Not so friendly

My 8 year old son is relatively computer literate. He can certainly run rings around my wife in that regard.

One of the golden rules in our house is that he is not allow – under any circumstance, to play an online game where he can chat or read the chat of other players.

This annoys him because quite a number of his friends are already given free rein to certain games like that.

The other day I caught him joining a public Minecraft server (that a couple of his friends regularly use). He hasn’t seen his laptop for a week, and is stuck waiting for me to find some time to change the parental control software on it.

I don’t allow him to join the online gaming community because there are frankly too many unsavory people that I don’t want him to interact with.

Bullies, sociopaths, trolls, griefers, and a small group of horrifying predators that are all actively out there hunting targets.

I certainly understand these groups are in the minority, but there are more of them online than you would meet day to day, and their behaviour is more extreme. I presume they are emboldened by the lack of obvious social constraints and the feeling of safety they get hiding behind a computer screen. Oddly enough they make each other worse – supporting and encouraging their endeavours and even trying to outdo each other.

Whatever it is, it is not in the slightest bit appropriate for my son to be exposed to them.

I know however it isn’t something that I will be able to protect him from forever. What I need to do is work on limiting the power this sort of person can have over my son. I need to educate him so that he understands the behaviour exists, and how best to deal with it. I need to ensure he feels he can communicate openly with his parents about it. I need to work at his resilience against the damage it can cause. I need to show good examples in how I handle it. I need to make damn sure he knows if he ever partook in or supported that sort of behaviour in any way that the consequences would be dire.

That is all easier said than done – but it is the goal I need to strive for.

I expect as I start to give my son more freedoms online that I will be playing the more interactive games with him, so I can monitor and guide him.

I will have different expectations of the games and communities he will be exposed to. Those aimed at children I would expect to be stringently moderated with prompt and decisive responses to any poor behaviour. As the target audience gets older I would expect less and less of this.

And of course this brings me to CCP, and the topic earthquake Jester released early this week:

http://jestertrek.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/the-bonus-round.html

I think the simplest and most honest description of this particular case is cruelty. I find the concept of such behaviour abhorrent, and I have nothing but scorn for people who would perpetrate and find amusement in it.

What do I expect of CCP when it comes to handling cruel behaviour by players against other players?

When it happens within the confines of the mechanics of the game, I don’t expect CCP to do anything. By that I mean if someone wanted to camp me in my home station 24×7, take my POCO, and gank me every time I try to undock, I would not expect CPP to help me.

(It would be nice if there was some process where newer players were afforded extra protection, but I am not sure how that would be implemented.)

But what happens when the behaviour moves out of the game mechanics? When it becomes stock standard bullying? Where the results are for their own sadistic pleasure and not some verifiable in game goal?

What I want from CCP are clear guidelines about what is considered unacceptable harassment, a mechanism for reporting it, and a structured process by where perpetrators can be banned for no other reason than CCP not wanting to be complicit in allowing their game to be used as mechanism to inflict real life misery.

To be honest I have no idea if CCP have that in place already or not. If they do, their answer to this furor should just be a simple link to the procedure.

So CCP – you are not responsible for policing the lives and personalities of your players, but how are you going to react when an example like this is thrown out there? When my son gets old enough to play EVE, will I allow him to, or will I think I’d be a bad parent if I did?

 

EDIT 29.03.2014

Here’s CCP’s official response – https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4405531

I guess we will hear about the consequence indirectly.

New Paintings

I managed to undock and play EVE on the weekend for an hour.  It wasn’t relaxing with my 5 and 8 year old constantly at each other, but I ran a Relic and Data site, plus almost a dozen anomalies.  My total income from this effort was only around 10M.  Then I flipped one of the few trade items I am still working with, and made more than 100M for minimal effort.  If only trading wasn’t so repetitively boring to be focused on.

I noticed in the patch notes today for Rubicon 1.3.5 that there are new hulls listed under the heading of “Ship Paint”, with further details coming soon.  They include a Mackinaw, Orca and Rorqual.

http://community.eveonline.com/news/patch-notes/patch-notes-for-rubicon-1.3

 

Pulling things apart

This would be one of the biggest DEV Blogs for Industry players for quite some time.

http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/reprocess-all-the-things/

I expect the Blog sphere will be filled with commentary, and it is going to take a while to come to grips with everything in it. My strongest initial thoughts:

. It really nerfs the refining skills, making it far less likely for the average player to train them to V

. The industrialist is really going to have to be more careful about what they build for sale

. Effectively halving the refined value of ships and modules is going to have a dramatic impact on the market floor for anything with lower turnover volumes.

. The new Refining window mockups look great

. They could have done more to differentiate rates between Empire, low, null and POS

Overall I don’t mind the direction – I just suspect things need to be tweaked though.

