in sov warfare, are often quite prolonged.
      Isolating or surrounding the victim psychologically. Check, the more time you spend in sov warfare, the less time you have to spend with anyone else.
      Inflicting pressure through greed or blackmail. Check, if you don't participate enough, you'll be kicked back to highsec, away from your lucrative nullsec anoms.
      Exploitation of phobias, such as -- say -- making a man with an admitted speech impediment perform long periods of public speaking. Check...well, not so much this one, although I don't think Jester's example really works either for this point.

      Hardcore raiding in a themepark MMO, working at a high pressure job, etc, also satisfy many of these points. What makes it torture is being forced to do it. They've used music recordings for torture, of bands that I paid money to go see. If I'd decided mid-concert that it was becoming torture for me too, I could have left. People being subjected to real torture can't leave. These guys in Teamspeak can leave.

      I have told female members of my family about what happens in EVE, they shake their heads and look at me strangely, no matter what it is that I'm relating to them about it.

      Would I take part in these bonus rooms? No...but calling it torture is a disservice to anyone that's been subjected to real torture.

      If CCP wants to ban this, they should ban it going forward, not punish people retroactively for doing something that they've allowed so far. If CCP starts banning people, without warning and retroactively, for things that they've allowed for years, I'd quit EVE, and so would many other people. If CCP decided to ban this activity, how would they ban it without also banning all kinds of scams, which, again, would cause me and many others to quit the game? (If CCP merely bans the most egregious parts of the Teamspeak convos, then the bonus rooms would probably continue, without those specific elements, right?) (This isn't a rhetorical question to imply that it's impossible, this is an actual question, challenging you to come up with a ruleset that bans what you call torture, without banning all scams, that isn't easy to get around by doing something which is substantially similar but follows the new ruleset) What it looks like from here, is that drawing that line in the sand was too difficult, so you simply made a false comparison to torture then advocated that they be summarily banned. That kind of methodology, if CCP started doing it regularly, would be catastrophic for EVE.

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    4. Damning with Faint PraiseMarch 25, 2014 at 1:30 AM

      "I invite you to share this recording with your mother. See what she thinks. Get a neutral observer's perspective as to who's to blame here."

      I have no doubt that I could find hundreds of things in EVE that my mother would disapprove of...as I already have. EVE is advertised as "Be the Villain.", not: "EVE: The game that you can play with your mother."

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    5. "you would have no problem if it just stopped there?"

      IMHO that would be fine. But they don't just stop there. They are purposefully humiliating the victim and clearly causing him as much anguish as possible. There is no additional in-game benefit for them to do this. That is the point. They already have all of his assets. There is one sole purpose to do what they do, and it is despicable to do this to another human being just for your own "enjoyment".

      I agree that death threats have no place in the game. But I also believe mental torture like in the recording also has no place in the game. Why?

      Because it has nothing to do with the game.

      The victim had already given everything he owned to Erotica, so he & his buddies had nothing more game related to gain from torturing him in this way, but they continue mercilessly, causing great anguish, emotional distress and humiliating the victim for "fun". That "fun" is no longer about EvE, it's all about very real and tangible consequences and the suffering of another human. EvE in this case is merely being used as a vehicle for the sole purpose of causing real life psychological trauma to other people.

      From your reply, you apparently think that this is perfectly acceptable behavior. IMHO, it most definitely is not. The fact that mental torture is the sole purpose and it is being inflicted for "fun" is all one needs to know. It's wrong and you defending it makes you come across as an actual real life bad person.

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    6. These comments need an upvote system. +1 to Damning with Faint Praise.

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    7. In that case I'm throwing a +1 to Jamie, who said it better than I could.

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    8. When a scammer, controlling the situation, seeks to provoke the victim and elicit an extreme response - especially if they have experience in such a process - they will receive the response they're looking for. Threats made in anger are precisely the sort of reactions these guys were attempting to create.

      There was no 'line' crossed; this was a gradual build, conducted by the scammers. The point where the scammers succeeded in goading the victim into making threats is an entirely arbitrary marker, given this context. The only important factors are: The victim's vulnerability to manipulation, and the scammers intention to sculpt the victim's actions.

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    9. The point is not that the person isn't breaking the rules, dumb ass. It's that he's a complete and total socio/psychopath, who has no place being a "representative" of me, or the vast majority of the world, let alone EVE players. We have scammers all over EVE. I've done some of it, but I don't go this far. This is literally psychological torture.

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    10. I like what Jamie said. To me it appears to the the "harvesting tears" culture pushed to an extreme. Part of why people harvest tears is because sometimes it's not clear who won. Tears are proof of victory. Of course, some EVE players like to game the system, creating an environment where "tears harvest" is expected, and then it gets out of hand.

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    11. As you can read most people here seem to forget the victim willingly joined the bonus round after MANY people had already told him it was a scam. At any time he could have left the channel and be done with it. Jester is completely missing this part of the experience. But then again, that is not the first time.

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    12. @ anon

      "At any time he could have left the channel and be done with it."

      Which channel? The TS channel? You are of course correct in essence - he could've just left. However he was essentially being ransomed i.e. "do this, get your stuff back". But as is normal with Erotica 1, the goalposts keep moving toward more and more humiliating and degrading ransoms designed to cause anguish in the victim.

      It's not as easy as, "oh just leave" when you are being held to ransom. You appear to be completely missing this part of it.

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  5. people like Erotica pretty much need to be excommunicated from the game by the entire community. I think that is the only way that would ever really be able to be handled properly. I'm not sure what CCP could do besides enforcing their EULA on things like teamspeak and other third party VOIP programs, even then that is a bit difficult to do.

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    1. As Jester pointed out, they could remove all of Erotica's in-game assets and ban him. This would then remove his ability to make contact through EvE with other people for the sole purpose of inflicting mental anguish.

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    2. Harassment is a crime in most countries. CCP has a responsibility to respond when notified of use by players to facilitate criminal behavior.

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    3. Don't get me wrong, I agree with both of you (and jester, mind you). I might be a little bitter with CCP, I'd like them to do something about this... I'm just not sure I see it happening. They seem afraid of community backlash, unfortunately.

      I'd rather have some justice than none at all. If CCP end up doing something, good.

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  6. ...Inari Fucking Christ on Toast. Yeah. This. This right here is why I quit paying CCP to keep running their sociopath simulator. This is why I didn't want my name on that monument, and deliberately let my subscription expire without Plexing on 2/26.

    Only it's worse than I'd ever come close to imagining or experiencing.

    I've hung around the Eve-O boards. That this entity (If this is even 25% true, then I'd hesitate to use the word 'person') is unashamed to show his face thereupon is chilling. But the typical response on the Eve-O boards is to blame the victim - for falling for it or not protecting themselves well enough, for walking where they shouldn't have, for wearing that short skirt. I assure you there are people there who do not merely defend Erotica's behavior, but exalt it. And that's >frightening.<

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  7. In my eyes, CCP is responsible of what the players do to each other, both in game and out of game, as long as that is enabled by CCP's action.

    FAI there would not be this case of psychological torture without CCP's policy on scamming, and thus CCP is responsible of a player torturing another even if that happened out of game.

    Just my 2ç.

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  8. Hey, anyone know if this Sohkar guy still plays EvE? I wouldn't mind kicking him a few hundred mill. Normally I don't do much other then shrug when someone falls to a scam, but this is a legitimately disgusting humiliation of the guy. Tricky business is one thing, but this should never have gone this far...and I don't want the guys only memory of the game to be this.

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    1. And how many of his gaming friends now know about Eve from what Sohkar has told them, and how many people have they told also, who now will NEVER subscribe to Eve.

      Yet the CCP ISD protects this piece of shit all day long in the forums.

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  9. You may not submit any content to any chat room or other public forum within the Game that is harassing, abusive, threatening, harmful, obscene, libelous or defamatory, encourages conduct that could constitute a criminal offense or give rise to civil liabilities, or is unlawful in any other way, including without limitation the submission of content that infringes on a third-party’s intellectual property rights.

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    1. The scammers haven't broken these rules. It goes like this.

      1) Victim / Scammer contact is made in.game.
      2) Victim shows promise in being gullible - gives assets to scammer.
      3) Scammer gets victim onto out-of-game voip (usually TS).
      4) Scammer mentally tortures victim for their own "pleasure".

      Because 3 is out of CCP's control, they aren't responsible. Also the actions the scammers get the victim to do also have nothing to do with EvE. They already have all of his assets so this is purely a real world activity designed to extract as much mental anguish and pain from the victim as possible.

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    2. "Because 3 is out of CCP's control, they aren't responsible"

      I predict that defense wont really stand up if CCP wished for it to.

