Greedy Goblin

Friday, March 28, 2014

The difference between a prank and a bully

The EVE community is all over the outrage over the bully perpetrated by the player Erotica 1. He forced his victim to humiliate himself front of his crowd by holding his in-game assets as hostage. Finally he published the recording. People demand him banned because he "crossed the line". But where is the line?

About two weeks ago a bunch of players pulled the exact same thing against me. They threatened my in-game assets to be destroyed if I don't do exactly what the victim of Erotica 1 did: sing to make myself a fool. Since I refused, they kept looking for other victims. According to Powers, a Goon director commenting on the Goon propaganda site, they tried to get the song of The Mittani, but he wasn't online. Finally they got an RvB fleet sing. Just like Erotica 1, they published the story and the recording of the song. Of course, people call it a harmless joke, despite every single action was the same.

Even wikipedia doesn't give us a distinction between a prank and a bully, beside the weasel term "appropriate finesse". But something must be different, otherwise people wouldn't consider them different! That something was the action of the victims. I didn't sing. The Mittani didn't sing. Those who sang weren't alone, but had a whole fleet: a supporting social environment to share the ordeal. The only reason why Erotica 1 became hated and NOHO is still considered fun dudes is bad luck: his target had a wife with a mental disorder and the "prank" triggered an episode. If he lived with an easygoing brother instead, who'd laugh in the background and finally tell "dude, they are owning your ass", making the guy also make a disturbed laughter, this recording would be considered a harmless prank.

The only difference between a prank and a bully is the effect on the victim. If he is visibly harmed, it was a bully. If he (honestly or to save face) laughs too, it was a good joke. The mentioned wikipedia article shows a picture to illustrate "prank":
Funny isn't it? Guy wakes up, tries to leave his room and finds it blocked by phonebooks hahahaha! Now imagine that there is a fire in the dormitory. Are you still laughing? Or something lighter: the fire marshall does a random inspection, finds this and hands over a $1000 ticket for blocked escape paths.

How could CCP change the EULA to ban Erotica 1? "Someone feeling harmed" isn't bannable, or tomorrow 10000 Goons would petition that they had to endure horrible emotional distress because the N3 directors called them bad things in their SotA. What can they do?

The reason why bully exists is that everyone laughs, until something obviously bad happens, like someone kills himself or makes a school shooting. The only defense if people stop laughing. But "we want to have fun". The circle is closed I guess.

The only way to stop bullies if people would act goal-oriented, instead of "just fooling around". If you are clearly after an objective, while others who wanted it can be upset, everyone will agree that it was only business, not personal. Even the victim will agree and goes with "didn't want it anyway."

PS: an unusual, WoW-moron screenshot, made my by girlfriend. If you play(ed) WoW just laugh, for everyone else explanation below:
So, this is Eye of the Storm battleground. There are 4 bases to capture, they generate points while held. There is also a flag that provides minimal points. Killing opposing players doesn't give victory points. As you can see, the horde players (red ones) killed 2-3x more alliance players (blue ones) than the other way. They still lost, because they ignored the objectives. Let's just say WoW players aren't that different from EVE players.


Azuriel said...

Even wikipedia doesn't give us a distinction between a prank and a bully, beside the weasel term "appropriate finesse".

Did you miss the first part of that sentence? "Practical jokes or pranks are generally lighthearted, reversible and non-permanent, [...]." Unless you are arguing that the "prank" occurred after the guy was scammed out of all of his assets, then it doesn't apply. Actually, it doesn't apply anyway because no rational person could argue that cruelty was not involved.

How could CCP change the EULA to ban Erotica 1?

They really wouldn't need to change anything because CCP can ban anyone they want to for any reason. Who could argue that this wasn't harassment? This isn't a court of law where someone can get off on a technicality.

The only difference between a prank and a bully is the effect on the victim.

Err... no. The reaction of the victims is irrelevant to the intentions of the bully; trying to cause others pain and failing to do so does not magically change the actions. Someone is still a liar even if no one believes them.

Gevlon said...

"lighthearted, reversible and non-permanent" are also weasel words. If the guy in the picture has nothing to do but remove the phonebooks, it was reversible. If there was a fire and he burned, it was irreversible. If the fire marshall gave a $1000 ticket, it wasn't lighthearted.

CCP can ban anyone but if they do, people will quit en masse. You need clear lines so everyone can say: "if I don't cross it, I'm fine".

The intention of the bully is scientifically unobservable. Only the bully could tell you what his intention was and he'll answer "to have some laughs". He wouldn't even lie. And no, someone who tells untrue things but no one believes him is not a liar, but an actor or a clown.

Louis Robichaud said...

Gevlon, you are embarrassing yourself here. 1: You don't have all the information (and I will gladly pass on some details, one moment please) and 2: you are an avowed asocial. You, by your own admission, don't care much for social interactions... and because of that you don't really understand these interactions either.

Now that's ok. No one is perfect. No one is an expert at everything. There are a lot of things about EVE or real life I don't understand well. I'm sure you know a lot more about PI production in a wormhole than I do, for instance. And well, in this case you are out of your depth but yet are making grand pronouncements.

So, first some information.

I don't think you understand what goes on in the "Bonus Room" where Erotica1 and his croonies torment their "clients". I've never been in there. There has been allegedly hundreds of "clients" (ie, victims). Here are 3 examples:

1: In one case, a German player was made to sign a Nazi anthem, something that is repugnant *and* illegal in Germany.

2: In another, a player was coerced into covering himself into mayonnaise and taking a photo (video?). I don't know much more, except that this apparently creeped out the goons so much that they kicked Erotica1 out.