Ship Skins

As most would know, with Rubicon 1.3 CCP has started a trial on ship skinning.

http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/ship-painting-pilot-program/

I’m not especially enamoured by this concept so far, but I do think it adds in its own way to the sandbox nature of EVE and some people will love it. I used some of the gifted Aurum on my three accounts to buy some to show my support.

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I hope CCP manage this process and the player’s expectations better than Walking in Stations. I am still disappointed they left that (disaster) as just your personal quarters. They really should have added a simple communal area, such as a Corporation or Alliance Command room, to give the feature at least a small amount of value.

Off Topic – Open Season

This off topic post is for TurAmarth.

There was no EVE played this weekend, instead I made a 600km round trip to hunt with my father on the opening of our 2014 Duck Season.

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I wasn’t expecting to do well due to poor conditions in the region, but I ended up getting my bag.  My wife was pleased as the freezer was empty of Wild Duck.

There’s a long tradition of hunting in my family – more than 100 years that I am aware of across just the last three generations, and I am pretty sure much longer.  I have a leather gun belt from my Grandfather which is 65 to 70 years old.  The bag I usually carry a drink and snack in came from my Father, and was used by him when he served in Vietnam.  That makes it some 45 or 46 years old.  The gun is the first 12 gauge my father gave me, a somewhat inexpensive at the time Model 500 SKB Under and Over.  I’m still using it after 29 years.  Some of the plastic decoys in my spread are over 25 years old.   Even this particular location has history to it – my father regularly hunted here when he was a boy, half a century ago.

I cannot adequately put into words the significance all these connections have for me.

My observations reminded me again this weekend that I won’t have my father’s company in the field for all that much longer.  Physical issues related to his age mean he can’t shoot as well as he wants.  My own son won’t be able to hunt for another 3 years, but I’ll aim to have him start to join me this year.

Funny how this aspect of who I am and how I was raised did not translate into liking the act of hunting in EVE!

One last comment on this somewhat getting to know your blogger post.  For some years now we have had to use non-toxic shot.  The general replacement for lead has been steel shot.  My gun is not proofed for Steel, so I instead use the far more expensive and somewhat hard to find Bismuth shot.  Every time I pull the trigger it costs me around $3.  I could easily just buy a new gun, but I really do place a lot of importance on the history and tradition.  I also have to admit that I have been a much more successful hunter since I started using Bismuth.  When you use something so expensive you really, really concentrate on making every shot count.

The Source of EVE

I received my copy of the limited edition EVE Source today.

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This one took 8 days to wing its way from Germany to Australia.

The first 5 or 6 pages had a tiny corner glued together (the glue has come off the binding), and I’ve noticed a page or two with print imperfections. Nothing major (and to be expected I guess nowadays), but it took the shine off the unwrapping.

I redeemed the items, none of which were of any real use and were thrown together into my Collections Container. They should have included instructions on how to redeem them in the packaging.

There was probably less value in it than expected, reinforced by how much is just packaging.  I do however look forward to sitting down and reading the book, and I’m glad I threw some support CCP / EVE’s way.

It might be a while

I managed to undock yesterday for the first time this month. It is not through lack of interest or having something better to do, I just remain abnormally busy in real life.

My game time and blogging will likely stay sporadic for a while. Actually, somewhat disheartening, it could actually get worse. My wife’s flexible and part time job appears terminal, and she currently interviewing with different companies. She will likely end up working full time with long commutes, which leaves me taking care of the kids and their taxi requirements, while also holding down my own demanding job. We’ll manage – but EVE might not get a look in for a while.

I didn’t do anything of particular note in EVE. I updated the handful of trade orders I am still maintaining on my Industry Alt. I did a Datacore run on my Main Alt, selling the proceeds off for a paltry 75M ISK. Before they could be purchased with Faction Warfare LP, they would have been worth around 300M ISK. I picked up a couple T2 rigs – the price of which is so low that they are now commonly viable fitting options. Finally I moved an Orca home that I had left on the other side of the galaxy. You really feel that extra warp time.

I am almost embarrassed to admit it, but I have both my Main and Main Alt currently training to get Mastery V in a couple ISIS (Interbus Ship Identification System) hulls. There is no real need to finishing off some of the skills I am training except for that mastery. I figure it saves me logging in as often, and makes for an easy skill choice for a while. My main is working on Buzzard, while my Alt is working on the Falcon. The latter is purely because it amuses me to have Master V in one of the most hated hulls in game.

Today I’ve been watching some of the matches from the New Eden Open II, Day 4, from here:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQvKSs1k6DLMA9fGX8spkVYsZCa79TO4b

It has been nice to get a bit of time for EVE.