Erotica 1 has apparently been banned after a witchhunt largely stirred up by Jester. I have not said much about this, but I find myself still thinking about it. And so, instead of another episode of me stupidly dying or me killing someone stupid, you get this stupid stuff. Blame Jester. Man, I hate politics. Politics is the mind-killer. Consider yourself warned.
The scam is described in this article, which you should read if you want a balanced look at it. It appears to be authored by one of E1's helpers, so grain of salt. Nonetheless, it describes the reason for the "torture", as Jester would have it, of the sucker:
Is it a Scam? ... Yes. Absolutely. But you CAN win! ... As scams go in EVE, the ability to disassociate your activity from a scam, the better it’s going to work. In ISK doubling you see this with people getting small amounts of ISK doubled, but lose larger amounts.
Winners are guaranteed in nearly all EVE scams, because winners bring in contestants.
Now, many would still be wondering what is the goal of everything AFTER the asset transaction. Is it pure sadism? Is it just sick individuals getting their jollies off on others misfortune?
While sometimes entertaining for multiple parties involved, that is not the goal. To maintain the illusion of legitimacy, there has to be a reason for someone to lose. So long as there can be made the case that the contestant simply lost by not following the rules, it becomes easy to keep a scam going.
I do not use the word torture lightly. Look at any list of psychological torture methods you like. ... 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. ... Play her the recording. Let her judge this recording from outside the bubble that you're living in.His goal was to get E1 banned from the game. The thing went a bit viral. It appears his side prevailed. CCP never discusses bans, but E1 is apparently banned.
So. That's the background. Now, what's my take on it? I am quite sure you want to know.
First, let me say that I do not scam, will never scam, and I do not want to closely associate with scammers. It's not my cup of tea. I find trust much more rewarding (and indeed, even E1 has his trusted agents). If I found out E1 was in my corp, I'd kick him. Jester and the pharisees are right that what E1 recorded is a nasty bit of work. At least, if what I have read about it is accurate.
Let me also say that I neither listened to the bonus round recording nor did I play it for the nearest woman. I value my time, and I don't need to do that to grasp what's in it. Basic human psychology is enough to imagine both the agents and the sucker. The only reason for listening is to inflame one's heart with indignation, the better to hunt witches with.
Yes, as I have suggested, this is a classic witch hunt, or more specifically: moral panic. As such, I rejected it and revile it. And when I see people I respect, such as Jester, engaging in that trope it makes me sad. What a bunch of monkeys men are! And look what it drives them to. Not only do we get "for the children", we get the abuse of language ("torture" my ass), the moral preening, the holier-than-thou attitude, the "shocked, shocked" surprise at the existence of a contrary opinion. We get the strawmanning, and the lying imputation of the most awful motives to opponents. And we get the attempt to control the discourse, where what Jester cares about is "the main issue", and what anyone else cares about is a cowardly attempt at distraction. This is all classic dirty politics. I hate it all. Mindkiller.
But what of Jester's challenge? "The main issue is this: do you want this vile excuse for a human being and people like him playing our game and being part of our community?" The answer is yes. Yes, I want that vile excuse for a human being playing my game. In-con-ceivable!
So, Von, you want psychopaths in your EVE? Yes. Yes I do. Let me explain that.
EVE is real to us, because there is permanent gain and permanent loss which we care about. (Cf.: The Fundaments of EVE's Design.) Play well, and you get to have fun. Play badly, and it's less fun, even a grind. This is the genius of the game design. This is why I like the game, and after all this time I am still logging in.
Put another way, I like EVE because it is dangerous. Of course I try to minimize danger to myself. I zip up my system to run sites. I use warp core stabilizers. I don't autopilot much. And, not being two-sigmas of stupid and/or greedy, I do not engage with scammers. But while I do minimize my risk, I don't want risk to be absent from the game. Quite the opposite! I want the game to be dangerous. Part of that is keeping the game wide open, and that includes to scams.
I want EVE to be a game that attracts the best gaming minds, and for those minds to engage with each other, and with me, in a battle of wits for resources. Sometimes that battle is purely in-game. I twitch-click-click-type-type; your Epithal blows up. But EVE is a multiplayer game that rewards coordination. Battle can and must go outside of the game, too. For just as I can meet you and have a beer and laugh about the things we've done, I can plot with you to attack our enemies and take their stuff. And so, too, can I get you on coms and try to convince you to help me. Or try to convince you to give me all your stuff, and agree that I should not return it. All of that should be allowed.
When I think of Jita, I want to think of Mos Eisley. Not some kind of Coruscant. The former was alive and fascinating and dangerous; the latter was dead and boring and safe. It is said of Austin, Texas: Keep Austin Weird. Well, I say of EVE: Keep EVE Dangerous. The witchhunt against E1 is a small step in the wrong direction.
But... "for the children!" Yes, what of newbies? Someone has undoubtedly been scammed and given up, finding the game unfun and too hard. Well, that's too bad for him. One can hope that he will HTFU and try again. Let me note that most newbies are, actually, adults. (I note that E1's sucker in the recording is an adult, and he has not quit, even though he must have lost everything.) But it is to be hoped that the newbie sucker will learn a very valuable lesson about his own greed and gullibility, and at a remarkably low real-world cost; and that is regardless of whether he stays or goes. EVE: educating suckers since 2004. Keep EVE Dangerous.
But Jester demands to know: what would women think? Unless they play EVE, I don't care. (Tell me what Sugar thinks; I respect her opinion.) EVE is full of nasty stuff as viewed from the perspective of muggles, from "I'm killing this guy because killing is fun", to "jewing", to "rape cages", to "dickstars", to pornography. "Gay" is routinely used to insult. Guys talk about fucking and screwing each other, meaning hurting each other. They talk about going "balls deep". I accept this stuff and HTFU for the exactly the reason I already stated: I want the game to be hard, and this is the way that young men express themselves when they are not being censored. I play with a seven year old lurking around me on the weekends, so I know something about censoring. Just as I don't hunt when he watches, I don't show my wife some random porno some idiot in local linked. And I do not play them E1's recordings. Does it matter that muggles think EVE is an awful and dangerous place? Yes! That's the goal. EVE is gaming in hard mode. Keep EVE Dangerous.
There's two more loosely related things I want to mention. First, some have made the argument that there is a slippery slope here. Ban E1, they say, and next thing you know, James 315 is out. A year later, EVE is squeaky clean and not fun. Certainly those would be bad outcomes; but I do not think this slope is at all slippery. It's barely even a slope. Jester and would-be busybodies have only so much energy, while moving CCP is hard because ceteris paribus, they like paying customers. And we all have only so much attention. So, in the long run, do I care that E1 is out? No. Bad riddance to bad rubbish.
Second, there's a very modern idea out there, that (a) we can define all righteous behavior in pre-written rules, and (b) doing (a) is both necessary for justice and sufficient to achieve it. This is bollocks. Not only is the rule of law overrated, it's literally impossible. We cannot do (a) and (b) is consequently moot. Rule is always of men, never paper, at least until we invent strong AI. As such, you'd better try to place yourself under the rule of good men; and so far as I can tell, CCP are good enough. I fully support their right to ban anyone from EVE at any time for any reason; it is this that is both necessary and sufficient for a good environment to prevail. I feel they have given into the mob on this occasion, but I don't blame that on them, but the mob.