Monday, July 9, 2012

Goons win BECAUSE of griefing

Goons, TEST and those who share their attitude are hated and despised in the EVE community. They are generally considered immature, anti-social idiots who derive fun from pointlessly harming innocent people. I had my share of Goon-bashing, based on the fact that an hour spent griefing people who were not your enemies is an hour wasted. While I stayed away from the "this is wrong, this is immoral, they are terrible people" moralizing, I considered them bored punks who has nothing better to do than being mean.

However "idiots doing random nonsense" don't win battles against a powerblock. SoCo controlled half of nullsec, has tens of thousands of pilots, lot of supercapital ships. While everyone can be defeated, SoCo is not losing a war. They are being roflstomped. Random idiots don't roflstomp a powerblock.

Unlike most people who adjust the reality to their theories, I thrown out the premise of the Goons being idiots who were simply lucky to have Tech moons. Claiming that they win despite of their defining characteristics is nonsense. Anyone who'd do the same as they are except the idiocies would be stronger than them. There isn't such group. Also, their other activities are pretty standard, they do what everyone else do when they are not "being Goons".

Goons must win because they grief and troll innocents. How? Thanks to my logistics misery, I learned it the hard way: most people are ready to throw away serious power upgrade (like a 80% effective logi) if it's not "cool" enough. It's funny that "play to win vs play for ego" is my core idea, I built the blog around it and I didn't recognize until it slapped my face. Most players seriously gimp themselves by refusing to do anything that doesn't "increase their e-peen". They max-out skills for cheap ships instead of learning strong ships, because with something cheap the PvP loss is a smaller shame and the win is a greater glory. They don't field or even self-destruct supercapitals in the fear of a supercapital lossmail. They refuse pilots on the basis of not being perfect, because having an non-perfect ship increases the chance of having a worse ISK ratio. They would rather not log in than throwing waves of ships to the enemy, even if they have more ships and would surely win at the end: the deaths would ruin their killboard. Of course we can add the standard stuff: logi is boring, ewar is cheap, neuting is cheap, all the usual social crap.

OK, socials are bad, most of my posts are about that, and you are surely bored by its repetition. How does it connect to Goons being Goons? Because Goons aren't coming from Krypton. They are recruited from the very same demographics as everyone else: internet-using young adults, mostly males. If they are the same kind of people, they must be exactly as socials as their enemies. They must care about killboards, e-honor, gaining respect and liking of their peers. And by default they would. Left on their own devices they would be just as "nice, friendly and sweet" carebears or "l33t PvP-ers with e-honor and great stats" as the rest of EVE.

But they aren't left on their own devices. Enters The Mittani and other Goon overlords who tell them to do bad things. They lead them to highsec to do the most anti-social thing one can do: bringing pointless and unprofitable suffering to innocent people who meant them no harm. I'm sure that the first time the Goon newbie feels bad when he does it. He only does it because of peer pressure, wanting to fit in with his Goon pals, or by distancing himself from his actions (it's just pixel ships).

After he does these things, after everyone hates him, curses him, tells him that he is the most despicable rat ever crawled the galaxy, he realizes that nothing bad happens to him. The ground doesn't open and swallow him to the Hell like his preachers, teachers and parents said. He won't be banned from the game as such actions are not against the rules. The rage and hatred of random people cause him no harm, actually they are just funny "tears"-posts. He recognizes that all the moral planted into his head are lies. Only objective things can stop him, words cannot.

Also, exactly because he done these things, there is no going back. A Goon can't return to highsec to be a carebear, nor he can be a "E-honor l33t PvP-er". The carebear/l33t communities wouldn't accept him due to his terrible sec status and killboard (there are always killmail whores on the concord reports who post them). They also wouldn't accept him simply because he was Goon. But above all he couldn't come back because he cannot accept the carebear/l33t philosophy without spitting himself in the face for the things he done.

The acts of griefing, scamming, trolling forces one to permanently reject the judgement and morals of the social herd. It forces the person to abandon the goal of being desired, loved, respected by random morons and slackers. It forces him to face the taboos of the society and experience that there are no consequences for breaking them.

Actually I used a similar, yet much less radical way: trading. Social people hate rich people and I want(ed) to prove that simply by not being moron or slacker you can be dirty rich too. I know it helped many people. They wrote me several mails thanking for my ideas. I did OK, but I surely liberated less minds than The Mittani.