3: In the "current" incident, the victim was made to read texts for *over an hour* despite the fact that he has a speech impediment. Every time he mispronounced a word, he was corrected and made to read the definition of that word. He then was requested to sing songs.

In many cases, the victim is tormented in the bonus room until they freak out. That's the goal.

If the victims didn't comply to these cruel demands, they lost *all their isk and goods*.

In contract, your contact with NoHo could be described as a failed business transaction. You offered isk, they wanted a song, you refused. End of story. It's not the same thing *at all*.

The difference between a prank and bullying is intent and duration. The main intent of a prank is humour. Sometimes the victim is embarrassed a bit, but only to a mild degree.

The main intent of bullying is sadism and power. The bully tries to dominate the victim through violence or fear, and enjoys the victim's suffering. Sometimes bullying can be done through cruel jokes or even pranks - the same prank repeated every day stops being funny and becomes harassment.

I'll agree with you that sometimes prank go wrong - people get hurt, the victim turns out to be extremely sensitive to the prank topic, etc. But these are known as prank gone wrong, not bullying.

Gevlon said...

"intent and duration". Intent cannot be observed, can only be guessed. In case of NOHO: they did not expect loot, they couldn't expect kills (they couldn't reasonably expect you being so desperate to carry out the orders of Powers and Mynnna to throw your whole fleet as ransom). They didn't even have strategic goal, they could just wait a day and get the WH emptied by you for free. They could expect only one thing: a song.

Duration depends on one and only thing: when does the victim gives up or gives the finger. If I'd agree to sing one song, that would turn into 20. Erotica1 could do it because their victim let him. NOHO would do the same if I let them. Remember, they spent 3 hours on that op. Do you think they made it for a 3 minutes song?

Tada123123 said...

There are a few big differences

A)The harassment ended when you said no

B)They didn't have absolutely everything you own in EVE

C)You weren't dumb enough to believe them

D)You weren't tricking into giving them your resources in the first place they used normal game mechanics to acquire them as opposed to psychology

E)The whole thing lasted for like 15 mins instead of the two hours of torment Erotica inflicted

F)The groups who finally did participate did it in good fun as opposed to being pressured into it

G)NoHo hasn't shown a pattern of constantly using this behavior to torment players

Gevlon said...

@Tada: all your points depended on other people (me or RvB) and not them. Which is the point. The outcome depends on the victim and not the bullies. They did the same. They just failed where Erotica 1 succeeded.

Anonymous said...

It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

Babar said...

This is silly. Saying there's no difference between a prank and bullying because you cannot draw some arbitrary line between them, is just stupid.

Sure, you cannot say "This is a prank, but if you cross this line over here, then it's bullying". Something can be a prank if done to certain people, and clearly bullying if done to others, even if it's the exact same thing. Still, pretty much everyone will know the distinction when they see it.

In your example, if the fire inspector had given him a fine, that wouldn't suddenly make it harassment, unless that was the intent. It would be a prank gone bad, and the pranksters would pay up. If a fire broke out, then how is that suddenly harassment? Unless again, you blocked his door and then started a fire, but then we're way past harassment-territory anyway.

You seem to want a red line that says "Prank" on one side and "Harassment" on the other, and be able to clearly put any action on either side of that line. That's not possible: That's not how it works. Sometimes pranks go bad and turn into harassment. Sometimes it's clearly either a prank or clearly harassment. Sometimes it's something blurry in between. Even if you can't clearly define it, it's usually obvious in a case-by-base basis.

If you honestly can't see the difference between NoHo and Erotica1, then that's your loss. Nothing we'll say can convince you otherwise anyway.

And on another note: Why was The Mittani banned after The Wis-incident on Fanfest? He was given an in-game ban for an out-of-game action. But it happened after massive outside pressure on CCP, since so many different sites started writing about it. Only then did CCP take action. This time, it seems like only Massively picked up on it, and it's already fading away.

Tada123123 said...

The reason that we are bothered by Erotica's actions as a community is the pattern of immoral behavior that he has created. He does this CONSTANTLY which changes running into something like a medical condition from bad luck into an eventuality.

Another factor that separates you two is the reasons ans circumstances in which you were targeted. You were targeted as a public figure who has shown to have thick skin. By the very nature of who you are it meant that NoHo was being somewhat sarcastic and probably didn't expect you to do it at all. Erotica's victim however was targeted because he was gullible and specifically almost assured for torment.

Finally one was preconceived and the other was spur of the moment because of an opportunity.

nightgerbil said...

@Tada123, NOHO are notorious/renown for their singing ransoms. I remember watching the "wizgate" fanfest where everyone laughed at the wormhole corps ransoming people. Made this german dude sing his anthem hahaha. The difference between Noho and Erotica is NOho apparantly honor their ransoms while ER1 doesnt. Thats it, thats the difference.

@ LR, funny how you list all the extreme negatives you have heard about while ignoring the guys who posted on the forums about how they lost everything, but had fun. Cos its a game? its supposed to be entertaining and fun? and if it stops being fun just stop playing?

Montolio did that and he far more to lose as I recall. His stated reason was "it was fun until it wasnt"

nightgerbil said...

Oh also in case anyone missed it:

Is a bully a bully if his victim doesnt think he was bullied?

Péter Zoltán said...

"people will quit en masse"

Who cares? People who would quit over banning of a bully do not belong here, nor any other community. I guess most players aren't evil bastards and they would feel relieved instead of quitting.

Gevlon said...

@Nightgerbil: this is my point! The terms "bully" and "prank" are post-mortem. Someone does something. That thing is considered bully if someone ends up being hurt. If not, it was a "fun joke".

