Which you will I be meeting today?

Hillary Nicole wrote a column on MMORPGM a week ago which touched on how online behaviour reflects on a person’s real nature.  (You can read it here).  She does not fully agree with the sentiment that people can totally disassociate themselves from their Online verses Real Life behaviour.

While I agree with the basic premise, EVE does not make it easy to make a clear black and white distinction.

A few days ago Rixx Javix blogged about his in game morals – a worthwhile read here.  Rixx is a proclaimed Pirate, with a qualified goal of “destroying all things”.

I don’t presume that Rixx has a destructive bent in real life, or likes killing or upsetting people.  EVE is a player verses player game – be that combat, on the markets, gathering resources, intelligence or conquest.  There are many different ways that it can be played, but you are always in competition against other players.

Rixx’s goal seems to be to have fun and be good at solo or small gang PVP against targets of opportunity, with consideration to his limited ISK resources and the professionalism expected by his Corporation.  I’ve not noticed any animosity against his chosen targets (aside occasionally good natured), he shows respect; occasionally gives pointers to the less experienced, and accepts his losses with grace.

To my mind his behaviour in EVE reflects well on him in real life, even if he is the antithesis of my risk adverse, not terribly social and not inclined to initiate PVP self.  He plays the game for fun and without malice, with a focus on skill.  I can respect that.

To my mind, it is not the game you play, but how you play it.

I thought I’d come up with some scenarios to try and highlight what I was talking about.  There was no need for the hypothetical, I soon had a flood of examples noted that I had seen or experienced first hand in game.  In fact, I could have gone on writing for hours.  (You have to love this game.)  I noted my personal judgement against each – but I don’t claim it to be correct.

. You deliberately and clinically infiltrate an enemy Corporation, sow dissent, steal from them, and cause their collapse.

I wouldn’t do it, but it requires skill, is part of the game and ok with me.

. You join a Corporation with good intentions and over time become trusted.  One day you realise the Corp wallet and hangers are particularly healthy, you can’t resist the temptation and you clear them and run.

It’s only a game?  No – I think it reflects negatively on you in real life.

. You run scams in Jita local.

You are annoying – but it is ok with me.

. You run scams in Jita local – and after each success you jump up and down and crow in local about how brilliant you are, and how stupid your target is.

You are annoying – and I suspect are just as annoying in real life.

. You aggress yourself on a mission runner, then kill their PVE ship when they fire upon you.  You then goad and troll them into undocking, and you kill them again.

I don’t like the tactic, but it seems to be surprisingly effective.

. You coordinate mass propaganda and misinformation to demoralize and weaken your opponents in SOV wars.

I wouldn’t do it, but it requires skill, is part of the game and ok with me.

. You ruthlessly spend all your game time seeking PVP

I hope you have fun.

. You ruthlessly spend all your game time seeking PVP, but get angry when you never catch any targets

It is just a game.  Other people seem to regularly find targets, so it would appear you should work on playing it better.  You might also want to speak to someone in real life about how you handle unmet needs.

. You play the game for the reward of upsetting other players

I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know you in real life.

. You grief new players in the hope of making them rage quit

I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know you in real life.

. You constantly stalk and harass another player until they stop logging in

I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know you in real life.

. You define your success in life by your success in the game.

I expect you have some issues that you need to address in real life.

. You run carefully orchestrated freighter Ganks for profit

Good luck on the drop rates

. You claim you love PVP, but you have both a Logistic and a Falcon Alt

Well played.

. You smirk and crow when you lure another player into 1 on 1 PVP, and use your logistic and Falcon Alts to win

While within the game, it is dishonorable, and doesn’t reflect well on you.

. You cheat in the game through exploits or running bots.

If you are willing to cheat in a game, I’d suspect you are willing to cheat in real life.

. You’re a CVA role-player.

Hope you are having fun, thanks for Providence, and I’ll cut you more slack on your behaviour

. You have to always impose your will on others in game, especially if they are playing the game wrong

I suspect you have issues compromising in real life

. You get very upset every time you lose a ship

Maybe this is not the game for you.

Some would view all actions as fair as it is just a game.  Others would view most scenarios as reflecting badly on the other player.  As I said, there is no real right or wrong.  However – I do think that despite what you think, others are judging you in real life based on your actions within the game – and if they are balanced and logical about it, they probaly won’t be too far off target.

6 thoughts on “Which you will I be meeting today?

  1. I’d probably say based on what you said above we likely share much of the same traits in morals, behavior and ethics in EVE. And I go as far as say that extends to all other games I play as the personality is the same. I find it hard to separate my personal personality and behavior from my characters. In many way they are somewhat extension of my own character and ethics with slight variations if flavor but overal much the same.
    In EVE from mostly the very beginning my character exist in the universe as a humble Trader who sometime dabble in Manufacturing and Invention of galactic goods for earning profits.

    Anything else is just done as an opportunity to engage in other not frequently done activities.

    But for me my character is the same in and out of game and across all the games I play as “AD”.

    • I don’t really consider that I am playing a character in EVE, so my toon reflects a slightly idealised, but basic version of me. I have spent many, many years playing desktop roleplaying games though – so understand the concept of being in character. I’m not sure what it says about me, but I most frequently played Halfing thieves..

  2. Like both of you, I also tend to treat my fellow capsuleers with the same respect they show me. I have a difficult time seeing people being bullied in real life, which is why I usually try to do something about it when I read in local some idiot taunting another player. The one big difference I’ve realized about my Eve persona and me in real life is that I almost never use profanity in the game…but real life is different.
    Back in my early 20’s when I played Battlefield 2, I was really into trash talking. I’d even start it. It was intense, and probably because I got “owned” more often than not. I really do hate losing in real life, and I don’t take ship losses in Eve lightly. I think getting older and (ahem…) more mature (cough!) has helped me calm down and enjoy the game more, and even try to learn from my mistakes. If I knew then what I know now, I’d have saved a lot of money on broken controllers.

    • I turn 40 this year – and boy have I mellowed over the years. Conversely my wife and almost all her similarly aged female friends have had the exact opposite occur.

  3. What do you mean, “EVE does not make it easy to make a clear black and white distinction”?

    If there is no easy rule, now clear-cut line between right and wrong, how can I point to the lack of code enforcing such a line and argue “the developers must have wanted me to do this, otherwise they’d have written code to prevent it”?!

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