The "standard" way of breaking away from the herd of sheep is rationally question their actions one by one. The social psychology books that started me on my way are collecting and analyzing clearly bizarre behavior like this. However it needs lot of thinking and reading. No wonder that Ayn Rand is considered one of the most influential writers - among academics. Her ideas had zero effect on the World since they never reached the general public. The "griefing way" is great because it's a simple "do it yourself in 1 hour for dummies" method. The shortest way for freeing people from the "e-peen/ego/love/liking" nonsense is to make them break the unwritten rules - even completely pointlessly - and let them see that there are no consequences for such actions. I did and published something like it, but I did not dare to go far enough. Making pixel money from selling crap to morons and slackers, breaking the cartels of 0.01 punks is nowhere near as radical - therefore effective - as blowing up carebears who cry "griefing" or "l33t PvP-ers" who cry "blobbing".

Summary:
  1. Social people are motivated not by personal interest but by the will to be liked and/or respected by peers
  2. Therefore in games they don't go for victory but for getting friends or "cool stats"
  3. So they are either a nice, helpful carebears or a small-gang "l33t" PvP-ers with "great killboard"
  4. Therefore they are unable and even unwilling to fight anyone who has effective fleet strategy
  5. In short: they lose the game
  6. This could theoretically be broken by elevating to a rational selfish level (Objectivism), but it's unreachable unless someone has academic level training
  7. So average people were/are/forever will be losers without hope.
  8. This can be broken by the "Goon magic": practicing socially unacceptable actions (griefing, trolling). Such act burns the bridges towards the social herd, openly rejecting their norms and ensuring their hate/despise.
  9. Such person has nothing left to lose on the social front, he has no chance to find friends or making anyone respect him from the crowd, so he gives up trying
  10. Internal social barriers out of the picture he will be much more effective
  11. He wins
This post is about the philosophy. "What shall I do now to help implement it?" will come tomorrow.


Saturday morning report: 87.0B (1.5B spent on main accounts, 1.3 spent on logi, 1.0 on Ragnarok, 0.5 on Rorqual, 0.9 on Nyx, 0.8 on Avatar, 2.6B received as gift).
Sunday morning report: 89.4B (1.5B spent on main accounts, 1.3 spent on logi, 1.0 on Ragnarok, 0.5 on Rorqual, 0.9 on Nyx, 0.8 on Avatar, 2.6B received as gift).
Monday morning report: 92.4B!!! New daily record! (1.5B spent on main accounts, 1.3 spent on logi, 1.0 on Ragnarok, 0.5 on Rorqual, 0.9 on Nyx, 0.8 on Avatar, 2.6B received as gift).

40 comments:

evemonkey said...

while I understand where you're comming from. I believe the goons "win" because despite their facade, they have very smart leadership.

The recognised that home defense fleets were crap and ineffective so they created the hurricane fleets. They realised that the majority of their members didn't have high skills or money so they created the mostly-good Drakefleet and forced their members into relatively good habits using peer pressure via ridiculing bad players.

Independant thought is not required for the general grunts - why are military types trained first to follow orders?

Smart leadership + willing masses = WIN.

chequers said...

"In short: they lose the game"
This is where your case is weakest. As a sandbox game, everyone can have a different victory condition. In fact, there is not even a "real" victory condition that the developers have built into the game!

When you say that goons win eve, you say that because they achieve all their goals. (Well, most of them.) But goon victory conditions are not mutually exclusive with other's victory conditions. A highsec trader like yourself can "win" while goons "win" while RnK "win" while FW plexers "win".

I think you're fixated on economic power being the only legitimate way to play this game. But in the end, nobody is under any obligation to agree.

Alrenous said...

Also, exactly because he done these things, there is no going back.

Robert Greene calls this the death-ground strategy.

I'm beginning to think every conflict comes down to morale. The side willing to sacrifice the most generally wins, because by and large groups' willingness to sacrifice is so low.

In a death-ground situation, the soldiers will fight like demons because they have no choice, they must fight to preserve anything.

Eaten by a Grue said...

But aren't you just shoving the social behavior just upstairs one level? Goons do not obey the social norms of highsec, but they have their own social pressures, whereby most likely being a successful ganker of noobs earns prestige among peers.

Gevlon said...