It's like shooting randomly in the mall and call it a joke if no one was hit.

Anonymous said...

"The difference between a prank and bullying is intent and duration"
Duration: it's a well known prank when someone doesn't go work for some day (holiday, etc), and their coworkers wrap every item on his desk. It's considered a prank. But it takes a lot of time to make, and also a lot of time to unwrap it.

"The main intent of a prank is humour."
Erotica1 just wanted to have fun. They just wanted to laugh. So they main intent was humour. So according to you definition it was only a prank.

Anonymous said...

Well there is yet another point of view - the legal one. All examples given in the blog and the comments are harassment. There is no such thing as a prank turned bad. It is the other way around - When the victim is lighthearted he/she can accept a harassment as a prank. In that context even the blocked with phone books door is always a harassment as the victim endures loses (even as smalls as the opportunity costs while celaning the mess left by the pranksters). So it is up to the victim to decide if the loses are acceptable and he can just laugh about them or a compensation should be sought.

As for the difference between NoHo and Erotica1, it is not about which is a prank and which is a harassment as both a clearly a harassment. The difference is that the action of NoHo is borderline ingame and that of Erotica1 is clearly out of the game (both a Nazi anthem and a mayonese botle are out of the game objects). And purelly ingame harassment for good ot bad is acceptable while in real world it is not.

Anonymous said...

Nothing more to be said this makes perfect sense, well done Gevlon.

As an example I once heard of a prank back in college, some guy was sleeping in his dorm and he had "great blonde hair" (description given by his roommate) and his roommate decided it would be funny if he loses it all, so he puts some shit in his shampoo and next thing you know after his shower his hair starts falling off, apparently this was funny for everyone! (except the victim) "hahahahaha heheieihee" the guy lost what was 6-7 years of growing his hair in a single moment, now if the victim was any other person who doesn't take "pranks" that well (it wasn't even a prank) he might have just killed his roommate and who could blame him honestly.

This is a long subject about how stupid people never thing of the repercussions, but if everyone just did their job well and handled their own business.. well the world would be in a better place that's for sure.

Mesar said...

I disagree with you. Maybe It's because a difference of translation or a cultural difference, but for me there is a major difference between a prank and bullying and none can be mistaken for the other.
This differencence isn't on the side off the victim but on the side off the author:
In the case off the prank, the author want something HARMLESS and want that in the end the "victim" is really happy even if has been fooled.
In the cas off bullying, the author want to HURT the victim
The difference in the intention is clear. Of courses some prank can go wrong but due to the initial intention the reaction of the author are in this case generally vastly different: in on case you try to repair to regain the HARMLESS aspect, on the other side you don't care, after all mission accomplish.

Most of the time bully say "it was a prank" but there is only one reason for that: in our societies, the punishment for hurting someone intentionnally is approximatively ten times more important than hurting someone unintentionnally

I also rememeber you that wikipedia is not the absolute truth and that this article is flagged with issues
Sorry for the bad english

Arrendis said...

Gevlon, I'm going to have to agree w/LR here: the difference between a prankster and a bully is very much a social distinction, and it's always going to elude you because you're not wired the way most are.

The difference is also one of intent - and no, it can't be judged in a single interaction, but in patterns of behavior.

When NoHo publishes what happened, do you notice how their story isn't 'hahaha, look what we made these idiots do?' It's 'hey, this happened, and everyone had a good time.'

You say that if E1's victim had had someone there saying 'dude, they are owning your ass', and getting the guy to 'make a disturbed laughter', this would be considered a prank. I say it wouldn't, because the perpetrators' reactions wouldn't change - they wouldn't be saying 'hey, he's a good sport', they'd have been unsatisfied and gone looking for someone else to victimize.

And that's the crux of it: they're looking for someone to victimize.

Note: not 'they're looking for someone to sing' - the singing isn't what they're after. It's the rage, it's the frustration, it's the feeling of helplessness and impotent anger. They want someone to be hurt.

That's what it's about for them. It's about feeling powerful, because they could hurt someone else.

What NoHo does is offer a way out of some of the normal consequences of gameplay*. It's nothing you have to do, but something they let you do if you prefer a bit of social jocularity to not getting what you want.

You were willing to give them isk to avoid not getting what you wanted, but social interaction wasn't something you were willing to do. So you didn't. And so far as I know, they haven't berated you or mocked you for it, they've just said 'We really wish Gevlon would've sung'.

Because for them, the social parts of the game are something they enjoy. Doing things with people. Even fights: look at what happened after RvB sang, and blew up your tower. NoHo and RvB had a brawl. Sure, they were trying to blow one another up, but they're playing a game. The fight was no different than a soccer or baseball game where the opponents shake hands afterwards, and can laugh and share stories of personal exploits or moments.

And maybe some of those guys will find themselves traded to another team (you know, change alliances), or have been on teams/alliances together in the past.

It's an MMO. It's a social game. That's why so much of the high-end 'metagame' activities take place entirely outside of the game UI.

That's why people like Erotica 1 are bad for the game: because when the game is primarily a social experience (and for the majority of long-term players, it is), someone openly preying on people like that, victimizing people through the social interactions the game asks us to trust, just a little...

I hate phrasing it like this, because the word's often used way too casually and I despise that... but E1? He's raping the community. He's violating the community, inflicting a feeling of helplessness, of shame, of 'I should have been able to stop it' in his victims and the people around them - look at the discussions here and on Jester's blog, and ask yourself if there isn't at least some feeling 'I should do something about this, but what can I do to fix it?' in all of these discussions.

He's raping our game. And he needs to be gelded.