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    3. Your prediction is rather crazy imho. Because we play EvE does not mean CCP are responsible for everything we do outside of the game. That would be ridiculous. If what you propose is true, please ask CCP to pay for my speeding ticket. Thanks.

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    4. What they did outside of the game was enabled by what they are allowed to do in-game.

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    5. The day one of these people kill themselves, CCP are in for a world of hurt. No one cares about the terms of service or anything else. When the media pick up on the tape that Erotica released of the torture and articles like this that show CCP have been warned and ignored it.......they are really in trouble.

      Delete
    6. Seriously, please stop with this nonsense. It is not up to CCP to police what EvE players do outside of the game. End of story. CCP are not Interpol or some other world wide police force.

      If you're going to go down this road, you need to apply this to your ISP too as well as the manufacturer of your computer hardware, the courier who delivered it to your house, the person who made the vehicle which the courier drove etc. etc. Every single person or entity in the chain "enabled" it to happen. So by your reasoning and logic, they are culpable and must take some blame.

      I know some parts of the world are litigation addicts, but what you're suggesting is taking it to a whole new level of craziness.

      Delete
    7. "Because 3 is out of CCP's control, they aren't responsible."

      Hey-ho, let's fucking hide behind legality here, hurray!
      How about the moral component? Screw it, who needs morality. Way to go, mate, way to go.
      What has this world become...

      Delete
    8. Morality is different to legality. The OP was talking about it legally. If you wish you to make it a moral issue, state your position in a mature way, hopefully after you've understood the context of the discussion is.

      Delete
    9. What people forget about the "victim" is his initial sin - as we're talking about morality - was two fold. First Greed made up his mind for him, then despite warnings in local he was too prideful to take other peoples advice to back out.

      Did they take it too far? Yes. Did they need to? No, they already had everything they were going to get at that point.

      Did the guy deserve to be scammed? Yes we all do, it's a learning experience. Did the guy research and look into Erotica1 before joining in with their fun? Probably not.

      This guy isn't a new player and even if they were its still his choice to enter. No one forced him to participate, if he can't laugh and accept himself for who he is then there's no hope for his growth.

      Ripard, why do you feel it necessary to call Erotica 1 out and not even give invite to an interview for this or subsequent post?

      Delete
  10. (Regretfully) The first thing that popped into my head was something along the lines of "so what"/HTFU, I skipped the soundcloud a bit and listened for a couple of minutes around the 1:40 mark...
    This is indeed severly over the top, when his wife steps in and those guys still keep it up for another half an hour or so... I was suprised to feel almost disgusted. Surely they had more than their share of e-shame/troll/fun/drama at that point.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Jester, one question for you: How would you change the rules of Eve so that the bonus room is not allowed ?

    Because singling out one person for special treatment is not acceptable. There needs to be consistent rules in place and consistent enforcement. If outliers are a big enough problem, change the rules. Then be consistent with the enforcement of the new rules.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. IMHO you can't legislate for this. If you do, it has to be so vague that it's reviewed on a case by case basis.

      Best scenario is that it is petitionable. And by that I do not mean the scam is petitionable (you give all your assets away? that's your fault!), but the inhumane actions of Erotica 1 and his friends should be petitionable.

      They use EvE as an initial platform to find gullible people which they can then take to an out of game platform in order to inflict mental anguish and humiliation - this is what they do and it should be petitionable so that CCP can review it and decide if these people should be banned for using EvE for the designed purpose of causing real world out of game mental trauma.

      Delete
    2. All changes in any society start with one example. So yeah, singling this psycho out, VERY, VERY publicly, and announcing he is the start, would go a long way to detering the evil.

      Delete
    3. Singling him out is fine. But that won't stop him. To stop him CCP needs to take action.

      But taking action based on evidence that CCP can't verify is asking for someone to later fake evidence against someone they don't like to get them banned.

      Delete
  12. This is the Streisand Effect in action. A guy that few people know anything about has much more attention drawn to him by this article.

    He was hardly a black mark on EVE Online when next to nobody knew anything at all about him. He was effectively a no-name, until now.

    If Erotica 1 is now a black mark on EVE Online, perhaps the person creating the circus around him is to blame somewhat? It wasn't a problem yesterday, but if it becomes a problem it's only because attention it never deserved was brought upon it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such utter nonsense. You don't even play EvE so please leave this to those that do and that know the current state of the game.

      Delete
    2. Dude, I was out of the game for six months. I play EVE. I rejoined last month. I am currently a grunt in BNI and playing a couple times per week casually.

      Delete
    3. That's the worst news I've had this year. Please do not start blogging about it again.

      Delete
    4. Your bad day is my good day. Thanks for being emotionally affected by my logging into the game.

      Delete
    5. How can you claim to not know about Erotica 1, "The only legitimate ISK doubler"? James 315 worships Erotica 1, that's how legitimate Erotica 1 is! (and it shows you how compassionate and understanding the Miner Bumping folks are).

      Delete
    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    7. I'm glad to hear you're back playing Eve, Poe, I think the game needs you. But this time, try not to be an overly dramatic douche, m'kay? <3U

      Delete
    8. Didn't you RMT your ISK on your moonwalk out? How are you still allowed to play?

      Delete
  13. I must say I have been guilty of reading Erotica1's stories on the minerbumping.com site and shaking my head in wonder and continuing to read the whole train wreck. BTW I've wondered whether James315 and Erotica1 might be the same person? The is clearly some sort of goon connection.

    I think this type of behaviour is reprehensible. Eve is a sandbox but it isn't full of sand castles, it's more like a school yard full of bully's without rules. You make friends and keep out of trouble to survive. It does make the game what it is, but the opportunity is for us as the players to reject this type of content. Jester, I applaud you calling out this type of behaviour, but I do think this is a slippery slope you've begun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Erotica1 had an alt in a goon membercorp (or perhaps it was his main character, who knows) and when he brought attention to himself trying to brag about his actions we shot him in the head for it.

      Delete
    2. @mynnna, yes, because you likely could not stand the competition of a greater sociopath than you and the rest of the cadre running goons and ultimately the game. Your griefing via game changes affects so many more people, permanently, that no group like erotica's or that minerbumping bunch could ever even dream of achieving.

      Delete
    3. Dinsdale, the goons kicked him out because there are lines even they won't cross. My respect for mynnna for speaking out about it (and the goons for kicking him out) increased.

      The goons are playing to win and crush their opposition. Erotica1 plays to mentally torture other people. There is a significant difference here.

      Delete
    4. I would be fully in favor of permanently banning Erotica 1 as well as any other person who violates the spirit of the EULA or uses game mechanics purely for the purpose of griefing other players. I would also be fully in favor of criminal prosecution of Erotica 1 for his part in the posted recording.

      The miner bumping idiots, the ISK doublers and the other mouth breathers that do things like this need to get a permanent vacation from Eve Online. Of course, there will be plenty of tears from this bunch as CCP shoves them off into the oblivion of the internet and forces them to find some other way to improve their self esteem. They will shout from the rooftops that the game is being "dumbed down" or made into a carebear paradise as they go. It is the same old tired narrative we have been hearing for years now and nothing could be further from the truth. In return CCP will get much improved new player retention and more importantly, they can point to these people and their actions as examples of behavior that they simply won't tolerate. They can't ever get rid of the mistakes of the past, there is no need for a monumnet in Iceland, the Eve stupidity documented on Youtube is the real monument for the ages. However, getting rid of these idiots is positive PR and is a great first step in a turnaround that this game surely needs if it is going to survive and grow.

      Delete
  14. I did not listen to the linked audio but reading the comments and your article is more then enough to know that it is far beyond human behavior.

    If someone falls for a scam it is most of the time his own fault and I don't have problem with it. Talking that guy into handing over all his stuff would be ok. But the humiliation following it is far across the line of human behavior. This is not about "it is only a game", the torture took place out of game in a TS. The Game assets in question are not relevant at this point as the instigators do this mostly for there cruel psychotic enjoyment.

    The world would be far better if those individuals would get arrested for psychotic terror or what ever is enforceable in their country. CCP can not control that (oh well maybe they can. contacting Interpol for a maybe suicide ...) but the can police EVE and it would be a better universe without those individuals.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Classic bully strategy, incite the victim to cross the line and "best" case its the victim who gets punished by the authorities.

    Jason Walter's comment makes me wonder, is this, especially the recording illegal in some jurisdictions? Wouldn't be surprised. If a 3rd party, resident of such a jurisdiction was upset after listening to the recording, could there be a case to made?
    If its illegal by local law, then its against the TOS. Single server means everywhere is local, except China and presumably North Korea.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey, here is my story with this scum Erotica1: http://greedygoblin.blogspot.hu/2014/01/another-bad-scammer-in-eve.html
    It ended with HIM wasting hours typing nonsense and getting nothing.

