Greedy Goblin

Friday, August 7, 2015

Why a-sociality is needed to make difference

People see that a-social methods work. Working with machines (and bots in games) instead of with people became common practice. "Don't care what people say" is written on every second motivational poster. However they try to weasel themselves out from the obvious conclusion "being a-social is needed". In a sense, they are right. Among the wast sea of morons and slackers who just "wanna hav som fun", you can easily get into the top 10% with some simple practices (often dubbed as "work ethic") without abandoning purely social relationships, while hanging out with people just for the sake of it sometimes (not always like the M&S).

Same is true for games like EVE. If you know how to fit your ship and undock enough to get 100M kills a month, you are already in the top 10% of EVE pilots. Kill 1.2B/month and you are in top 1%. Because the rest are so bad. While there are others much stronger than you, they'll ignore you as they have their own business. No one sane will go after you even if he could, because he can farm 10x more noobs in the same time. Just like in real life: when the damn salesman comes to your house to convince you to buy something completely useless and you tell him to go away, he will as he knows that there will be an idiot next door. There is no point for him or his company to somehow defeat you.

However if you plan to make difference, they will have a reason and they will come after you with all their social engineering power. And if you are social, you will fail. Socials are predictable, they follow their prehistoric subroutines (often called "knee-jerk reaction"). So the ones with power lay a trap which is quite obvious to everyone else (even other socials), but you are still compelled to step into it. However if you are a-social, you shake it off like dog shakes off water. Let me show a brilliant example:

CCP Falcon posted:
Whenever I feel down, whenever I feel sad... the outrageous lunacy, sheer tinfoil and unbelievably biased and unhinged craziness of Gevlon's blog always cheers me up.
This statement contains no criticism or argument against any of my posts or ideas. He didn't say "Gevlon is wrong in X", so I can't defend X, nor say "yes, it's wrong, I see it now". He simply claims that I'm an outrageous lunatic and unhinged crazy. Someone who serves no other purpose in the community than a good laughter. What would you do if a dev of your favorite game would publicly post something like that about you? No you wouldn't answer calmly as there is no argument to debate in his post. Merely posting "I believe I'm not a lunatic crazy and my ideas serve more purpose than laughter" won't convince anyone (as everyone, including mental patients say the same).

You would answer something "witty" or "dunking", something in his style. Well, that would be quite unwise:
You may not abuse, harass or threaten another player or authorized representative of CCP, including customer service personnel and volunteers. This includes, but is not limited to: filing support tickets with false information in an attempt to gain from it or have someone else suffer from it; sending excessive e-mails, EVE-mails or support tickets; obstructing CCP Employees from doing their jobs; refusal to follow the instructions of a CCP Employee; or implying favoritism by a CCP Employee.
Just stop for a second and think what would happen with your account if you'd post "Whenever I feel down, whenever I feel sad... the outrageous lunacy, sheer tinfoil and unbelievably biased and unhinged craziness of the devblogs of [CCP dev name] always cheers me up."

I'd also ask you to not ignore the last part of the ToS quote: "or implying favoritism by a CCP Employee". After I ignored this reddit post (and deleted a few dozen comments linking it), the Goon propaganda site linked it in the official Imperium SotA, under the false name "this post by Gevlon Goblin" (I never post on reddit). Still, it would be bannable offense to imply that CCP Falcon is somehow helping the Goons. I would never do that. Unfortunately other players aren't that law-abiding. Sion Kumitomo shamelessly claims that in the case of the vandalising of the EVE monument:
CCP could have chosen any number of ways to deal with the bad publicity. What they opted to do was to protect the people involved, protect the people associated with the vandals, and finally, they made one decision that surprised even me. Following on the heels of the Fatbee sticker that got plastered on the monument, many assumed that this escalation was from the same source, from a member of Goonswarm. CCP Falcon, despite knowing full well that the vandalism was committed by a pair of Goonswarm members, apologized to Goonswarm for people wrongly accusing us. Why?

CCP Falcon realized that implicating an entire alliance would have serious consequences for an alliance full of innocent people. He went out of his way to ensure that no one knew who was responsible and fought internally to make sure that it stayed that way. There would be no naming and shaming. There would be no guilt by association. He is the reason why those stacks of articles don’t all say “Goonswarm vandalizes monument”. He knew that while he was capable of making the distinction between guilty individuals and the innocence of the whole, others would not have so easy a time with such nuance.