@Evemonkey: and other alliances are lead by idiots? I doubt if the -A- leaders know less of the game than the CFC leaders.

@chequers: most goals are mutually exclusive. You can't be successful miner/missioner if you are ganked. You can't be successful "l33t PvPer" if you are constantly run from blobs and haven't killed anything but a lost newbie.

@Alrenous: partially. Remember that an EVE player always have the choice to stop playing EVE. Hell he can delete his char and start a fresh one.

@Eaten by a Grue: of course. Just like a "1-hour car maintenance course for dummies" won't make you a professional repairman, but makes you much more effective in keeping your car running than the average plebs. Goon #4521 in a drake is far from an objectivist academic professor but also far from the average plebs. Denying the herd moral is the first step, not the last.

Anonymous said...

- "SoCo" at no point did own half of nullsec.
- you still have not understand why people tell you to not go with a half skilled character (as an unexperienced player) into logistics.
- your assumption about shame after living as a goon is funny. different people have different mindsets. To do what a goon does all you need is "its just a game", and there are enough corps out there that accept ex goons.
- goons are one of the most social entities in EVE, just not to others. Goons are a community (and see themselves as such) which was formed outside of EVE. If they troll you ingame, or grief you, its to impress their friends and earn their social standings there.

Bobbins said...

I was just reading the blog when something hit me - 2.6 billion gift. Why???

Have I missed something about this? Surely that deserves a moron post for so many reasons.

chequers said...

"You can't be successful miner/missioner if you are ganked. You can't be successful "l33t PvPer" if you are constantly run from blobs and haven't killed anything but a lost newbie."

I think in a lot of cases you can. You can mine successfully while losing ships to gankers if you make net profit, which isn't that hard. You can be a successful pvper by only fighting reasonable odds, even if 80% of your time is spent avoiding a blob.

Not everyone will succeed at their goals, but I would say most will.

evemonkey said...

@gevlon - no, they're not idiots by far, but being "not idiots" is not all there is to winning a war.
with the disclaimer that I'm not entirely sure -A- are "losing" (nulli and RA were at war with eachother before they were forced to unite against the common enemies of the CFC.)... Goons are apply the McDonalds effect. a Boutique burger restaurant may make healthier, tastier burgers but due to systems thinking vertical integration, and dumbing down the production of average burgers McDonalds have conquered the world.

Elbrasch said...

The 2.6 Bil came in as gift in the beginning month from other eve-player which are Blog readers too, as a "Welcome to the herd" gift i think.

Anonymous said...

"Also, exactly because he done these things, there is no going back. A Goon can't return to highsec to be a carebear, nor he can be a "E-honor l33t PvP-er". The carebear/l33t communities wouldn't accept him due to his terrible sec status and killboard (there are always killmail whores on the concord reports who post them). They also wouldn't accept him simply because he was Goon. But above all he couldn't come back because he cannot accept the carebear/l33t philosophy without spitting himself in the face for the things he done."

PL (which I guess are the epitome of "l33t" pvp) have their own goon corp (ISRAD) which used to be Goonswarm's BlackOps group but split off in early 2010 (when Goonswarm leadership demanded that they integrate more tightly into the alliance).

Most 0.0 dwellers have a very good sec status as they earn their personal income through ratting (which increases sec status) and rarely fight in low-sec (suicide ganking is mostly done on high-sec alts in my experience).

If you want your killboard to look impressive there's nothing like flying with a blob. After all you get credit for almost every ship your whole fleet kills until you die but your "ISK efficiency" only suffers from your own loss.
Also the regular fleets provided in the CFC+HB give you a lot of opportunity to demonstrate activity by getting kills (as opposed to roaming for hours through low-sec without finding any target you could solo), when I flew with TEST I would regularly get ~300 kills/month; these days I'm flying in smaller gangs and I find my personal goal of 120+ kills/month hard to reach.

Carebear corps won't recruit goons because they are afraid of getting scammed but many pvp corporations will have little issues recruiting a goon as long as he doesn't look like a spy/awoxer/corp thief...

I generally agree with "Eaten by a Grue": herd moral, peer pressure and groupthink are extremely strong in both GSF and TEST.
Special attention to zulu squad (TEST) and sigma squad (goons) who often seem to be the starting point for ideas that will eventually enter the groupthink.

Anonymous said...