    Here is my story with singing ransom humiliation: http://greedygoblin.blogspot.hu/2014/03/memoirs-of-wormhole-zombie.html
    It ended with them not getting a song, figuring out that they actually helped me by killing my enemies and felt so stupid that they paid 1.8B reimbursement to them.

    You can fight back in the game! You can cleanse these despicable beings from the game!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is how you solve the problem. The players taking action. I'm not a Gevlon fan, but in this instance he done the right thing.

      Trying to force CCP into making rules changes is not the answer. In trying to swat down one small wasp, you end up swatting all us ladybugs.

      Delete
    2. CCP doesn't need rules: they can just say, "in this case, the person involved is someone we do not wish to have associated with our game."

      It's called the right to refuse service, every company has it except the monopolies who have an obligation to serve.

      Delete
    3. Actually scamming scammers are the only scams I really enjoy reading ... In the hacker community there is a strong drive to scamm " nigerian scam" type of persons .. If you want funny stories head here: http://www.419eater.com/

      Delete
    4. Oh come on now Gevlon, there is a *huge* difference between No-Ho asking for a song as payment vs the cruel humiliation Erotica 1 inflicts on his victim. I'm alarmed that you can't tell the difference.

      Delete
    5. In seriousness, how dare you compare no-ho's ransoms to this piece of shit. We don't string people out, we don't feed them lies, we don't try to extort them for all their things and we honour the ransom, everytime. We offer people a way to save themselves billions of isk, for a song and a lark. People have actually MADE money from No-Ho for a decent song, whilst we were ransoming them.

      I also have no idea how you think we helped you, RvB and us wanted a fight, and we had one. I'm also missing how we "felt so stupid that we paid them"? How the hell did you come to these conclusions?

      Delete
  17. Here's food for thought.

    Look at the banner on Rote Kapelle's killboard. It's one of the standard choices you get for an EVE-Kill killboard.

    You know, the one with the two types of EVE players: the little girl quietly building the sandcastle, and the little boy jumping up with an up-raised shovel, getting ready to hit...

    ...hit what? The sandcastle?

    Or the little girl's head?

    What is the boy aiming for with his shovel?

    ...I have to say, the despicable excuse for a human being described in this blog post may not be as much of an outlier as some would wish. I've been in high, in low, and in null, and I've seen far too many of his kind: the unrepentant school-yard bully who respects nothing but force, if even that. I've seen it in enemies, in allies, in alliance higher-ups, in coalition higher-ups, in corps, in total strangers passing in the night.

    There are a lot of people in EVE who don't seem to care whether they hit the sandcastle or the little girl's head. And there are a lot of people who are deliberately aiming for her head, not the sandcastle. (The double Raven gank that kicked off this whole conversation, for example: the first could arguably be said to have aimed for the sandcastle. The second was a deliberate shot at the head.)

    And yes, I've encountered people who were clearly only aiming for my sandcastle, who turned out to be decent folk even after they ruthlessly ganked me. But is that really the rule instead of the exception? The majority of the time, what I've seen is indifference or outright contempt.

    People who don't care what the shovel hits.

    People who would celebrate if the little girl's skull got caved in. (Look at ALOD comments and tell me if I'm wrong.)

    If CCP isn't worried about that, they should be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why not send a ticket and ask them if they are worried? I did.

      Delete
  18. Is that time where he made somebody pod himself down to an alpha clone worth a mention?

    that one really struck be as crossing a line

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. to clarify: that was crossing a line In-game in terms of scams

      isk doubling and other scams can be written off under role-play and dark universe etc


      erotica is crossing the harrassment and griefing rules by a pretty wide margin
      but he's doing it out of game

      yes he SHOULD be banned, but slippery slope....are TS recordings now valid evidence for banning?
      How quickly will that line get blurry?

      thats always the consideration, do you treat an edge case with a dangerous measure if applied to other cases?
      you're talking patriot act sort of deals (yes it doesn't compare, but its still srsbns)

      Delete
    2. "yes he SHOULD be banned, but slippery slope....are TS recordings now valid evidence for banning?"

      Slippery slope?

      I think Whedons law applies.

      Delete
    3. Do you mean Will Wheaton's law?

      I don't see how Wheaton's law applies....

      i'm a dick, you have probably been a dick in eve at some point and many others.

      please elaborate

      Delete
    4. Slippery slope arguments work in reverse as well. If you don't ban Erotica1 then who do you ban, and what actions are you willing to condone? What about one player driving another to suicide through this kind of scam? It was all done out of game and the victim could have chosen to not kill himself at any time. Should that be allowed because technically it doesn't violate the EULA?

      Delete
  19. I usually dont post here but I just wanted to say that Erotica1 is pretty much a pathetic human being, always has been and probably always will.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations for standing up for your own convictions, if only you were big enough to add a name to the post.

      Delete
  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  21. Man you made me even more conscious of the situation in my home country, Venezuela, where 'torture' isn't being recognized by the government because as a crime type it need to be tied to the pursue of a confession, even when it's senseless show of force to reduce the victim's mental stability and deter any others that might know about the case from protesting. And to add insult to injury, the declarations of the president that he "sleeps like a baby" after all of this nonsense, as he told to Amanpour in an interview. I could go on and on drawing parallels, but there you go, that shit can't happen ingame just because it happens IRL. I wonder about the nationality of these troubled perpetrators, Really hope they're not russians.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm doing IT-security work .. so I have to do with real life scams .. and if you want to know what could happen to victims etc just visit this thread http://forum.419eater.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=32877

    ReplyDelete
  23. This could be countered by a donation/help campaign for the victim.
    Although it would be difficult to exceed the "content" created by this.
    Bad news are good news.

    Time for some justice p*rn?

    ReplyDelete
  24. This exists because it has become expected, the protagonists have an audience, they feed off the ridiculous 'HTFU' culture that has permeated the game for some years now, and has been legitimised by CCP themselves. Although to be fair to CCP I really don't think this is what they had in mind.

    What started as an acceptance of the relative brutal nature of the game has developed into a deeply ingrained culture of elitism, with the accompanying resistance to newcomers, naysayers or even anyone not playing the game in what has become the 'accepted' way. Large sections of the player base have succumbed to this groupthink and as a consequence the community has stopped regulating itself because the objective voice has been suppressed and there is no longer a counter balance (with a few notable exceptions, like Jester here).

    This is a dangerous situation in any group as it begins to run out of control and is very difficult to challenge, people are driven away aggressively and eventually outsiders can be disregarded and dehumanized.

    Eve is like a petri dish for unpleasant online behaviours. Erotica 1 and his ilk are no different to online bullies you find anywhere, they will have out of game inadequacies, psychopathic personalities and all the other things that make up such characters. Unfortunately for CCP, just like growing anything in a petri dish, they created the perfect environment for this type of player to exist and thrive.

    The vast majority of players will just follow along and not actually participate in these kinds of actions. You will see them on the forums, being unsympathetic to victims, cheering the protagonists. Although mostly harmless they are a vital ingredient to reinforcing groupthink and protecting the the cohesion of the group. They will be the ones most vocal, aggressively suppressing the outgroup.

    I'm not sure what happens next. But we're obviously reaching a point where CCP will need to consider this carefully. This has been gaining momentum for a while now, and it will not naturally dissipate by itself.

    A pessimistic view is we'll reach a tipping point and the population will start to drop, that in itself becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as the negative culture begins to dominate as a result.
    This situation is obviously exacerbated by other big issues with the game itself.

    We could do nothing, or adopt a 'wait and see' approach. I suspect this is most likely. I've always doubted CCP's stomach for making radical changes be they game mechanics or policy, and I suspect this will be the case here also. Fact is CCP loves its villains, its meta-drama, its the only thing that makes the non-gaming press, it would also to appear to have been subjugated by an emboldened and very vocal player community (The post Incarna outrage etc). So it will be reluctant to fiddle with its petri dish. However, should this situation begin to have a measurable impact on revenue then the rules may change dramatically.

    Positive action could come in the form of reinforcement or re-writing of policies. There are other more intangible things that can be done to gently guide the community. This will require very strong community leadership, something CCP has bizarrely overlooked for many years now. Leadership is key though, be that from within the playerbase itself or external. Objectivity needs succour in these situations, and good leaders enable that.