* - ransoming people in W-space is fairly commonplace. Usually, the demands are for isk, and you can't trust them to honor their word. NoHo doesn't ask you for anything that impairs your ability to recover, and they've got a solid reputation for honoring their deals. By rights, if they catch you, they can just blow you up, and nobody would think that was at all out of place or wrong.

Gevlon said...

@Mesar: exactly because every bully says "it was a prank", their intention cannot be determined.

You can only repair physical damage. For example Erotica 1 could pay back the scammed money. Can you measure the damage to the wife?

Gevlon said...

@Arrendis: but the victim only encounters a single interaction. Are you saying that the bonus round of Erotica 1 would be fine if it was his one an only "joke".

What they are after is only known by them. You have no way to tell what NOHO or Erotica 1 wanted.

"they haven't berated you or mocked you for it," BECAUSE THEY LOST!!! Bullies genuinely respect stronger guys. I gave them the finger and laughed off the loss of an empty tower. Had I sang it would be: "look at the faggott carebear sucking our figurative dicks for saving his ISK"

The ONLY difference between NOHO and Erotica 1 is that Erotica 1 is a skilled bully and NOHO are a bunch of clowns. They both want to do the same thing and only one of them succeeds.

Arrendis said...

What they are after is only known by them. You have no way to tell what NOHO or Erotica 1 wanted.

I disagree.

In part, I disagree because - and remember, this is where you are markedly different than the vast majority of people - precisely that sort of empathic intuition is hardwired into the normal function of primate brains. We are extremely adept at gauging intentions once we have enough available data. The trick is to get that data. For the most part, it's easiest to do this face-to-face, where we watch for subtle clues like posture, facial expression, tone of voice, etc. Obviously, in text we cannot do that, but though the notes may change, the song remains the same. Society itself arises from this one thing, that has been confirmed in study after study, from lemurs to monkeys to chimps: Primates are fundamentally empathetic.

Social justice urges, even, arise from this: from the behavior of 'if I want things fair for me, they have to be fair for not-me', which again, we see across the primate spectrum.

And that's where the other thing that makes me disagree comes in:

We have that data.

We can judge their intentions because we have patterns of behavior. And that, too, is part of how our brains have developed: they are amazing pattern-recognition devices. Your brain is a search engine that would revolutionize the World Wide Web, if only the algorithms could be translated.

We have the data to establish patterns. We have E1 and his cohorts repeatedly pushing for negative responses - anger, frustration, outrage - and laughing at them. We have NoHo repeatedly seeking positive responses - other people having fun, joining in the laughter, fomenting mutual enjoyment of the situation.

Behaviors that don't produce the results we want are abandoned. They are not consistently repeated over time. Thus, we can extrapolate that both NoHo and E1 are getting precisely what they seek. We can divine their intent. NoHo wants to have fun with other people. E1 wants to have fun hurting other people.

Had I sang it would be: "look at the faggott carebear sucking our figurative dicks for saving his ISK"

Would it? Have you listened to the RvB/NoHo soundcloud? Because that's not the attitude they present there. Or in the soundcloud w/Sindel. Or in any of the other accounts I've ever come across.

They didn't mock RvB for singing. They were openly delighted to be able to sing w/Sindel.

Gevlon, you don't understand them. You're ascribing motives to them that are demonstrably not in-keeping with their observable behavior. To put this in analytical terms that a science-based mind should get:

You are drawing conclusions that appear to be directly contradicted by the data. Do you have data that supports your conclusions? If not, then your conclusions must be considered suspect, at the very least, and set aside in favor of conclusions that do fit the set of observed data.

Tiran said...

Gevlon, is that the attitude of NoHo to anyone else who sang for them? As far as I have observed their comments to people who sang were pretty positive, more along the lines of "This guy was a great sport, respect to him."

To help explain other issues here: In the case of the phonebooks, those sort of pranks happened a lot in my student halls (back 8-10 years ago now). If a fire marshall had turned up and issued a fine, the pranksters would most likely have tried to persuade the marshal not to issue the fine as everyone nearby helped remove it, or offered to help with the payment. This helps to indicate the goal of the prank, not causing pain or loss to the person pranked, but a shared experience that everyone involved can laugh about later on.

I've been on both ends of pranks gone wrong, and when you dealt the prank, the realisation that you actually really upset someone is pretty horrible, I felt awful about it. That right there is the difference: In my mind, the end result of the prank was something both myself and the person I pranked could laugh about, and when I realised I upset them I went a long way out of my way to make things better for that person.

You say it is impossible to know for sure the intent, that any bully would claim it was all a prank and a joke, but from their attitude towards the prank and what follows it is usually rather easy to tell. Picture this: The same guy is in a room with E1 and NoHo (at different times) both ask him for a song. The guy responds "Sure, give me a second while I get my guitar." As far as NoHo are concerned, this is actually pretty cool, the guy is making an effort and getting in to it; as far as E1 is concerned this ruins the fun, he doesn't want someone to get in to the joke, he wants them upset by it.

Gevlon said...

@Arrendis: you are still ignoring that "pattern" and "intent" means nothing to the individual victim. He can't care less if he is the first and last or the 1000th target. He can't care less if the perpetrator genuinely want fun WITH him and not at the expense of him.

Fun fact: 100.0% of rapists say "she wanted it too". Most of them even believes it ("no means yes, yes means anal"). The victim is still raped.

Anonymous said...

The real difference between NoHo and Erotica1 is this:

NoHo offer a trade, they will protect your assets in game in exchange for a song. They honour these ransoms, and everyone knows they do.

