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Mittens fanfest controversy - The CCP perspective

Author
Argyle Jones
Brutor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#1 - 2012-04-02 16:05:33 UTC
This post will focus on the actions of CCP and their role in preventing unacceptable player behavior. To those of you who do not have the full picture, I'll open this thread with a chronological list of links to the relevant media:



The Moral and Ethical obligations of CCP

Few people would deny that The Mittani made a mistake with his inebriated remarks on stage at the alliance panel discussion, so the morality issue is not whether or not what he did was wrong. Rather we should examine exactly what part of the presentation was over the line.

As is evident both from the Michael Bolton interview and the CCP Devblog, CCP was very much aware of what this presentation was going to be about. CCP Soundwave knew about the suicide angle already back in January and at the FanFest they reviewed the slideshow prior to the panel discussion.

As such, it is clear that CCP knowingly allowed the part of The Mittani's presentation where he mockingly reads out correspondence from a depressed EVE online player, regarding this players personal issues such as depression, suicidal thoughts and divorce, and we can note that the reading drew laughter and applause from the attending crowd and CCP employee. It is only The Mittani's comments in the Q&A section of the panel that CCP seems to have a problem with:

Quote:
The character was not specifically named in the slide (which is why it passed the review stage), but in the subsequent Q&A session following the presentation, the panelist spontaneously mentioned and then spelled out the name of the character (important to note not the player) in response to a question, suggesting “if you want to make the guy go kill himself, his name is [[REDACTED]], it’s [[NAME SPELLED OUT]]… He has his own corp. Find him.”


The argument here is that it is OK to make fun of people's personal problems, on stage in front of the fanfest crowd and to the entire stream of viewers, as long as you don't give out their in-game name and encourage others harass the player. One would have expected that any CCP employee who vetted this slideshow would have found the guy's claim to being suicidal, would have taken some kind of action towards validating the correspondence and if found authentic would have notified appropriate authorities. Instead they simply allowed the presentation, and then clapped and laughed at it.

Of course it is highly irrational to threaten a complete stranger with suicide over the loss of pixels and virtual money in an online game. This person likely has problems that have nothing to do with the game and it is unfair to put the responsibility for such irrational actions on the the Mittani, the Goons or CCP.

That said, I do think CCP needs to take a long hard look at the type of behavior they're endorsing. It's internet space ships. It's serious business. We love the combat, the deceit, the lies and all the tear harvesting shenanigans that is EVE online, but it must never cross the threshold into real world harassment, and I think there's a limit to how far you can push the 'brutal sandbox' agenda before you inadvertently cause the type of problems we've seen here today.

A sadly not so hypothetical example (people are actually doing this to harass the depressed player right now), if you take your entire alliance and begin stalking one person, suicide ganking him everywhere he goes, basically ruining his EVE online gaming experience to the point where he can't undock... for no other reason than to 'collect his tears' - then we are far past the acceptable and bordering on the world of cyber bullying.

CCP knew what was in that presentation. The lead game designer knew months in advance, yet they allowed it, laughed at it and applauded the speaker publicly, and only after the controversy made it into the mainstream gaming media did they suddenly become shocked at the now unacceptable presentation.

When did EVE Online go from a game of fun to a game of tears?

/Yargle
Jade Constantine
Jericho Fraction
The Star Fraction
#2 - 2012-04-02 16:12:53 UTC
Argyle Jones wrote:
This post will focus on the actions of CCP and their role in preventing unacceptable player behavior. To those of you who do not have the full picture, I'll open this thread with a chronological list of links to the relevant media:



The Moral and Ethical obligations of CCP

Few people would deny that The Mittani made a mistake with his inebriated remarks on stage at the alliance panel discussion, so the morality issue is not whether or not what he did was wrong. Rather we should examine exactly what part of the presentation was over the line.

As is evident both from the Michael Bolton interview and the CCP Devblog, CCP was very much aware of what this presentation was going to be about. CCP Soundwave knew about the suicide angle already back in January and at the FanFest they reviewed the slideshow prior to the panel discussion.

As such, it is clear that CCP knowingly allowed the part of The Mittani's presentation where he mockingly reads out correspondence from a depressed EVE online player, regarding this players personal issues such as depression, suicidal thoughts and divorce, and we can note that the reading drew laughter and applause from the attending crowd and CCP employee. It is only The Mittani's comments in the Q&A section of the panel that CCP seems to have a problem with:

Quote:
The character was not specifically named in the slide (which is why it passed the review stage), but in the subsequent Q&A session following the presentation, the panelist spontaneously mentioned and then spelled out the name of the character (important to note not the player) in response to a question, suggesting “if you want to make the guy go kill himself, his name is [[REDACTED]], it’s [[NAME SPELLED OUT]]… He has his own corp. Find him.”