    The nightmare scenario is Eve degenerates into stagnation, becomes increasingly insular and isolated, and CCP will simply continue to find new ways cannibalise those left to maintain revenues, or leave Eve to rot once it finally finds its next big thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your petri-dish-metaphor is flawed as a petri dish is meant to grow a specific bacterial culture. This behaviour is more like a parasite feeding on the organ(victim) for its own benefit without caring about the host(eve).

      Even more so as most of the commenters(and hopefully all sane gamers) would consider the victim a part of EvE in contrary to that other soab.

      If the immune system(ccp) fails to defeat that parasite, you need antibiotics(RL sympathy/help for an ingame issue).

      [got carried away, nice post though *g*]

      Delete
    2. Yes I see your point, it is a poor fit. I think at the time I was working through the jumble in my head as I wrote and it struck me that CCP had actually cultivated this behaviour for a period, they seemed a little proud almost of the brutal and often cruel nature of the game they had created.
      But you're correct, that creation is beginning to show signs that it may seriously damage its host.

      We have seen hints of CCP's regret, and they have acted when lines have been crossed (Fanfest 2012), but the cynic in me suggests that it only becomes an issue for CCP once these incidents get out in the wild and turns into bad publicity. They have always stopped well short of preventing this kind of behaviour at source (which is in the game).
      This is a bit naive, as we may now begin to witness.

      No rational thinking human being would listen to that recording and consider it acceptable. The assertion that the victim 'could leave at any point' is invalid and is a very common strawman used by some when these things are discussed and should be disregarded.

      These scams work because you get your victim to invest heavily materially and emotionally to the point that it becomes extremely difficult for the victim to remove themselves from the situation. They continue in the hope (albeit diminishing) that they can recover their mounting losses (tangible or intangible). There are very complex psychological reasons that this happens, and some people are a lot more prone than others. But nevertheless the fact it happens to some people is entirely removed from the fact that this is exploitative and bad.



      Delete
    3. So Erotica1 and friends could easily be banned as they are using their EVE access to exploit weaknesses in others for their sadistic pleasure.

      Delete
  25. Everything is on a case by case basis with CCP anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  26. It's a bitter pill but Jester has done the right thing in exposing this guy.
    E1 now awaits the verdict of his peers. He's already been ostracised from one section of the community (good on them btw).
    I think he should be formally approached by the CSM (not Jester) in unison and with a formal communication explaining why we find such behaviour unacceptable with the suggestion that he ends it or finds some other pretext to practice such sadism that is not linked to this community. If it continues after that, THEN I'd expect CCP to strike like Thor. Of course he will have to be monitored and it galls me that CCP has to police such individuals.
    I've quit more than one job because I did not want to be associated with the practices it harbours. I'm not above walking away from a favoured pass-time either if that proves to be bad company. It's not a question of law, it's a question of what you are willing to put up with.
    Speaking of law, are these jokers licensed to broadcast music over the interwebs?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No music, didn't listen though to the end until just now. These guys are practised and comfortable and are only going to escalate until they cross a legal line.
      Make it clear to them that this is not okay.

      Delete
    2. So far as the CSM approaching Erotica 1 first, do you really believe that this sort of behavior is worthy of any sort of warning? This is so far gone as to be completely inexcuseable. Just ban him and be done with it.

      Delete
    3. I believe in redemption and contrition. Not as a way to quell the outrage but tools for the perpetrator to recognise the error of their ways and do the best to make amends. A ban now would not allow for that. The cause of the ban would be Jester's expose causing CCP discomfort in the media spotlight, which isn't entirely just either.
      I have to grind this though my teeth but Mittens lead the way as an example of doing right when called out on a matter.
      It's up to Erotica 1 now, if he's a true socio-path this focus on his actions then and particularly right this minute won't bother him because he's been quite careful.
      Jester, I hope to gods you're prepared for the consequences of Your actions.
      I assume you've given CCP plenty of time to sort this out in-house.
      Massively have a hold on this now so it is already too late to keep it in the EVE family. Only the gentle are ever really strong.

      Delete
  27. I also noticed how Erotica 1's lackeys are just like the stereotypical yes men bullies have in cartoons with no opinions or original ideas of their own.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I've listened in on one of Eroticas bonus rooms on TS, I left about 20 minutes into the singing part, after suggestions were called for. The victim was German, so there were requests for german language songs including innocuous stuff like 99 LuftBallons. They settled on the Horst Wessel song, which as the Nazi Party anthem is pretty damn offensive to Germans. While normally fairly magnanimous about the so called griefers within Eve, having been labeled one for the occasional suicide gank and speaking out against those who believe that a griefer in Eve is a foul despicable person in real life, I think Erotica takes it too far and should calm it the fuck down.

    That said, while I feel sorry for them, the victims don't have to partake in the bonus room, if their own greed overtakes their common sense then they are as much at fault as Erotica.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Horst Wessel song .. ouch ... that is more then crossing a line .. actually singing it is an crime in germany § 86a StGB ...so they are requesting that the victim commits an crime ... ouch ...

      Delete
    2. I don't think they even considered or knew that the Horst Wessel song is as offensive as it is or that singing it is a crime. I'm English, and the only reason I know that it's considered offensive in Germany is that I grew up there as an Army Brat. People who are unfamiliar with Germany, and the German people aren't likely to know about it's connotations.

      Delete
    3. Yeah .. had this issue with my planetside 2 clan .. making nazi jokes seems funny for some US guys .. but for germans .. not to funny ..

      Delete
    4. @ AnonymousMarch 25, 2014 at 5:19 AM
      "I don't think they even considered or knew that the Horst Wessel song is as offensive as it is or that singing it is a crime."

      Are you really so naive to believe that Erotica 1 et al didn't google what the song was about before choosing it?

      Searching for "offensive nazi song" brings Horst up as the first result.

      Delete
    5. Yet nowhere in the google search for offensive nazi songs does it say that the Horst Wessel song is verboten in Germany outside of educational uses. They may well have searched for offensive songs, it does not mean that they were aware of the legal or cultural ramifications of asking a German citizen to sing it.

      You have to delve a little deeper into the internet to find that out.

      Delete
    6. At least you now cede that they were probably fully aware of how offensive the song is.

      Erotica 1 is clearly quite a smart guy and if (that's a big if) he is one and the same James 315 as others have mentioned, he certainly has quite a good understanding of Nazism. It's not a coincidence that his pet project corp is named after Neuordnung.

      Delete
  29. This needed exposure. Thank you.

    And since I know someone at CCP is going to read this: that you allow this to go on is disgraceful. If your harassment policy doesn't draw the line at something this depraved, you have no idea what the fuck you're doing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are missing the point. CCP is full of people who think that this kind of behaviour is the nadir of Eve gameplay. Look at the REAL torture they did to Dolan with the paintballs. That was done "in fun", for charity. Yet any normal mind would recognize that as sick sick actions.

      So to suggest that CCP will do anything about the twisted individuals that perpetuate this kind of atmosphere is sadly, not going to happen. Look at the makeup of the CSM itself. You have goons, among others, on there who have openly declared they are out to ruin the gaming experience for as many as they can, yet CCP welcomes them with open arms.

      Delete
    2. Dinsdale, you're a plonker.

      The best known case of bullying and CSM related stuff was the Mittani's offensive stuff trying to induce a suicide from a player. To Mittens credit he later deeply regretted his actions which has allowed him to return to good graces.

      However CCP did act and kicked the guy from CSM. Action was taken.

      Don't confuse Eve's dark metagame, spying, ganking, scamming etc and other game related mechanics with an acceptance or ambivalance to out of game bullying.

      CCP acts often and when it can with bans, forum gags and other tools to stop said bullying. It has a great culture for a company, and whenever wrongdoing is pointed out to them it is normally kicked out.

      Delete
    3. "The best known case of bullying and CSM related stuff was the Mittani's offensive stuff trying to induce a suicide from a player. To Mittens credit he later deeply regretted his actions which has allowed him to return to good graces."

      I was of the same opinion. But then I herd an interview with him (on Crossing Zebras I think it was) where he totally re-spun the story as no big deal and other blowing it way out of proportion. Hearing it I really regretted being one of the few that said "the man made a stupid drunken mistake, be lenient".

      As for the stuff Jester is writing about... It's no way near torture in the sleep deprivation and such. Those methods go on for days before they really get to be effective. That said, the people sure do inflict some mental anguish on the poor guy.

      I just do not get why CCP can not ban these people? Just have something in the EULA to the efect of "do anything that even slightly involves our game that we do not like and you will be banned. Don't like it? Unsub now!".

      Delete
  30. I don't agree with what Erotica does but I'd hardly call it torture. The victim isn't being held captive, they can leave at any time. I do agree that they take the scam past the point at which it should stop. However, at worst I would call it bullying. Calling it torture is a disservice to actual torture victims.