Erotica1 uses the psychological effect of 'sunk cost bias' to get his victims to continue doing more and more humiliating things until they will not continue any longer. It does not matter how much they do, they will never get their in game assets returned.

Arrendis said...

you are still ignoring that "pattern" and "intent" means nothing to the individual victim. He can't care less if he is the first and last or the 1000th target. He can't care less if the perpetrator genuinely want fun WITH him and not at the expense of him.

Except that you appear to be the only one claiming NoHo was attempting to 'victimize' you.

Does RvB feel like victims? Does Sindel? Do the people who would be blown up out of hand feel victimized by being given a way out?

I've been the guy who gets caught in W-space, and offered a chance to pay isk as a ransom. My response was 'hell no, pod me'. Every time. Did that make me feel like a victim? Nope. I was being given a choice. I was actually being handed back a semblance, however illusory, of control.

Nor did I ever feel like a victim when I was simply blown up - that's just part of the game. It's a part of the game nobody seems to be objecting to in all this, you included.

At this point, Gevlon, can you really say that you're arguing the similarity because there's any actual evidence to support your position? Or are you just arguing because you don't easily accept being wrong?

If there's any evidence - any actual evidence - that supports your contention that people are being consistently victimized by NoHo, present it. PLEASE. Because I certainly don't want to be defending a bunch of scum.

But if there isn't, consider that you might be wrong.

This whole thing w/NoHo is a part of human social dynamics that you don't understand, that your brain isn't wired up to understand. There's nothing inherently bad about that. You say that when you gank people, you want help them see how to stop being wrong. You want them to learn.

Learn, Gevlon. You've said yourself that you're asocial, that you don't understand social things sometimes. There is nothing bad about not understanding. But when you don't understand, and the majority of the feedback you're getting is telling you that your conclusions are flawed... don't you owe it to yourself to accept that not understanding things the same way can lead to errors in interpretation?

Arrendis said...

and, edited out of the other reply, I offer you this as something you don't have to approve. You don't have to display it. Obviously, you don't have to display any of these. But this? This is not part of the discussion about E1, or NoHo. This isn't anything that needs to be public. This is directly to you, Gevlon, whether it gets approved posted or not:

Fun fact: 100.0% of rapists say "she wanted it too". Most of them even believes it ("no means yes, yes means anal"). The victim is still raped


I have known rape victims. I have fucking dated one, and I was there when she confronted her attacker. NO, GEVLON, THIS IS NOT THE CASE.

The rapist doesn't always thing the victim wants it. The rapist doesn't fucking care. He's not doing it to have sex. It's not about sex. It's about power.

The rapist who claims the victim wanted it? He doesn't think that. He doesn't care enough to think that. He's just claiming he believes that because he's trying to get out of it.

And this is why I fucking hate the use of 'rape' in things like 'we totally raped those guys'. It's why I was hesitant to phrase my statement the way I did. Rape is a fucking brutally ugly crime, and it is clearly nothing you have any experience with.

Gevlon said...

@Arrendis: look up NOHO alliance panel presentation where they proudly shown their collection to the public. Hard to claim that they aren't collecting these in industrial scale.

The bonus room guys had the same "control" as the NOHO victims: they could keep singing until Erotica 1 gets bored and give their 5x sum.

Anonymous said...

Erotica and his cohorts are shiting bricks and back pedaling all over the shop. They might try and put on this facade of nonchalance and the air of "we couldn't give a fuck" , but they know this was over the line and will in some way get fucked over by CCP in some fashion.

It might not be a public lambasting by CCP who are currently exceptionally quiet on the matter, but the kicker here is that you can't ride out this much public outcry and bad media attention with silence. CCP might not want to get involved and might not want to hand out bans, but with their silence are simply working themselves into a corner that there will be no return from.

They will have 2 choices:

Ban the perps all of them including Sohkar


Chnage the game to make it so that this stuff simply can't happen - this is the bad one and I hope to god they don't contemplate this.

What ever way you look at this somebody is going to have to pay the piper on this and if CCP want to leave EVE as is then the people involved i.e Ero and his faggot crew and Sohkar for his threats will all have to be perma banned for CCP to save face with the gaming press, media and as a company.

Arrendis said...

Hard to claim that they aren't collecting these in industrial scale.

So? I have a photo album of people I meet at conventions like GenCon and other gatherings. Keeping records and mementos, and sharing them with others, doesn't denote malice.

Where are the people clamoring to say 'NoHo did a terrible thing to me'?

Gevlon said...

Where are the people clamoring to say "Erotica 1 did a terrible thing to me"?

Seriously! Ripard is NOT their victim, he is a bystander who didn't approve. Victims are sitting in their room embarrassed and blaming themselves (and have some reason for that since their weakness enabled the bully).

Hey, even a guy claiming to be the victim of THAT bonus round shown up in the forum and said he isn't mad at Erotica 1.

Arrendis said...

Except he was - clearly, when he was recorded getting angry, he was angry.

And that's where the victims are, too: on the recordings, right there where the victimizer is publishing them.

And again, for comparison, I refer you to the actual soundclouds from NoHo, where the people coming on and singing are hanging out and laughing and not having a problem with things.

Arrendis said...

(and have some reason for that since their weakness enabled the bully).


This right here? Blaming the victim? Don't fucking do that. That is not an appropriate response. If someone is stupid, fine, call them stupid. If they're greedy, call them greedy. But there's a line.

Take them for all they've got if you want - that's an acknowledged part of the game. But to do that and then string them along, humiliating them and intentionally goading and prodding them until they break? That's not because they're 'weak'. You're not going to outlast these guys. You're not going to put up with their shit longer than watching you try is going to amuse them. That's why they do it in groups - they can mute and amuse one another mocking you via Skype or another TS/voice client w/different bindings, etc, etc.

