A few days back there was a long article posted on The Mittani written by James 315, looking at the latest round of account bans attributed to real life harassment.
James 315 has a remarkable silver tongue, and it pays to remember you are reading propaganda. Regardless, it was an interesting commentary.
There were two points that I wanted to remark on.
First – despite what the EULA might say, it does not sit well with me that CCP is not more transparent with their bans. People can invest a great deal into this game – and it is disturbing to think you can find yourself thrown out without a clear explanation or any trustworthy mechanism to have the decision reviewed. It seems to lack natural justice.
I am not suggesting CCP get into a debate with every person they ban, or that they should feel compelled to have to justify themselves. I’m also mindful that they don’t tend to publically discuss cases and we only hear the version of the aggrieved. They should however have the faith and conviction in their own decisions to be able to provide a clear summary, such as “You have been banned due to threatening another player with physical harm”. There should also be a clear mechanism for a player to be able to state their case, and have the ban reviewed by a second (senior) GM.
The second point – I can’t help but wonder if this situation exists in part due to the success of James 315 and his ilk in gathering, focusing and emboldening a community of like-minded individuals who gain pleasure in EVE from antagonising other players.
CCP could ignore the random and sporadic complaints about such behavior – it even gave the game some flavor. Over the last year or two however they have been faced with coordinated, methodical, visible and wide scale harassment of players, and it might be forcing their hand in situations like this.
It’s an amusing thought.