    Also, they don't outwardly insult their victims from what I have seen so far. They simply play off the gullibility of the victim. Is pushing that gullibility to the breaking point unethical? Probably. Honestly though I think you are blowing this out of proportion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The victim tries to leave, but wants to do on a high point to keep face. He is not up to the task to achieve this and digs himself a deeper hole. This really is a sad battle of wits with an unarmed man.
      I really can't understand how one can get enjoyment out of something like this. I get the shaming, making people sing and all that. But multiple hours of grinding a man down to his breaking point? WTF?

      Delete
    2. It's these sorts of attitudes that allow people like Erotica 1 to get away with such inhuman behavior.

      Be grateful I'm not in charge at CCP, as I'd have you banned right along with those who actually take part in these activities.

      Delete
  31. Every Anonymous poster, regardless of whether they agree or disagree with Erotica 1, is a hypocrite for replying anonymously to this blog post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. not everyone has an account on Blogger...

      Delete
    2. What the hell are you on about.

      Delete
    3. QQ
      welcome to the internet

      p.s.: Don't judge a book by its cover.

      Delete
    4. Says the man with the completly empty blogger profile! Anonymous 4life!

      Delete
    5. Meh; too many sites out there, too many logins to remember. If a site lets me post without having to create another login, I'll use it.

      If you want to make a ridiculous strawman out of that, don't expect to be taken too seriously.

      Delete
  32. Jester, I had no idea this could be this bad. To be so happy with what you've done to share it like that? Christ.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Couple of points I'm surprised haven't been raised.

    1. People keep saying "he was free to leave"...was he? This is the case with many police interrogations as well, but the issue is, did he FEEL free to leave? He was psychologically tied in by his assets, by what he felt he had to lose. This is not exactly freedom. Yes, he was naive. I see what people are saying, and that this is not precisely the same as the torture that has been endured by some on this earth. However, it was torture, and it was real nonetheless.

    2. This behavior is illegal. There are cyber-bullying laws on the books. People have raised this point, but not strenuously enough I think. This may be outside the EULA, but is it outside police jurisdiction? If CCP called Interpol and dispatched police to a dude's house because they felt he was at risk of suicide, couldn't something similar happen here? I guess it would be difficult to know what happens in TS, but not if this jackass is openly sharing his exploits. It seems that the principal already exists of drawing in real-world responders to dangerous situations; do it again, and alert the authorities. Even if he's not arrested and doesn't go to jail, I guarantee he won't want the cops knocking on his door more than once.

    Also, what's all this about needing to have consistent rules? IF this guy is an outlier, as some have suggested, then the response to his actions can also be extraordinary. "We don't want you in our game." Simple. CCP has more than enough of a track record of allowing the usually unallowable. I don't think this would be any kind of a slippery slope. Erotica 1 is clearly just a douchebag asshole. Ostracize the hell out of him in every way possible, and excise him. What's the confusion? This guy has no reasonable standards, so it is therefore not unreasonable to say "goodbye" with no further explanation.

    And another "also". Folks keep saying that EVE is like this, and the shovel is aimed at the head and so on. Sure. But it's also true that you can't swing your arms without hitting someone willing to help. I've been playing since 2005 and this has always been the case. I understand Jester's point in doing this; he's raising awareness, insuring that the conversation happen, and happen more loudly and in a more focused manner. However, for all that its reputation is what it is, there are wonderful, wonderful people who play this game, and play it well. They have HTFU, and encouraged others to do so. But many (including Mittens and his followers) have the capacity to show tremendous patience, to be very helpful, to teach others, and to make the game better. EVE is not descending into darkness of itself; it is reflective of the world. The world may be descending into darkness (I tend to believe that it is), but there are still good people, and a lot of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You do realize that in the recording the only one threatening violence is Sokar right? I'm pretty sure if the police are going to latch onto any supposed crime from the recording an actual threat to kill someone's mother is going to rise to the top of the list.

      And yes, Sokar was free to leave. ALT-F4 and teamspeak goes away. That he didn't want to abandon his assets is so typical its called the Prior Investment Trap and is used by scammers all the time. Of course its also used by Casinos, Somer Blink, car salesmen, salesmen in general and even victims themselves when they can't believe the company they invested in is going under and if just a little more cash were invested it would all turn around.

      The only person that sounded like a lunatic and reprehensible person was Sokar himself and I hope he did leave Eve. He's clearly not cut out for a highly competitive game and may not be cut out for society in general. Erotica 1 does seems to have a knack for bringing out the worst in people. But the worst was there all along.

      Delete
    2. Best summary yet. Good job, Kristoph.

      We know we can't stop all the creepy yucky behavior. That doesn't mean we don't stop whom we can. It's really that simple.

      Delete
  34. Alrighty... this was creepy all right. I'm sure most of you either have been scammed or had a close family member be scammed IRL. It sucks and while also IRL it's against the law to make life threats, I dare you not to utter a few in the presence of such perpetrators.

    Now, for EVE.... it's NOT real! When the victim lost his assets he lost virtual stuff that would only allow him to get more virtual stuff. Ashes to ashes, pixels to pixels. However, the mental torture and humiliation he was put through was very much real and was make outside the game in voice comms. Outside EVE!

    Scams in EVE are fine and are a very good learning experience. This particular event is not! at all!

    I'm sure Erotica 1 justifies this to himself as an antropologic experiment and an exploration of the EVE vibrant metagame. There is however a line! To know it and to see it you must observe history (not that history, not everything is about nazis and jews)... i'm talking about the stanford experiments:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment
    I would advise everyone to see the video. If you feel a bit sick inside... its alright, it only means you're a human being. Read the story and you will learn the experimenters also felt self justified and intelectually superior just as Erotica 1. The wife of the head experimenter that had come to visit him at work had a very different opinion...

    ReplyDelete
  35. I will start by acknowledging that erotica 1 is the lead the scumbag in a scummy subsection of eve. But in truth, I have a hard time getting getting a lot of sympathy together for the victim; after all, its the victims own greed and ignorance that put them on the hook and keeps them there, even after they are assuredly aware that they are being scammed.

    In truth I have a lot more sympathy for people who fall victim to recruitment scams and the like. These folk are usually new players, people who have failed to do their due diligence, or people who couldn't locate anything despite trying to do their due diligence. They're just looking for a new home when they have the floor pulled out from under them.

    But even beyond that, the thing that I find most disturbing about eve is the causal racism and race baiting that goes on all the time. If you ever dropped yourself into a goon ts (and i dont mean to single them out as im sure other alliances have the same issue), you know what I mean. From talking about jew this and jewing that to naming their fleets some of the most vile racial slurs it runs the gamut of nastiness. I remember listening in fleet comms one day when after a particularly nasty exchange between the fc and some other folk, a pilot curses them out for being racist and up and quits fleet. After this exchange, they all had a good laugh about how the pilot didnt understand their culture and then they went on to reminisce about how they once had theme fleet names which were all racist of course

    I know that most of this is likely premised upon insensitivity and ignorance. I doubt that most of them are truly being malicious, but still its not something that I would want my kids exposed to. When you ask would you want you mom to hear what erotica 1 says; I say a better test is would you want your kids to be hearing this stuff?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Would you want your kids to play eve? So far, the answer has been no. Every time they ask (and they are in their teens), I tell them no because I don't want them to be exposed to what is routinely said as "casual" comment in the eve community.

      Delete
    2. Is ignorance and greed justification for this kind of treatment? If you really think so, then I'm afraid that you've already lost a good portion of your humanity. Remember: those who allow atrocities to happen are often as guilty as those who perpetrate them.

      Delete
  36. All people who defend this kind of bwhavior is a retard and should get banned together with these scum. Its the same stupidity when you say a girl gets raped because she wore a short skirt. Gentlemen... women get raped, because there are sick, animalistic people in human society. Laws are not morale. Never was. With rules you can not prevent these. With action you can. In a smaller society these scum would get killed immediately. You dont need rules to rule. Ban the bastards once and for all, and set it as an example. Its CCP's game and if they dont like your behavior they should be able to punish you without reasoning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you could also draw a parallel to slavery, then you will have reached Ripard levels of hyperbole.

      Delete
    2. Poe judging the use of hyperbole by other people.

      Hm. I'm gonna have to replace this irony meter. It busted.

      Delete
  37. Some people have mentioned that it's a minority and it's always been this way but i actually noticed how things got worse and worse over the years.