About 3 or 4 years ago (when Goons were barely borned), after I have seen countless numbers of suicidal fleets with 300-400 Goons in Rifters, I told my alliance mates : "If those idiots manage somehow to survive and keep the will to mass suicide, they will be space kings in 2 years".

After a while, the started t change rifters for cruisers, than BC's, than BS's...and so on, caps and supercaps.

Every step forward they did proved one thing WITHOUT any doubt : numbers and will to fight win null wars.

I have been ALL my EvE life (since 2007) a anti-BoB, than anti-NC, than anti-Goon, because I hate BIG nap coallition.

HOWEVER, I always respected BoB and NC (Razor,MM) because they were both elite and had numbers and always bring GF's...but I simply despise Goons.

What happend to a guy like me (and I know A LOT of guys like me) that hate Goons ? Well, lots of us are now members in Goons or TEST or other Goon/test pets.

We tried to fight them, in various alliances....they always won because they had MORE ships to throw at us.We almost won any fight, with 200 of us vs 500 of them, because they are idiots...but they were able to REPLACE every loss everytime, while we were burned out.

Cascade Imminent cannot replace ships...and how long is since the Delve war started ?

Now I am a member in a CFC alliance, I have no problems in my space (bigguys are afraid of consequnces , small ones cannot simply whistand us), I hate targets to pew...

I thought that the Goons are STILL idiots...they are not.They were, but not anymore and probably for long time now.

At this point in game, NOBODY can fight CFC.The ONLY way for GF's after SoCo is done, is for HBC (TEST and pets) to grow stronger and separate from Goons.

This however, even if happnes, will not change anything in sov wars.If sov comes into danger, HBC and Goons and NC will kust form back the CFC, and roflstomp everyone whoo was crazy enough to challange one of them.

Gevlon said...

The gift arrived a few days ago, from someone probably quiting the game.

At the start I received 400M as welcome gifts.

Camo said...

"8. This can be broken by the "Goon magic": practicing socially unacceptable actions (griefing, trolling). Such act burns the bridges towards the social herd, openly rejecting their norms and ensuring their hate/despise."

Hmm, while the Goon creed forces a player to act against the established social norm, it does not make him less social. It merely replaces their social behavior with a twisted version.
Instead of trying to 'help' you to fit into the herd, they will try to bully you until you follow or leave.
I think the Goons aren't any less a herd but with more strict rules to guide the morons, aimless and ineffective.
As you said the way is to question their actions and have them adapt a rational mindset.

Gevlon said...

@Camo: like most thinkers you see no value in simple practical "quick and dirty" solutions.

Yes, the Goons are still not rationals, and likely to try to fit in a subculture. But the fact that they openly opposed the large herd is important experience. They experienced that unwritten rules can be broken. Some will stop at the level that "I can break rules if The Mittani says so" but others will recognize that they can choose what to break on their own.

Aureon said...

Goons/TEST win despite their methods due to out-of-game factors: That means, an endless supply of newbies and morale from outside the game.

This does not change the fact that at the top of the goons, and not just the very top, anywhere near it, there's very good commanders.

Also, the "idiocy" highens morale for them.

Znybar said...

Gevlon I'm rather disappointed. You really need to actually GO to 0.0 before you make opinions on these kinda of subjects.

First of all, you seem to believe that many 'l337' pvpers have high sec status and don't grief. You couldn't be further from the truth. I'd be willing to bed most of my SoCo corp, if not alliance, is not allowed to go back to highsec. If not with their main characters, they would certainly have alts that do grief.

Second, isk efficiency is something a lot of corps/alliances use because it is a measure of success and troop effectiveness. It's also important for alliances without unlimited income. Read that again, unlimited income. Right now, moon tech holders are able to replace titan losses instantly, without breaking the bank. Rumour has it that goons earn upwards of 400bil per week, with such an income, isk efficiency is not important. If, however, like the SoCo, you do NOT have unlimited isk, the loss of supers and large fleets is a huge problem, hence the need for well-trained and effective troops. For my part, I strongly believe that goon power will be strongly diminished with the upcoming tech moon removal. It's difficult to not care about welping fleets constantly when it's actually costing you...

Also, as mentioned by others, goon effectiveness in the current conflict is a combination of the above factor, a much larger super fleet (which means that escalation for the SoCo is very difficult, if not impossible), and very good leadership on the goons' part. The leadership understands the goony needs, and caters to them excellently (read: keeping them occupied).