The argument here is that it is OK to make fun of people's personal problems, on stage in front of the fanfest crowd and to the entire stream of viewers, as long as you don't give out their in-game name and encourage others harass the player. One would have expected that any CCP employee who vetted this slideshow would have found the guy's claim to being suicidal, would have taken some kind of action towards validating the correspondence and if found authentic would have notified appropriate authorities. Instead they simply allowed the presentation, and then clapped and laughed at it.

Of course it is highly irrational to threaten a complete stranger with suicide over the loss of pixels and virtual money in an online game. This person likely has problems that have nothing to do with the game and it is unfair to put the responsibility for such irrational actions on the the Mittani, the Goons or CCP.

That said, I do think CCP needs to take a long hard look at the type of behavior they're endorsing. It's internet space ships. It's serious business. We love the combat, the deceit, the lies and all the tear harvesting shenanigans that is EVE online, but it must never cross the threshold into real world harassment, and I think there's a limit to how far you can push the 'brutal sandbox' agenda before you inadvertently cause the type of problems we've seen here today.

A sadly not so hypothetical example (people are actually doing this to harass the depressed player right now), if you take your entire alliance and begin stalking one person, suicide ganking him everywhere he goes, basically ruining his EVE online gaming experience to the point where he can't undock... for no other reason than to 'collect his tears' - then we are far past the acceptable and bordering on the world of cyber bullying.

CCP knew what was in that presentation. The lead game designer knew months in advance, yet they allowed it, laughed at it and applauded the speaker publicly, and only after the controversy made it into the mainstream gaming media did they suddenly become shocked at the now unacceptable presentation.

When did EVE Online go from a game of fun to a game of tears?

/Yargle


Very good post. I hope it ends up on the desk of senior Eve community managers and GM's at CCP.

The True Knowledge is that nothing matters that does not matter to you, might does make right and power makes freedom

ConXtionS
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#3 - 2012-04-02 16:57:54 UTC
Ya know, all these people that keeping coming to mittens defense I honestly dont get it

Ok, so goons blew up a guy that was having a difficult time. I don't think many of us ask people "are you doing ok today?' before we kill them... However, the guy then took the time to try and work things out with the goons and of course got screwed over for it, and then writes a clearly heartfelt note explaining the he is having a really hard time in his life right now

I think at that moment MOST of us would stop harassing the guy. Most people who ARE NOT BULLYS dont like to pick on people just because they are weak in real life. But Goons are not most of us..

The goons take this guys letter to the biggest show of the year for eve, and PUBLICALLY berates and degrades the guy for trusting goons in the first place, and for being so weak as to tell someone that he has fallen on hard times.

Then the GOONS give out the guys eve name and to top it all off, suggest that everyone send this guy a note with the intention the guy kills himself

Was mittens drunk when he made the slides he was going to show at fanfest????

Was mittens drunk as he thought out what he was going to say about the slides???

Probably not....

The idea that we should just look the other way because the leader of goons was DRUNK at the time he said something stupid is sickening. A whole lot of time, energy, and planning went into that drunken statement

Now I am hearing that you goons dont like the term "CYBER BULLY

Well, if you target a weaker individual, humilate and degrade that person you know is weak, Plan for weeks or months to humilate him more infront of a larger audience, then to add insult to injury you try to recruite other people to push the guy over the edge in the hope that he takes his own life???? Yeah, YOU ARE ALL BULLYS

Again I call on the CSM and CCP to continue to look deeper into this, it is not a 10 second drunk ooopsie... This was planned out in advance and carried out by the leader of a large alliance. All the people that helped make this happen and other incidents where people are forced to endure goonish tactics, should be banned for alot more than 30 days

CCP this story isnt going away, you really need to get a handle on these type of actions before it ruins the game for all of us

PS yeah... I cant spell for crap, big deal.. At least I dont pick on people

Yup, I copied this over from another post because it makes sense here...
Slumber Hawk
Shadow on the moon
#4 - 2012-04-02 17:36:10 UTC
two quick remarks on this:
First:
1) Its unlucky if you were the last who spoke to such a person, aware or not, even a helpful remark can be seen as hateful sarcasm
2) Its different if you publicly prove someone can be pushed over the edge AND tell people to help pushing.

Second:
I don't think blaming everyone is the way to go on this. But a good thing would be to think about how to avoid such thing in the future.
Arkon Olacar
Avalanche.
Fraternity.
#5 - 2012-04-02 18:08:26 UTC
Oh look, a topic that hasnt been discussed recently, lets all make long posts with previously unstated points of view, we need to inform the playerbase of this new development immediatly.
ConXtionS
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#6 - 2012-04-02 18:13:45 UTC
I am not blaming "EVERYONE" However it is clear that more people share blame in this one case than have been punished, and considering goons harassment over the past few years it is likely there are other cases. Once all those people are punished for breaking the rules that I and everyone else has to play by then I will be glad to move on.