    Back in the early days one of the rules of EvE (along with flying what you can afford to lose, etc...) was that your reputation was everything. Posting on alts was ridiculed and many people were proud to have one identity, which led to a sense of responsability and fair play ingame.
    But that ended when completely closed off groups started joining the game, especially goons, btards, reddiors and other internet refuse who are looking for peer validation but don't really interact with eve "society" as it were to check their behaviour. Pretty soon they made playing fair, "e-honor", being a decent person to anyone outside your clique uncool.

    There was also until a few years back a sense that things in EvE were interdependent and that everything had it's place in the grand ecosystem. So whatever you personally were doing was your own choice, but every other activity was valid and needed and nobody went around trying to grief whole playstyles en masse.
    CCP devs would go to the fanfest and jokingly out themselves as carebears and it was all laughs all around.
    But now it's all "you're playing the game wrong" and outright vicious abuse and CCP itself has gone from trying to be a mediator to trying to be cool with the vocal forum tough guys.
    I sat in on a new player course some CCP guy was giving a couple of months ago and it was about player income, and they had a section on scamming. It's one thing to tolerate scamming but CCP literally wrote a tutorial on how to do it and taught it to newbies, it was the most surreal thing i've witnessed any game developer do.
    Pretty soon they'll deny improving the UI because better UI affects scammer income and they have to look out for them too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with most you said. I especially disdain all the hate thrown at any non pvp activity, like freighter ganking is more respected than regional trading atm.

      I would just like to add that while its true that the advent of closed groups had an influx off unhonorable behaviour, what is being observed right now is that those entities that develop honor and trust whithin them survive while other such entities failcascade. In EvE like in society, nationalism is now at its infancy, with strong inner honor and strong outer xenophoby.

      I see eve as evolving from a group to a tribal world, to state cities, to land rushing empires.

      Scammers will allways be there, as in real life the difference between a Frank William Abagnale and 'Nigerean Princes' scammers is in their ethos or lack thereof.

      Delete
  38. As someone already said, Erotica 1 went out of bounfd of what is considerd "in-game".

    But the truly sad part for me, is that even if the whole of eve went against erotica 1 on "in-game" terms, we would only be a nuisance to him, He could always create a new account, a new alt and just ride along in anonimity until his next victim.....

    Eve might be "real", eve does have "in-game consequences", but to actually hunt and make someone pay in "in-game terms" is just a minor annoyance........

    Thats why sociopaths have such great success, because they have identified that true meaning for players in eve lies outside the sandbox.

    ReplyDelete
  39. "I do not use the word torture lightly. Look at any list of psychological torture methods you like. You will invariably find on that list:

    Sleep deprivation. Check.
    Creating a state of learned helplessness. Check.
    Subjecting the victim to interrogation for long periods. Check.
    Isolating or surrounding the victim psychologically. Check.
    Inflicting pressure through greed or blackmail. Check.
    Exploitation of phobias, such as -- say -- making a man with an admitted speech impediment perform long periods of public speaking. Check."

    Except that someone being tortured for real can't shut off the computer and go to bed. That's the critical component. This guy volunteered for the bonus room and could leave at any time. Can't do that locked in a cell with real torture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You read the article and find the need to point this out, but not to say anything else about the real subject?
      While i find that irritating on its own, your argument was btw. already invalidated in other posts above you.

      Delete
    2. As I point out below, the "he could leave at any time" crowd willfully ignores the fact that this is forcing a choice on the victim between torture and utter total in-game destruction. That's no choice at all.

      Delete
  40. Ripard,

    I’ve been reading your extended meditation on EVE players behaving badly with great interest and I must say you’ve built up to a nice crescendo. I do hope you plan an epilogue because as things stand you’re stranding your readers on an unsatisfying “Something must be done!” precipice. T’would be most helpful to elaborate, at least a little, on what that something is.

    Is banning Erotica 1 and friends sufficient?

    Does CCP’s EULA/TOS language need adjustment to detail that Erotica 1 type behavior is a bannable offence?

    Should game mechanics be changed to make this sort of behavior more difficult? (In this particular case I suppose that means disabling the portion of the API system that enables the mark to reveal his assets.)

    It’s often comparatively easy to bring a problem to light but damnably difficult to propose what to do about it.

    In for a penny, in for a pound?

    DireNecessity

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See Ripard's latest post. "Hard limits are needed on behavior and those limits should be enforced. I don't know where the exact line is ..."

      Seems that he's going to stick with the penny part.

      Delete
    2. People seem to be under the mistaken impression that the only reason CCP can remove someone from their game is for a EULA/TOS violation. I assure you that is not the case. They can refuse to offer service to anyone they choose and simply stop taking this person's money.

      Delete
  41. You read the article and find the need to point this out, but not to say anything else about the real subject?
    While i find that irritating on its own, your argument was btw. already invalidated in other posts above you.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hello! This Jester fellow seems awfully mad. Please just sit down and enjoy some tea. Perhaps some relaxing music. Life's too short for such silly behaviour here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Take a look at the catalogue of criteria for ICD (International Statistical Classification of Diseases) 10 F60.2
      Think about it ...

      Delete
  43. Let's say you're given a choice by someone who's taken control of everything you own: your bank accounts, your home, all your assets, everywhere. You can endure torture, or you can walk away without even a stitch of clothing to your name.

    Is "torture or destitution" really a choice?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not the same. Don't make it the same. E1 cannot force this man to do anything. The guy gives him all his assets. He doesn't have to, right? If life was that easy "give me all your stuff", I've been doing it wrong for all these years.

      Delete
    2. You gave them control that's the fucking point he didn't hack u you chose to give him ur shit. U know what irl I gave my ex wife power of attorney when I deployed she took all my shit and left me what dev should I QQ too. Ffs screw the ignorant education isn't free. Hopefully if u get scammed u learn something but no we need to cry that it's not fair that i was so naive that i gave all my shit away. Ffs one born every minute i guess

      Delete
  44. When you market your game under the slogan, “Be The Villain,” that suggests that you want players who are comfortable with a fairly high level of moral ambiguity, who are prepared and able to do things in the game that will intentionally ruin the day of other players. I think it’s a smart, gutsy strategy to pursue, and it seems to have worked quite well for CCP. Because when you get right down to it, aren’t the best films, TV shows, novels, etc., the ones that have the most interesting antagonists? CCP gets it: if you want engaging and high-quality content, you need to attract engaging, high-quality bad guys.

    Yet in the process of pursuing this strategy, you are bound to pull in some individuals who embrace their role as villain with a disturbing level of zeal. That’s because they are not actually playing a role – these people are the real deal. Are they genuinely “evil”? Could be, yes; but they are cut from the same crooked timber of humanity that we all are, and CCP needs to prune them away as needed, decisively but cautiously, and on a case-by-case basis. So far, I think they’ve done an excellent job of it.

    But what I find most troubling about this recent jeremiad of yours, Ripard, is that you are writing as if you just recently discovered the existence of evil—not just in Eve Online, but in the world in general. This is the line in the post that really floored me: “I assure you, Dear Reader, that there is evil in this world.” You don’t say? This is a little hard to swallow, because it suggests a profound level of naivete on your part. It also suggests that these recent blog posts are not actually about “Eve players behaving badly,” or about the game community or your concern for potential bad publicity directed at CCP. I think what you’re really concerned with is nothing less than wrongdoing by human beings against other human beings. And that is not a problem that can — or should — be resolved within the context of an online game, especially one in which we are continually visiting violence upon one another.

    I take a moment here to briefly remind you, Ripard: this is not just the Eve community that you are part of, this is the species that you are a part of.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the idea of moral ambivalence because that's why I go there. The idea is: if they can do it to me, I can do it to them. Up to that point I'm fine with that. It's supposed to be a mature environment.

      If you've spent any kind of time in EVE then you know the scammers are part of the fauna. It's just the reality of the place.

      They cannot force the guy to give them his API key. They cannot force him to hand over all his assets. That is his own doing. That is greed at work. He cannot even say 'They took all my stuff'. Because they didn't. They can't. He gave them all his stuff. Where in the real world would you do that? How can you not see what a fantastic liability that is?

      Outside of the client, the guy is every bit his own person as they are. He submits to that kind of pressure. Why does he feel like he needs to do that? It makes no sense.

      I don't condone the bullshit outside of the client, I can't summon sympathy for someone who just hands over all his assets. I don't even know how that kind of thinking works.

      Delete
    2. You can't feel sympathy for a naive person to get psychologically abused?
      Sorry, but you are missing empathy.
      Scams work in the real world very well, too, btw. even to the extend of ruining others existances. From the simple grandchild trick to Bernard Madoff.