The victim is not enabling their attacker by being weak, any more than a woman is 'asking' to be raped because she dressed in a certain way.

Do not become part of the problem by heaping more shit on the victims like that. Just don't, Gevlon.

Anonymous said...

So I'm Corbexx and I'm in NOHO and running for CSM.

Now I've been on loads of peoples comms chatting to them. One group said "hey we sung a song for you guys the other day would you sing one for our votes."

I asked ooh what did you sing and they said. I remembered it was one of the best songs we have had, really was awesome. I said as much and said "sure I'll sing but I could do with some one else singing as well."

One of there guys jumped at the chance so I let him know the song I had in mind and he was still really up for it. I then said look NOHO also want me to sing for there csm votes as well. Yes that's right we ransom ourselves. I asked if he would come on our comms to do the same song again.

Again he was more than happy to, was no ransom or anything at stake this was just for FUN. Hell his guys can come on our comms listen to me sing again. and probably make a fool of myself again.

You know what we'll probably invite them along when we do some silly theme roam in lowsec or null. And we'll all have fun and make new friends. Yep we'll still try and kill each other in wh space but again that's just fun.

Infact I'll even put the olive branch out. And if you fancy coming on our comms to listen to me sing your more than welcome.

Gevlon said...

@Arrendis: of course he was angry, sad, disappointed and so on. But now he claims he wasn't. And I believe the NOHO victims claims are just as honest. "Boys don't cry" is an evil thing, they try to act like they were not a victim. Of course it's easy for me, because I really wasn't a victim (I refused to sing).

And I won't stop telling that victims are enabling criminals. Like women by not dressing in the proper way. Under "proper way" I mean "wearing" a gun to blow the rapist's head off. There wouldn't be singing bully in EVE if everyone would do as I did: tell the bully to go to hell and lose the pixels. The guy was weak: he could be held hostage by pixel items. He should have refused to sing. He should have disconnected when his wife came in. Accepting to hand over pixels was dumb. Not letting them go was weakness.

But of course it doesn't mean that Erotica 1, the rapists and NOHO aren't despicable for exploiting this weakness for no other gain than personal pleasure at the expense of harm of other human.

Anonymous said...

GG makes a simple point: the outcome of a prank determines it's seriousness, not the act itself. Or the intent, which is not measurable except by testimony.

The phone book prank example was perfect. If the person inside is merely inconvenienced, it's funny. If the person inside burns alive because he could not escape a fire, it's tragic. The only input into the calculation is what happens to the victim.

This has nothing to do with being social or asocial. It's a simple axiom that applies universally.

Druur Monakh said...

@Gevlon You need clear lines so everyone can say: "if I don't cross it, I'm fine".

That's an engineer's wishful thinking - clear lines are helpful, but real human's behavior isn't that easy to judge. If it were, courts wouldn't be needed.

Because the problem is, sometimes people keeping the to letter of a clear line, while violating its spirit; and vice versa. Language is weak at formalizing intent.

Von Keigai said...

Gevlon, there's a huge difference between a song as a ransom and the intent to make someone angry. You really ought to pay attention to your commenters. Arrendis, Louis, Babar, and others are right. When every commenter you have is telling you the same thing, it's worth paying attention.

Although we can distinguish some pranks and bullying objectively, this is not always true. There is a gray area between, in which the difference between a prankster and a bully is intent. You say we cannot measure intent, by which you mean (correctly) that intent is not objectively measurable. But just because we have no scientific measurement for something does not mean it does not exist. Intent is real, it's just that we don't understand brains enough (and they are hard to measure), that we cannot create an instrument.

Fortunately, in this particular case -- detecting intent -- we are talking about something that has been of tremendous importance to human reproductive fitness back into deep evolutionary time. So, we have a highly evolved yet unscientific means to detect intent. Specifically, we use our built-in monkey brains to intuit it. Our monkey brains have evolved for millions of years to analyze social situations, and in most people are highly attuned to detecting liars and cheats. This is why Jester wants doubters to play that recording for a woman. Women are, generally, better than men at intuitive monkey brained social stuff.

What the monkey brain in most people grasp is that E1's schtick is to find rubes, trick them into a losing position and then push them until they snap. This is mean and nasty (though I am much less offended by it than the modern puritans involved in this crusade). NoHo's schtick is to force people into a losing position then offer to relent for a song -- and they stick to their agreement. This is not offensive at all. It's funny, and almost sweet. I'd sing.

By contrast, I will never be in a "bonus room" completely dependent upon the whims of a scammer because I am not a greedy idiot.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous "The phone book prank example was perfect. If the person inside is merely inconvenienced, it's funny. If the person inside burns alive because he could not escape a fire, it's tragic. The only input into the calculation is what happens to the victim."

Sometimes the line between a harmless prank and big trouble is the victim calling the police. In the above example if the person inside actually cannot get out he's technically denied his freedom. Not sure about U.S. law but here that's a a very serious crime no matter the silly method and the alleged "intent". Basically most pranks end well, but if you do the wrong prank agains the wrong victim you might very well find yourself at the receiving end of a very nasty lawsuit, evein if in your opinion "nothing happened".

Not sure about what's happening here, but it seems that a player is engaging in borderline cyber bullying: it takes only the wrong victim which decides to call the police to get the trouble flying. And trouble might very well end up involving CCP if they knew of a possible unlawful acts taking place (difficult to claim they didn't given the popularity of the issue) and decided to do nothing.