It is not fair to the thousands of people who follow the rules, who do what is right, who DONT DEGRADE AND BULLY, to just say "ok, starting tomorrow we are going to enforce the rules". The people "ALL OF THEM" who helped make the presentation, who killed the ships, who rigged the scams, need to be punished. Then CCP will be sending a message instead of begging for complience.

Lanasak
Doomheim
#7 - 2012-04-02 18:15:12 UTC
ConXtionS wrote:
The people "ALL OF THEM" who helped make the presentation, who killed the ships, who rigged the scams, need to be punished.


At what point did any of them do anything deserving of a ban?
Argyle Jones
Brutor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#8 - 2012-04-02 18:19:09 UTC
ConXtionS wrote:
I am not blaming "EVERYONE" However it is clear that more people share blame in this one case than have been punished, and considering goons harassment over the past few years it is likely there are other cases. Once all those people are punished for breaking the rules that I and everyone else has to play by then I will be glad to move on.

It is not fair to the thousands of people who follow the rules, who do what is right, who DONT DEGRADE AND BULLY, to just say "ok, starting tomorrow we are going to enforce the rules". The people "ALL OF THEM" who helped make the presentation, who killed the ships, who rigged the scams, need to be punished. Then CCP will be sending a message instead of begging for complience.



I'd appreciate it if you either stayed on topic or started your own thread instead of derailing mine. This post is about CCP and their role in this debacle, not about Goons.



ConXtionS
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#9 - 2012-04-02 18:21:50 UTC
They were picking on a guy who was weak, who they KNEW was weak.... They wanted the guy to kill himself, they thought it was funny. If you read other posts, they admitt they knew this guy had some problems but "so much time and planning had went into this already" they just went ahead and pushed the guy more.

THEY WERE BULLYS

I cant believe after all that has been written, said, and written some more you even had to ask that question.
Lanasak
Doomheim
#10 - 2012-04-02 18:25:11 UTC
ConXtionS wrote:
They were picking on a guy who was weak, who they KNEW was weak.... They wanted the guy to kill himself, they thought it was funny. If you read other posts, they admitt they knew this guy had some problems but "so much time and planning had went into this already" they just went ahead and pushed the guy more.

THEY WERE BULLYS

I cant believe after all that has been written, said, and written some more you even had to ask that question.


Are you talking about the 80b scam on Kugu? That is totally unrelated to this incident.
ConXtionS
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#11 - 2012-04-02 18:25:49 UTC
Argyle Jones wrote:
ConXtionS wrote:
I am not blaming "EVERYONE" However it is clear that more people share blame in this one case than have been punished, and considering goons harassment over the past few years it is likely there are other cases. Once all those people are punished for breaking the rules that I and everyone else has to play by then I will be glad to move on.

It is not fair to the thousands of people who follow the rules, who do what is right, who DONT DEGRADE AND BULLY, to just say "ok, starting tomorrow we are going to enforce the rules". The people "ALL OF THEM" who helped make the presentation, who killed the ships, who rigged the scams, need to be punished. Then CCP will be sending a message instead of begging for complience.



I'd appreciate it if you either stayed on topic or started your own thread instead of derailing mine. This post is about CCP and their role in this debacle, not about Goons.






Im sorry if you feel I got off topic. To me it is the LACK OF ACTIONS by CCP that has allowed the situation to fester. In my mind, only CCP can clear this up by sweeping changes, enforced rules, and providing game content not a public site to bully from. The fact its goons in the spot light is mittens fault, not mine. I am simply asking CCP to take strong, quick corrective action.

I will however not mention them again.
Aruken Marr
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#12 - 2012-04-02 18:40:30 UTC
This whiteknighting gets very old, very quickly. Don't you have a local newspaper to write to or something?
Katarina Reid
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#13 - 2012-04-02 23:00:17 UTC
What was in the presentation is allowed in eve. If its part of eve why not have it in the presentation. The only part against the rules was the QA.
Alavaria Fera
Imperial Shipment
#14 - 2012-04-02 23:51:14 UTC
Lanasak wrote:
Are you talking about the 80b scam on Kugu? That is totally unrelated to this incident.

Tell me more about this titan-ic scam.

Triggered by: Wars of Sovless Agression, Bending the Knee, Twisting the Knife, Eating Sov Wheaties, Bombless Bombers, Fizzlesov, Interceptor Fleets, Running Away, GhostTime Vuln, Renters, Bombs, Bubbles ?