Also, the picture down in Delve is hazier than you would think. Sure, the SoCo is giving ground (this had been expected over a month ago, and planned for), but we're fighting largely unnumbered and still breaking even if not having efficient fleet battles. Our main issue is not having Super numbers to compete (partly a result of the TZ difference between the two blocks), which means that we're left unable to participate in fights that could escalate. Morale is high, a lot of us are having a great time, and unlike the goonies we don't have ADHD. Our objectives are on the long-term. Do you really think the goons will keep welping fleets perpetually? There's not much enjoyment in that, regardless of what people may say...

Gevlon said...

@Zynbar: griefing on anonymous alts don't help. It shows that the guy is ashamed of what hes doing.

The tech excuse is lame. Let's just assume 10K players. 400B/10K = 40M. That's what Tech moons give CFC. Lousy 40M/week income. SoCo could even it out by mining veldspar just one hour a week.

spinksville said...

See gangs that grief tell their members that it is more important to have fun than it is not to be an arse. They use the social desire to fit in and to have fun to recruit and retain their members.

I don't think asocials can beat them as a group, only as individuals. Unless you highlight the antisocial behaviour that will get them censored widely outside the game (ie. sexism, hate speech, bullying ppl into suicide etc) and then maybe people will think 'is my fun worth that really?' but I doubt it.

Camo said...

"They experienced that unwritten rules can be broken. Some will stop at the level that "I can break rules if The Mittani says so" but others will recognize that they can choose what to break on their own."

Sure some may open their eyes and realize that they can act on their own, but i doubt whether the Goons would encourage this.
A social Goon person still strives for peer respect and the Goons openly deny that and ridicule them if they won't follow the Goon doctrine and break the social rules.
I think openly abusing this social flaw is what gives them the edge and keeps the grunts in line.
A normal social would never call someone out as that is what 'mean elitist nolifers' do, maybe some smacktalk behind their backs but not direct and among peers.
In my opinion the Goons just found a balance between harsh punishement and peer respect that overshadows social norms.

I'm still thinking about a smart solution on how to employ the idea of breaking rules and parting with social behavior that can be used on a larger audience without creating leadership roles and followers.

Bobbins said...

'At the start I received 400M as welcome gifts' and you wasted the cash by giving it away. Why would anyone give you more cash to repeat of that?

Sorry about off topic but suprised at the continuing donations not the size but the fact people are still willing to send the money.

Anonymous said...

"I am sure the goon newbie feels bad"

Why are you sure about this? Piracy attracts a lot of people to eve, especially via the SA forums.

When I did highsec war decs, I had no qualms whatsoever about blowing up people in their hulks, indies, transport ships. When I did canflipping I equally did not feel bad about it.

Not everyone wants to avoid combat at all costs, some of us came to eve as pvers, and within 2 weeks were so bored with the missions that we actively sought out pirate corps.

Nowadays I am more sedate and just irritate people through the market screen.

Whilst for the average goon, it might just be about blowing stuff up, you seem to think their leadership is full of lolkiddies.
Any successful corp or alliance has good market manipulators, pvp planners, people with the skills you are disdainful of, such as the ability to get 200+ people to want to fly with you. Goons have all these people among them, and their investment arm, in common with other big alliances, has some very non lolkiddie people in it.

Again, you are mistaking "playstyle I do not agree with" with "idiots who need to DIAF"

Dioxin said...

You seem to have forgotten (or don't know) that goons come from Something Awful, an internet troll humor forum with a strict moderated adherence to good posting. The average new goon is not a highsec carebear who is transformed into a griefer sociopath by some kind of "nothing is true, everything is permitted" revelation trusted upon him by the goon leadership. On the contrary, goonswarm members are people who come to the game with their SA honed griefer tendencies already in overdrive. They are drawn to the premise that EVE allows them to play the villain, because being a villainous douchbag to other gamers (whether it's scamming, suicide ganking, curbstomping "l33t PVP" with dirt cheap tech 1 blobs ten times the size, or wardeccing one man carebear corps) leads to tears, and for goons, tears are hilarious.

Goons care about the respect and admiration of their peers, but all their peers come from a shared culture where respect and admiration are gained by entertaining others of the group in a very particular way (griefing outgroup people on the internet and laughing at the responses). Only those who actively sought out this kind of culture become goons in EVE. Since SA isn't free to join, someone who doesn't think being an internet griefer is funny would never have paid the membership fees to become an SA member in the first place.