      Delete
    3. Yeah and this is exactly the reason I want my kids to play a game like eve not a game like most theme park rvr where u can trust anyone as long as their not in the horde or w/e. I'd much rather my kid gets duped out of some useless pixels instead of something real......you all know this is just a game right.....like diplomacy lol

      Delete
  45. Have you seen the GD thread?

    https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4385598#post4385598

    What a sick bunch... the Kool Aid is strong with EVE cultists.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hm. I seem to have my very own threadnaught. Not what I intended, but I find I can live with it. And yes, obviously Erotica 1's supporters are going to come out of the woodwork along with all of their alts.

      Delete
  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Blaming the victim is a pretty abhorrent thing by itself. Burglars are still guilty even if you didn't lock your door. The police will likely tell me I should have, but the burglar can still be prosecuted.

    If you date someone who turns out to be an abuser and other people warned you about them, they can still be prosecuted for assault. Not trusting your friend's judgement doesn't mean assault isn't still illegal.

    If you go down a dark alley, and get murdered the police still arrest the person who did it. They may put out a statement saying, don't go down dark alleys, but the person who murdered you still committed a crime.

    There seems to be this idea in EVE that if a victim doesn't sufficiently protect themselves from their attacker (physical, mental, emotional) that the attacker is somehow absolved of the crime. Except that's not true outside of tyrannical dictatorships which are basically governments of, by and for psychopaths.

    CCP *should* make an example of this guy and his friends. If banning him outright has legal issues they should refuse to take his money. Screw the EULA. Because CCP has created a world where this kind of thing isn't just tolerated, but admired by a non-trivial part of the player-base, they've also made it nearly impossible to get some people to play -- people who would otherwise be good at the game.

    A lot of people would like to think that this is just to get people to be better at the game and HTFU, but it's not. It's actually disturbed people getting their jollies off of other people's suffering. These are likely abuse victims themselves and likely need therapy. Because inflicting pain -- real pain -- is not going to help them with their own.

    Ultimately, CCP can continue its support of these kinds of people, but it's going to lead to the only real conclusion -- EVE never being anything other than a niche product for abusers. They've created a sandbox where they can hurt other people without real repercussions. People forget that while we, as kids, can create whatever we want in the sandbox, there is usually a parent nearby to stop us when one kid starts beating on all the others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with most every point you make. Well said.

      Delete
  48. And by the way, as vile as the behavior is that is captured on this recording, it is NOT torture. Ask the inmates at Abu Ghraib, for example, whether this is even remotely equivalent to what they experienced. Don’t broaden and dilute the concept of torture by trying to include any and all forms of mental torment inflicted on others that we find objectionable. Full stop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just because something is not as bad as something else does not mean it does not necessarily qualify. "Torture" does not only apply to putting people on the rack or cutting off their fingers.

      I will agree that hyperbole is probably good to avoid in this case, but saying it wasn't hanging someone from the ceiling for three days straight so therefore it isn't torture is kind of a broken way to think about things. If it isn't "torture" it's certainly abuse.

      Delete
    2. Psychological torture is still torture. Ask any child that grew up under a psychologically abusive parent, or any wife who suffered under a psychologically abusive husband.

      I agree physical agony is not involved. But that is not the only definition of the word.

      Delete
  49. I don't condone E1's practices as it pertains to the kind of shenanigans he pulls outside of the client. This has nothing to do with EVE. He does it outside of the client and he knows damn well why he does that.

    OTOH, and it was mentioned in the piece: giving someone in EVE every last one of your assets, that simply has got to be the most stupid thing I've ever heard. That request of and by itself has to the be biggest warning flag in gaming history that you're going to be had.

    I have seen E1's scams pass and the 'read my bio' messages are cute, but it is EVE, you know the guy is scamming you. That is the whole point. That is their bread and butter. Why would anyone possibly go along with that?

    I'm going along with E1 up to and including the point where the victim gives him all his assets, because there's just no excuse for being that stupid. There just isn't. It is a lesson in why greed is a bad thing to succumb to and it should be taught the hard way. I can live with that, no problem.

    The mental harassment, for me, is crossing a line. That's where it stops being funny for most people I would say. Then you could look at applicable law.

    I have a really good way of preventing me from ever handing over my stuff to just anyone. I've got stuff in over 100 stations. I'll be fucked if I'm creating 100+ contracts just to play games with some idiot. It cannot possibly be worth it.

    Tl;dr: Up to the point where the idiot gives E1 all his assets I'm good with it. It's not my kind of game play but it's a hard lesson and some people need that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't hardly listen to the recordings. Someone added timestamps to key parts of the Sokar one which is the only reason I listened to it. Scamming just isn't my bag mostly because, even with all the evidence, I can't believe there are people stupid enough to go for it and so I can't keep a straight face while trying to do it.

      But I also don't see how it can be called mental harassment when the "vicitim" came willingly at every, single, step, in, the, process. He sent isk to be doubled.. willingly. Joined the bonus room, willingly. If I remember right Sokar had to install Teamspeak.. he did that willingly. Contracted his assets willingly.. read wikipedia articles willingly, sang songs (did he ever sing any? can't remember).. willingly... This is so far from actual torture that people in this blog want to liken it too as to be ludicrous. Actual torture doesn't involve the word "willingly" so much unless its consensual BDSM.

      I don't find what Erotica 1 does entertaining. But I'm having a hard time seeing him as a real life bad guy versus an in-game bad guy. He's a scammer in Eve. His entire stick is preying on the gullible. A lot of the posters here, and Jester himself, can't stomach that sort of game play. I'm sure they look at the gullible as children or something. But its a highly competitive video game with virtually no rules about how you separate the other guy from his assets. There are plenty of other games, almost all of them, that come with tons of restrictions to protect the gullible. Eve doesn't need to change to become like them.

      And fyi: they aren't children. supposedly these are adults, although by their words in local and on TS you could hardly tell.

      Delete
    2. Economic coercion is still coercion. People are invested in their things. If I tell you you can get your stuff back if you do these things, many people will do it because they're invested in their things -- they have emotional value. And, especially with EVE, where it's encouraged to think of your things in real currency value, people place value on that as well. Also people will invest in trying to win a situation like that because their self-esteem is on the line. They don't want to feel like a victim.

      As for your willing comments. If someone threatens to destroy all your valuable or kill a loved one unless you do something, that's not "willing". Only the first two exchanges where he put his money in to be doubled and got it back out was he doing things willingly. After that he trusted them, wrongly, because up to that point things had worked out. After contracting them his stuff, their refusal to return it meant everything after that was coerced.

      Delete
    3. I do not condone real-life theft, even if one steals from an elderly person with Alzheimer's that does not realize he or she is being stolen from.

      Malcolm may feel differently, I suppose.

      Delete
  50. Eve in my opinion, having been around such a long time, and a den for lots of internet bullies, trolls and unsavoury people exploiting those weaker than themselves (via assets or just 'socially') is not far away from being tied to one of those bullying-suicide cases (like that chatroom case recently).

    I actually agree that people's freedoms need to be protected especially with regards to gameplay like highsec ganking and scamming - but when it turn into bullying weaker or more vulnerable people over comms for hours, just for laughs it is remiss of CCP NOT to act to protect the walfare of its playerbase.

    CCP do have a responsibility to protect their players from bullying. My personal view is they should remove that persons chat rights in local, forum posting and keep an eye on any complaints about their activity.

    Eve is popular because it has a dark side yes, but lets be honest, the dark side we mean are things like in game heists, metagaming, scamming, piracy and such IN GAME sinister events. Lumping into that category some bully over comms who also happens to be a scammer and saying he deserves his freedom to bully too 'because Eve has a dark side' is obtuse.

    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Maybe this is because I come from uo and lineage 2 where scams happened all the time but 2 words personal responsibility. Hell ccp is doing these fools a service they are getting scammed out of isk instead of real.money. these ppl need edujaction education is never free. I know its a game blah blah blah but consequences are what set eve apart. Just like irl if u are dumb enuf to give all your money to a guy willing to double it or hell a slot machine. You lose your money its how eve and the world work personal responsibility. Without this the would die. Lets face it we aren't all here for the pve.
    ..........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When CCP started selling ISK for real money, it became real money in many people's minds. Also personal responsibility is also the responsibility to not be a bastard to other people. Where is their personal responsibility. Or do people only have a responsibility to not be a victim?

      Delete
  52. Wow.

    You see it all in new Eden. Infinite greed meet infinite cruelty.

    Whether or not you disagree with the antagonist, Jester's point remains the same:
    This is the kind of yucky stuff most people will put under the "not in my backyard" label before moving up to another game.
    I can see the marketing t-shirts: "New Eden, where torture is NOT frowned upon...".

    Regardless of your moral standpoint, the pragmatic aspects of this situation are scary.
    One day, an even more immoral person will get Erotica 1 personal data, like his street address, available online.
    And then, every unhinged scammed violent maniac will come knocking on his door with a baseball bat.