Anonymous said...

The difference Gevlon is that E1 went out of his way to make a malicious recording of someone, he purposely tortured and humiliated someone just because he wanted gratification.

NO-HO however have no malicious intent, if you want to live then you need to sing for them but if not then it doesn't matter. They're not asking anyone to do anything that will physically or mentally damage the person on the other end. If it came up that the person being asked on comms would suffer real life consequences then NO-HO would stop, E1 however just doesn't give a fuck.

You're extremely biased Gevlon and don't seem to be able to see E1 for what he truly is, scum.

I should also point out that your last post attacked someone for making a stand and instead you bullied him saying that he needed to do things your way. There's no one way of dealing with horrible trash like E1 so don't pretend like you have all the answers.

Arrendis said...


Yes, the outcome of a prank determines its seriousness. It doesn't, however, affect whether or not the perpetrators were acting as bullies or not.

And that's what was being raged against, the 'distinction between a prank and a bully'.

In the phone book example, even if things do take a tragic turn, the perpetrators were not seeking to harm anyone. They're not bullies. They've made a tragic mistake, and will have to deal with the unintended consequences of their actions, but that's just it: unintended.

And I believe the NOHO victims claims are just as honest. "Boys don't cry" is an evil thing, they try to act like they were not a victim.

But the recordings don't support that. You can claim they're trying to put a brave face on it, but that many people? All faking it? Ever heard of Occam's Razor?

Really, it stretches credulity, Gevlon.

Gevlon said...

@Arrendis: EVERYONE in EVE says "didn't want that region/ship anyway", despite Occam's Razor says they did. Maybe not a coincidence.

Woody said...

As an outsider that took an almost instant disliking to EVE when I tried it I do find this topic baffling.

So many contradictions.

The victim was smart enough to acquire in-game assets in a game that I personally considered to have a weak and buggy tutorial even by MMO standards and yet was dumb enough to fall for the scam and the ordeal?!

That these virtual in-game assets meant so much to him that he was prepared to go through the ordeal and behave badly towards his wife/gf.

That this person was capable of getting a wife/gf in the first place and maintaining the relationship despite having what is clearly an unhealthy obsession with the game.

That the perpetrator was some how able to derive pleasure from his actions?! Of all the things he could be spending his evening doing.

We are talking about a world of serious mental illness there in the case of both parties.

As for my recent discovery that EVE players will set their alarms for the early hours of the morning on a cold winters work day....I don't know what to say. I genuinely consider that to be an unhealthy obsession too but each to his own. They do say "there is a fine line between a hobby and mental illness".

In the case of the "victim" I'd say that the game is doing far more damage to him than the bully ever could.

It is a very sad story all round and I can't but feel that debating the difference between a prank and harassment etc is kind of not being able to see the wood for the trees.

Mirkali Maricadie said...

Hmmm... this is a fairly good discussion. I didn't expect this to come out of Gevlon's blog (No offense Gevlon, but y'know, you have a reputation).

Watching the debate between Gevlon and Arrendis... I think there's some interesting points being brought up... if you wouldn't mind me meandering through this discussion a bit, perhaps I can add something.

Gevlon argues that intent is "scientifically unobservable". I'd disagree with that... perhaps -quantitatively- it cannot be observed currently, but it can be observed -qualitatively-. If Science had only relied upon quantitative observations alone, then many advancements would have never been made.

So Arrendis points out that Intent can indeed be observed, by series of patterns and what have you, and that humans have the ability to observe it. Though... I think Gevlon gave us an interesting tool: The Phonebook Fire.

Let's say somebody did die in a fire. This person couldn't escape the fire in time because the phonebooks were placed in front of the only exit of the room, effectively causing their demise. The person who placed the phonebooks would then be taken to court. What would they be charged with?

Certainly, it would depend upon -intention-. If the intent was to kill the person in question, then it's murder. If the intent was to pull a prank, then it would be manslaughter. But in either case, these intentions would need to be proven. In the case of the United States Court System, it would need to be proven to a panel of jurors who would theoretically use their logical reasoning skills as well as their "empathic intuition" to determine the guilt of the said offender.

Now this is a fairly great example, but it falls short of our situation in a number of ways:
1.) The case would have to actually be taken to court first.
2.) There is no officially appointed jury. There is only a Lord (CCP), who is Prosecutor, Judge, Jury, and Executioner. This Lord can be influenced by its citizens, but nothing more.
3.) CCP is fickle about the enforcement of its law (EULA + CoC).

This makes things a bit more murky. Instead of having a system that appoints a panel of jurors who are theoretically using logical reasoning and empathic intution to guide them, you have a Lord whose interest is to ensure its continued well being, which includes the pursuit of its goals and its survival. By a strict reading of the EULA + CoC, Erotica 1 has certainly violated it. But there's many people who have violated the EULA + CoC in one way or another, and CCP does not pursue them because those actions either serve or don't interfere with its interests.

Looking at it this way, it sort of shifts the focus off of Erotica 1, and unto CCP (as Ripard originally did)...

So, with this... I'd rather not care about asking what Erotica 1's intentions are (As there's plenty of evidence for one to make their own judgement), and moreso ask what CCP's intentions are. In Court Systems, we have case law to determine "intentions" of laws and governing bodies.

What is the "case law" for CCP regarding this? What other cases can we point out that have evidence that leads one to believe that Erotica 1's actions and intentions do no not fall under the intentions of CCP before this incident happened? Much like Arrendis pointed out, what are the "patterns" that we picked up from CCP regarding enforcement? I've only played this game for a little over a year, so I'm not as familiar with all the nuances of its history.