Goons do not care about killboards or e-honoure. By the way they abandoned vast swaths of territory when moving to BoB space, they arguably don't even care that much about territorial sovereignty. However, their opponents desperately care about all these things. Hence the goons will repeatedly attack with "unfair" and "antisocial" methods, shitting all over Kill/Loss ratios and violating every sense of social decency, precisely because their opponents will consistently respond in hilariously over the top ways. The ingroup anticipation of this social payoff is what held goonswarm together in their early days when facing off against opponents who had every advantage in skillpoints, experience, income, territory, equipment, and numbers. The goonswarm of today have those advantages for themselves now, but they also have a social cohesion that allows them to put up with incredible amounts of boring shit that would have drove others to run off and seek amusement in ways that didn't benefit the alliance. For most people, PoS bashing, camping deserted enemy space for days on end, and shooting what might as well be inert mission rats in mining ships are not fun in and of themselves, but a goon will gladly log in the hours because man do people get pissed when you do those things to their stuff.

Every ganked hulk is another t2 ship that has to be rebuilt using a big pile of goon monopoly technetium. But the average goon cares nothing for the economic impact of his actions because he's way too busy chasing after pubbie tears. Goons are no more "bored punks who has nothing better to do than being mean" than you are a bored punk who has nothing better to do than being rich. For them, being mean is, and has always been, the whole point.

Gevlon said...

@Dioxin: then the "magic" step was done on SA and not EVE. It doesn't affect the point of the post.

Also, CFC is more than the Goons, yet they share the same attitude and effectivity.

Anonymous said...

"The social psychology books that started me on my way are collecting and analyzing clearly bizarre behavior"

Like what Gevlon?

Anonymous said...

"Also, CFC is more than the Goons, yet they share the same attitude and effectivity."

Please don't speak about thinks you have no clue about. CFC is definitely more than goons, but they are oh so different. Culture in larger CFC alliances - FA, FCON, RZR - is very much different. They don't even like goons too much, but due to historic reasons they are allies. I know a shitloads of people in the abovementioned alliances who hate being on same comms as goons.

Bristal said...

Whistles and bells go off when the word "magic" comes out in a supposedly rational discussion. If you believe things can happen by magic, and are therefore unexplainable, no amount of reasoning can change your mind, discussion becomes pointless.

The topic surely is now a religion for you, and you're seeking evidence for it, instead of looking at evidence and making inferences from that.

Gevlon said...

@Bristal: noticed you gave no alternative explanation? Actually you gave nothing to the discussion. You know, one can be completely worthless in a comment without using lolspeak.

@Anonymous: ever heard of links? Try clicking on the word "this" next to the sentence you quoted.

Elbrasch said...

@Bobbins
"'At the start I received 400M as welcome gifts' and you wasted the cash by giving it away. Why would anyone give you more cash to repeat of that?"
Would you care to elaborate on this? I can't remember what would qualify as wasted, but it sounds relevant/intresting.

Anonymous said...

Well, you may be right that the transformation already happened at SA. Equally plausible is the explanation that SA attracts people with that trait. So you didn't show yet your premise that SA people share the same demo-/psychographic as the rest of EVE.

By the way, all your observations could simply explained by strong loyality/binding. Similar as can be found some military units or street gangs.

Btw, your example that 10k people would only need to mine 1 hour for the same income: ignoring the fact that not all 10k would have trained mining to begin with, do you really think even half of 10k people would do so if ask? And think who would do it rather? Goons or Socials? I wouldn't be surprised if Goons would do it knowing it would enable them to do something like burning Jita. And that's your "learned to ignore peer pressure" group. Doesn't sound as the trait cited by you fits to explain such behaviour well (neither does mine, but I am not the one making extraordinary claims).

soresu said...

Ayn Rand is certainly influential, but very few academics, outside of American libertarian types, actually respect her. If you poll academia, you'll probably find a strong affinity for collectivist solutions.

And Camo's right on target with his or her comment. Peer pressure toward anarchic behaviour usually ends up creating just another herd with a set of rules that define a lower order of civilisation than what they destroy. Wreck a city, end up with roving gangs of hunter-gatherers.