    I'm amazed at what stupid people thinks they can get away with on the Net.
    When you deal with real people, even in a virtual universe, there's always a risk of real consequences.

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    Replies
    1. Since he's running for CSM he will have to give CCP and therefore the Eve community his real life details. He knows this. If someone does what you suggest over a video game, they will go to jail, not Erotica 1. That will be both tragic and hilarious at the same time.

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  53. If you want CCP to do something then get this story into the media. Nothing works quicker than bad press and given a nice write-up with well edited clips of the audio you could make this look really bad. I'm sure news outlets would jump at the chance for a drama story like this.

    You could even reference the whole suicide thing with Mittens. That was a pretty big blunder but CCP is happy for him to continue playing as one of the most important figures in the game.

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  54. Happy you're bringing this up, Jester. This is a painful discussion the community needs to have with CCP.

    I tried explaining this to my wife yesterday and yes, I got the response you suggested I would get.

    Truth is I am not comfortable telling my friends I play this game, pretty much due to the bad stuff that goes on in there.

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  55. It appears many of the, if not defenders then excusers, of this are using 'it's just a game'. With the primary variation being "he wasn't chained, he could have turned it off and walked away."

    No. Just no. The mind is weird. We - people in general - make these little connections and suddenly something that shouldn't matter does, and we will be unable to let go.

    See the Stanford Prison Experiment as an example. Two of the 'prisoners' subject to the abuse quit. Ten did not - they could have but they were psychologically invested.

    Actually, the SPE has other elements that may also apply. Things such as how when the 'superintendent' did not stop the abuse, it increased. And that none of the 'guards' quit or even saw anything wrong with the increasing abuse.

    I don't think it's there, yet. But I think this 'outlier', and a few other incidents that have poked above the horizon (isn't that the game where...), mean it's close and the superintendent needs to act or see it go there.

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  56. Well that escalated quickly.

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    1. Yeah, there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident.

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  57. So, let's see if the following interactions between player A and B against EULA or TOS

    1) A propose to give B some isk, if B give A some real world money.
    2) A propose to give B some isk, if B come and clean A's house.
    3) A propose to give B some isk, if B sings twenty songs on Teamspeak.
    4) A propose to doubles B's isk, if B sings twenty songs on Teamspeak.

    1 is against EULA, but how about 2-4?

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  58. http://evevillain.com/stories/34-commentary-hyperbole-does-not-a-convincing-argument-make

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  59. I don't want EVE to become known as a game where a bunch of assholes make fun of an (admittedly stupid) victim for hours on end. Regardless of whether it happened inside or outside of the game, if this recording becomes widely known it will have a direct impact on how the media views EVE and thus is harming EVE as a whole.
    It's harming my ability to remain in the game, because I might be associated with such assholes.
    "Wait, you're playing that game where people torture each other for hours?"

    Created a petition, let's see what CCP things.

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  60. @March 25, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    EVE is already the game where a bunch of people make fun of a stupid victim for months and years to come.

    And Jester, the word torture is wrong, I really hope you will not end up in real tortue. It is still a game, people join freely and the only pressure is game money.

    And the source of the problem is again completely anonymity in eve. No one except ccp can do anything about it, and that is the source of the problem, the reason why the eve sandbox is broken. Players can not police themselves because there is no way they can do anything about this. Erotica 1 may have a dozen different alts and you might be even flying with him in your fleets and will never know it ;-)

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  61. I played the clip for my girlfriend. She announced that I am indeed a horrible, amoral person, but still bangable. Whew. She also expressed her own relief that she didn't wind up married to this putz of a victim.

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    1. Yeah, I didn't include girlfriends or wives in the list of acceptable female relations because these charming ladies tend to overlook our many flaws.

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  62. A well-argued and thought-provoking post, Ripard - thank you.

    Unfortunately, those who engage in and/or defend the kind of abusive behavior you describe are unlikely to change their behavior in the slightest. They rationalize their actions under the banner of "It's only a game," and they point at the greed of the victim as a worthy reason for this level of exploitation.

    It's a sad but undeniable fact that some people are just mean, sadistic egoists, with no empathy for other human beings.

    Now, should this player be banned by CCP Games? That is another question altogether, and I think I lean more towards "No" - as much as I hate to admit it. I don't see where Erotica 1 violated any EULA or TOS limits here, explicitly. And I don't want CCP to start banning people just for pushing the limits of bad behavior - that is too arbitrary. And I'm sure CCP doesn't want to become the "morality police" for the EVE community.

    I don't have a good answer, other than to continue to teach new players to avoid people like Erotica 1.

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    1. You seem to think that CCP needs a EULA or TOS violation to ban someone - they don't. They own everything in the game and if they don't want you in it, you aren't in it. The banhammer is mighty! This isn't a real country and CCP doesn't have to answer to anyone but the customer.

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    2. I agree that CCP Games can do whatever it wants, of course. This is their game and our participation is a privilege, which can be taken away if CCP so chooses. I simply hope that CCP be very, very careful in how they use the banhammer to punish bad player behavior - using it for TOS or EULA violations is clear, but outside of that, it starts to get a lot fuzzier.

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    3. Fair enough, Neville, but let me flip this on its head for a moment. If CCP did choose to permanently ban Erotica 1 -- and I continue to endorse this -- it would be quite interesting to see the justifications that would be made behind any complaints.

      Other than making fellow sociopaths smile, does this person have redeeming qualities? I sure do not see any.

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    4. Trust me, I am cringing as I find myself stating any kind of defense for Erotica 1. I agree with you that his behavior is totally despicable and well deserving of contempt, and nothing would please me more than to see him and his ilk banned from EVE Online. Nevertheless, I think CCP Games has to walk a very fine line here. If they start banning people without a clear standard, then it has the potential to be perceived as arbitrary, which only encourages some players to "push the envelope" further and see what they can get away with. This could backfire into even more abusive behavior in the game - and I think we have too much of that already. Perhaps it's time for CCP Games to rethink their policies, and publish a revised standard - that would be ideal.

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  63. Sensationalize much?!?! While I agree this was probably over the line, its not torture. I dont want to take up the banner for torture victims here (lest this get more ridiculous), but Im sure if you ask anyone that has actually been tortured they might point out he was made to sing songs and could leave at any point. Sometimes I "tickle torture" my son, perhaps you have something to say about that?

    May I also point out, we have heard recordings of folks being tortured on stage at fanfest while we all laughed like sociopaths (i.e., they were "forced" to sing songs on TS)...so where do u suggest we draw the line? Slippery slope.

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    1. I love how the "he could leave at any point" crowd very carefully and continuously fails to mention that "he could leave at any point, so long as he agrees to not have ANY assets in the game once he does."

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  64. Go away Poe. No one misses you.

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  65. HTFU. This is called evolution: idiots suffer.

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    1. "The other guy was stupid so it's ok to make him do something he is not too comfortable with for two hours for my personal amusement for no in-game gain and/or advantage"

      Love the community.

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  66. Get the gaming press involved. CCP won't be willing to do anything unless it starts to threaten their bottom line. If the company is okay with selling this kind of social experience, then it should be promoted far and wide.

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  67. Jester, thanks for bringing this to the attention of the public. This is completely unacceptable behavior and it borders on 3rd-world atrocity status. I wonder how these people function in society, as they are clearly sociopaths.

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  68. If I remember correctly another one of Erotic 1's "bonus rooms" involved a player continually undocking from a station and getting themselves blown up. It was a relatively new player who didn't fully understand EVEs mechanics and in doing so lost all of the skills points they had earned because they couldn't upgrade their clone.

    Yea they are pretty much the definition of a dick

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  69. A very important issue to debate. There is a clear difference between using game mechanics (i.e. too many zeros on a contract, tricking someone into going flashy, corp hangar theft) to gain an advantage, ISK or otherwise, and bullying someone by humiliating them in exchange for the promise of returning their assets. In fact I would suggest that CCP had already made clear that out-of-game harassment is not acceptable when they ejected Mittens from the CSM.

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  70. To those saying get the gaming press involved, here is your wish

    http://massively.joystiq.com/2014/03/25/heres-some-of-the-cyberbullying-that-happens-in-eve-online/

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  71. The "process" starts with the "victim" transferring everything they have to random guy on nothing but a *promise* of money.

    This is the real life equivalent of a stranger telling you that, if you give him all your money, your car, and mortgage on your house, he will double that and give it back right away.

    As far as I can tell, people who fall for this kind of thing don't even qualify as homo sapiens sapiens and I have zero pity or sympathy for them.

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