This is a collection of short in-character fiction pieces about Awakened Industries, a group of capsuleers and their crews living in the enigmatic and dangerous regions of Wormhole Space in EVE Online. None of the protagonists are actual characters or corporations in-game. All similarities with persons fictional or real are possibly coincidental and only sometimes intentional. - Emergent Patroller

For an introduction to this blog refer to this link. You may also want to check out the guide for new readers

: The stories on this blog contain mature themes involving sexuality and violence and are not suitable for minors or sensitive people.

5 Jul 2012

Blog Banter 37 - Drifting out of touch

Oh Stan. I had just learned to live without your blogbanters and now you throw that tasty morsel in front of me:

"EVE Online sits on the frontier of social gaming, providing an entertainment environment like no other. The vibrant society of interacting and conflicting communities, both within the EVE client and without, is the driving force behind EVE's success. However, the anonymity of internet culture combined with a competitive gaming environment encourages in-game behaviour to spread beyond the confines of the sandbox. Where is the line?"

Online games have always had their crazies who took it too far. EVE is no exception. I have sworn off online games for a good decade because I became the subject of obsession for a very creepy stalker. Also another crew of people in a game I played back then, hacked into the server of a gaming group I was with for metagaming purposes.

The reason I stopped was not so much that I was afraid, it was that I was angry. I felt like I might actually cross the line that exists IRL. The line which is defined by laws that make it illegal to kill people. Especially with that stalker guy who actually managed to catch up with me.

I have since established a rule for myself to never ever engage in any way with the online environment that will allow people to find me, recognize me and put pressure on me IRL.

Sometimes that hurts.

It hurts when I would actually like to go to Fanfest. When I would like to hang out with the nice guys from my corp IRL just like we do online. When I feel I would like to see what that guy with the really nice, smooth, sexy voice looks like.

Then again, I am used to hurting at least once a month for a few days, so I just deal with it and head on.

Some people do not have their principles quite that clearly stated.

Maybe it's age, maybe it's a cultural thing, maybe it's a mental disorder. Be that as it may, some people seem to be unable to separate what happens in-game from real-life. They will take the issues they have in-game that one step further and cross a boundary that gets them into a strangely mixed-up meta-reality where both become the same.

People who DDOS and attack White Rose Canticle until a player feels forced to leave for good. People who threaten Mittani's wife and dog and of course the Mittani himself with his infamous fanfest slip.

There are people who think that this is all because of the Goons. That is not the case. Some older players might remember that someone cut the power to another player's house to be able to kill their Titan, or the historic T20 Scandal.

Like I wrote in my opening paragraph, metagaming insanity that crosses the line into RL criminal acts has existed before the Goons and before EVE online. As a matter of fact, most of the web2.0 generation have no idea how far things went back in the early 90s when mailserver relays were still open, when networks were not switch-based and unencrypted protocols like telnet and ftp were still the norm.

But I digress.

The question was "Where is the line?".

I would say the line is where you start to negatively influence the daily lives of people out of game. I hear the Mittani's wife does not want to take his name as hers because she is worried about the consequences. I myself have changed how I interact online because of other people's actions.

Some people may feel justified because the Goons are a horrible bunch in-game, I am sure the guys who hacked us back in the day felt we were a threat. Someone thought that Yuki Onna was such a whiny Carebear that the player deserved to be "dealt with" out of game.

If you are one of the people who think that "Eve is Real" you should stop right now with anything game-related you are doing and make an appointment with a shrink, because you are dangerously close to crossing the line.

Seriously, because you are drifting out of touch with reality.



  1. Great post, EP. I just got my BB entry in and now I'm reading through all of those before me. I didn't know about the threats on Mittens family. That is insane!

    1. I just read yours ... very nice. Had to read some parts twice to understand them completely, but once i got it, things were very clear.

      The whole threat against Mittani's wife thing happened on an EVE-Radio show, and he also talked about it on another program, althought I don't remember which one. Could have been Lost in EvE, Fly Reckless or Voices from the Void.

  2. It's a shame you feel you need to take the steps you do. In my experience Fanfest and other pub-meets have been a really positive social experience. I don't think gender is really a concern, Diana Dial (of is often there and is like everyone's big sister - she never has any trouble. There are a few other women I've seen at Fanfest and they seem to enjoy themselves. My wife even came for part of it this year and enjoyed herself (notwithstanding one spaceship nerd's brave but rude attempt to get my wife's phone number right in front of me, but that's another story).

    I think the more "real" EVE becomes, the more "human" the experience becomes too. If anything, having a real-life presence fortifies your position.

    That said, the world will always have broken people who don't understand or care about community and decency. They're in every walk of life, but an individual shouldn't ostracise themselves from the friendly majority for fear of meeting a nutjob.

  3. Thanks for the sentiment. It is not all that heavy. In some ways it is also nice to keep things seperate, work, private life, paying EVE. I can (and in many ways have to) be a different person in each field.

    Also, apart from meeting nutjobs, I have made the experience in the past that things never are quite the same after you met people you have known online. People are often very different from how you imagined them to be or how they act in the online environment, and in a way I like having those imagined personalities as part of my life.

    Who knows, maybe one day I will step out of my self-imposed isolation.