I find that if Erotica 1 should be punished and where the community thinks it should evolve are two separate (though tangentially linked) issues.

And this post has gone on too long. I'll just hit submit at this point and check back later. I bet forgiveness for any liberties I've taken with describing parts of the legal system the way I have.

Arrendis said...


Sure, but that's where the immediacy of 'as it happens' comes into play, and the ability to read tone of voice and pick up on the subtle meanings therein.

Saying 'Eh, fuck it, I didn't want that carrier anyway, now I can get an archon' after the fact is a very different thing than not being frustrated and angry about it in the moment.

One of them is a defense mechanism. The other is the honest reaction.

Azuriel said...

@Gevlon, you might want to read up on mens rea and Intention (Criminal Law). There is no armchair philosophy required; courts and juries determine intention (beyond a reasonable doubt) every day.

"Harassment" is also a "weasel word" that doesn't particularly save anybody from being sanctioned for it. Pretty much every single person accused of sexual harassment "didn't mean it." A pattern of behavior, however, will usually prove that false insofar as a "reasonable person" would have known not to do that.

The very fact that E1 posted the videos and his reactions therein pretty much proves his behavior was intentional, habitual, and malicious.

Anonymous said...

Breaking new here and on every eve news site: E1 Perma banned. That is all.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for speaking sense again. And I do get that there is a difference between 'pointing out irrational thinking' (what you are do with this blog post) and 'approving of erotica1's ugliness' (what many of the poster's think you are saying).

The simple truth is you can't write a EULA to cater for how some one might react!

It's all about perspective, compare to who society considers the most evil person in history. 99% would say Hitler (20M deaths). Still Mao killed 75M! Yeah but Hitler was awful to the Jews (6M killed). Yeah but Stalin killed an estimated 60M in total and maybe 20-25% of population was Jewish - he must've wiped out at least twice as many Jews as Hitler.

So why do we all think Hitler was so much worse than these bigger psychopaths? Because we do not make independent, true value-based judgements of evil, we react to the perceptions we are fed and we 'generally speaking' regurgitate the prevailing views we are fed.

Why was the poor bastard's experience of Erotica1 any worse than what was tried to do to Gevlon? Is Gevlon just being a cry baby - if so isn't that poor bastard being a cry baby too? If Erotica1 should be banned from the game - shouldn't NOHO and anyone else who tries to take advantage of another players weakness/gullibility/stupidity/trustingness/mental illness? Isn't buying low/selling high an example of taking advantage of someone's weakness (ie inability to search for a deal).

Once you start following down this road it starts to get inane!

This is all about us all wanting a schoolyard bully to get a bloody nose!

Aside from feeling highly secure that kharma has some truly horrible payback lined up for Erotica1 at some point down the track - Gevlon is right - in a sandbox game - the best response is to choke off their ability to milk tears. Use the approach employed by nations - embargo and persecute where this person resides. Make it so unpleasant to be associated with Erotica1 (or anyone else like them) that they can't have fun - in effect bully the bully. Player power!

Or do we want to do nothing (but whine for a divine power (ie CCP) to intervene) and allow evil to happen?

Alrenous said...

There is a way to safely prank someone. Know them personally, and make the effects largely illusory, so it's actually impossible for them to come to harm. Even harm in the sense of having to waste time cleaning up.

If you know them personally, then you should know how they'll take various pranks, and you can also be there in person to stop them if they start taking it too far.

In my dorm, instead of blocking the door, they removed it. And took it on a tour of campus. With photos. Because they were there in person, they knew that the 'victim' would appreciate the joke, and that it was very unlikely any of possessions would go missing sans lockable door. (They didn't. Other than the door, that is.)

When they were done, they screwed it back in themselves.

You can't prank strangers.

Azuriel said...


The simple truth is you can't write a EULA to cater for how some one might react!

Sure you can. I mean, have you even read the Terms of Service? Again, the rules lawyering and armchair philosophy is immaterial because even if you believed E1 was untouchable, #25 and #26 give them carte blanche to terminate accounts for any reason.

Once you start following down this road it starts to get inane!

No, not really. Neither we nor CCP are Buridan's ass, doomed to starve to death inbetween two piles of food an equal distance apart. We can pick and choose the most egregious examples to sanction without going on a full crusade.

Jean-Mira said...

Gevlon, dismissing intent is wrong. Because the probability of you dying in the fire depends on my intent.

If it's a well-meant prank, I will be there, notice the fire early, and help you get out unharmed.

Lei Merdeau said...

I don't get your saying NoHo is the same - did they ask for a song or a specific song?
I do get that you don't understand how asking for a song works - its fundamentally pointless which is the point. There's probably an element of E-Honour, you have someone at your mercy but you don't want to finish them for whatever reason, so a song. I'd love to pay a song - I am a really bad singer !

Anonymous said...


You are looking for the "line". This is a very ancient philosophical argument, that has been described as the Golden Rule. Perhaps the best summation is;

The Sage Hillel formulated a negative form of the golden rule. When asked to sum up the entire Torah (hebrew bible - old testament) concisely, he answered:[73]

That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn it.
—Talmud, Shabbat 31a, the "Great Principle"

For the rest of the arguments about the Golden Rule see;

Note that the Golden Rule can be expressed positively or negatively. Once you have the formulation, apply it to NOHO and to ER1 and decide which side of the Golden Rule they fall, and that will be your answer.

Arthur Wellsley

Anonymous said...

I've saved a good several dozen screencaps of battlegrounds like your girlfriend's over the years. It's amazing how often teams just kill, kill, kill when there are exactly zero pure deathmatch battlegrounds.