Nothing about the goon initiation you describe is about freedom of thought. The inductees learn that they can break rules as long as they have an alternative support structure, not on their own. It binds them to the organisation. The Goons didn't invent gang initiation rituals, and I assure you that they weren't invented to create John Galts.

I'm sure you've come across Zimbardo's Prison Experiment before? Same principle, really. 1930s blackshirts, religious vigilantes in certain countries, any variety of organised crime.

Dioxin said...

Goons are constantly making a mess of other people's playgrounds in all manner of multiplayer games. The only difference to EVE is the fact that they're not also constantly getting banned for it. The threat of heavy handed official sanction against antisocial behavior does not deter them from seeking out a tears filled good post. Permabanned from second life? Who cares? Making the news for raining dicks on a live celebrity interview? Priceless.

As soon as you take a look at the goons outside of EVE, the "goon magic" you're trying to pin on them here starts to fall apart as a sufficient all-in-one explanation for their in game success.

Gevlon said...

@Dioxin: absolutely not. For example in WoW the Goons, besides being obnoxious, raided pretty well.

It merely shifts the place where the "magic" (the liberation from social norms) happened from EVE to SA.

Dioxin said...

Goons "raided pretty well" in addition to being griefers extraordinaire, not in spite of or because of it. Their success in fulfilling designer prescribed in game goals is unrelated to their success at becoming the most hated group on their server.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kcbLXio64U
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-P6rFEwhkg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6RoGZTKrHM
http://wow.joystiq.com/2006/12/10/were-in-your-docks-kidnapping-your-flightmaster/

As you can see, they're preventing other people from playing the game as the designers intended, but none of that affects their ability to successfully complete their own organized raids in any kind of way.

Bristal said...

"@Bristal: noticed you gave no alternative explanation? Actually you gave nothing to the discussion. You know, one can be completely worthless in a comment without using lolspeak."

My alternative explanations typically fall on deaf ears.

I don't believe there is "liberation from social norms". There is only transfer to a new society with new norms. Group organization takes similar forms whether it be a violent motorcycle gang or a church community. People want to belong, and will adjust their norms to do so. Young people in particular are drawn to new social groups, and are willing to adapt in order to be accepted.

Just seems like common sense to me. The Goons win because the leadership gives people a purpose that feels real, and the game itself fosters the "other people just don't understand us" message that resonates with people.

So the Goons are edgier outsiders within an edgy, outsider game.

Gevlon said...

@Bristal: the problem with your explanation is that it's completely generic. True to everyone in EVE. Every corp/alliance is a social group with goals and culture from EVE-Uni to random lowsec "YARR" groups. But only CFC is conquering the galaxy.

Even if I fully accept your explanation and consider all individuals mindless minions to their subculture, the question remains: why they most anti-social subculture wins?

Alkarasu said...

@Gevlon
"why they most anti-social subculture wins?"

Well, this one is an easy question to answer. Because it's war! War is the one of the most antisocial processes, by definition. The one who can care less about the feelings of the other side, have a clear advantage. The one, who can throw all of his power, wealth and mind in sole purpose of harming the other, can do more harm, then the one, who would think what's right or wrong to do.

Gevlon said...

@alkarasu: why does the NATO wins over the Talibs? Why did the allies won over Hitler?

Do you think the talibs and Hitler lost because they weren't anti-social enough?

Alkarasu said...

@Gevlon
"why does the NATO wins over the Talibs?"

It doesn't. And they can't. NATO is in Afghanistan for a decade by now, and still don't really control it.

"Why did the allies won over Hitler?"

Allies hadn't. Allies lost entire France in a matter of few weeks, remember? Soviet Union did, and exactly because it's people was very much ready to throw everythng they had (and they did it, too) in for the victory over the enemy they wanted unconditionally dead.

"Do you think the talibs and Hitler lost because they weren't anti-social enough?"

Hitler lost only because he managed to really piss off a country of sufficient power (and sufficiently united) into complete antisociality towards him and his. Enough to throw out peoples own lives just to hurt him. Against all others he ever fought, he won until Eastern Front drained enough resources off Germany.
By the way, Japan managed to pull that off at the same time too - USA was never so pissed, as after Pearl Harbor, and never fought that good. Actually, they managed to fail every military conflict since, one way or another.

Anonymous said...

"But the fact that they openly opposed the large herd is important experience."

Human beings generally learn this behavior at the age of 12 when puberty starts.

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