Most surprisingly of all, once CCP received payment for damages, they reversed all the permanent bans. All of them. Instead, the people named in Theo’s mail got a mixture of three- to six-month temporary bans, and the prohibitions on attending future EVE events was lifted. For that again, CCP Falcon was in large part responsible. He figured that since they did indeed come forward and since damages were paid, that it showed a measure of good faith that CCP would honor with good faith in return, all while keeping the matter confidential.
I'm completely shocked and I condemn this blatant and public defamation of CCP Falcon. How can anyone claim that he was protecting real world criminal Goons (who did it to frame it on me by the way) and even let them back to the game and to Fanfest?! Bad, bad Sion!

In the meantime I ask you to think how many times you'd have been banned if this incident (the post, not the vandalism) happened to you and not me. And something like this will happen to you if you aspire for more than "above average".

Update: CCP Falcon posted a reply to this, which is nothing but a "we love everybody, including crazies and crazies are amazing" corporate PR text. I feel sorry for the lore writer who had to write it for him.

PS: this is just normal Sov transfer between coalition members, nothing to see here, move along:


Carson 63000 said...

Is "CCP_Falcon" on Reddit definitely the "Falcon" who works for CCP? Not just some troll stirring shit?

I'm genuinely astonished to see an employee of a studio posting that.

Ael said...

I agree, it is way out of line for a CCP employee (while using their CCP branded handle) to post an ad hominem attack on a customer.

The fact that the CCP employee is so publicly prominent makes it doubly worse.

I believe that Falcon owes Gevlon an apology.

Gevlon said...

@Carson: I cannot verify that. However his reddit account has a very-very long posting history, so someone would have informed the real Falcon about the impostor if it was one.

Grimm said...

Not very professional, and I hope you aren't discouraged from continuing to blog. I hope they offer an apology if it is a real account.

Gevlon said...

@Grimm: why would I be discouraged?

Asher said...

A true a-social wouldn't care what someone said about him.

Gevlon said...

@Asher: and how could I explain it to anyone without showing an example?

Grimm said...

Just my social reaction, but I'd be frustrated by mocking from a spokesperson of a game I really enjoy, instead of them engaging in good faith arguing. I would have picked a fight (a poor choice given your article, I realise).

Timor said...

@Carson: The reddit account has a CCP icon and the label "CCP Games" next to the name. As far as I know those are assigned by a moderator of the subreddit.

Also the statement doesn't seem to be a temporary lapse in judgement:

Anonymous said...

To be fair, he does not claim that you are a lunatic or crazy, but that your blog is.
At least this is what I can imagine as a defense from Falcon or CCP.

I am sure CCP Falcon also laughed at the Suicide Mocking FanFest panel of the Mittani, maybe that cheered him up too, after a boring day at CCP doing nothing relevant with EVEO or Project Legion.

Jean-Yves Kiger said...

I've been shocked to see these comments and immediatly thought this reddit account may not be the real CCP falcon.

However if this is the case, he should stop this and apologize.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: who else would write a crazy blog than a crazy man?
A purposeful troll maybe, but then he'd say "ignore him, he's just a troll".

vmb1321 said...

wait, the twitter thing, i assume is fake? i wasn't playing eve around the time of that fiasco, so theres some missing context for me i suppose.

whatever the case, ccp falcon's post is pretty uncalled for.

Anonymous said...

Before people get up in arms about CCP Falcon (oh.. too late) think about how rare it is for studio employees to interact with their communities in a genuine way. Sure you could probably make the case that he has mortally offended you and force him to apologise, but what's the point? All you will achieve is that CCP will be less willing to engage with the wider community.

Also worth noting that there is widespread uncertainty in the eve community as to whether this blog is serious or not..

Gevlon said...

@Anon: maybe there is a reason why "genuine" interaction (I say what I personally want) is unwelcomed in a business situation. Can you imagine a clothing shop employee saying "yes, in this dress you look like a cow, but it's not the fault of the dress"?

Anonymous said...

I do not think anybody cares about a forced apology (or a honest one for that matter).

What I would care for is a serious Dev Post by CCP Falcon, arguing the content of Gevlon's post. Now that would be interesting. Unfortunately I do not think CCP Falcon is intelligent enough to make an interesting post like this, or stupid enough to make a bad post so we could laugh about it.

So we will have to be content with an irrelevant apology or silence, instead of something meaningful.

Anonymous said...

Great point - that's why I won't buy clothes from CCP and I wouldn't play a game designed by the gap.

I imagine that there are many things that Falcon wants to say that wouldn't be appropriate for him as a representative of CCP. On the other hand what he's saying here is that the content you produce relating to his game is not something he can take seriously.

What he says pretty much amounts to a review of your blog. To revisit your analogy it's like the manager of a clothing shop posting on twitter that they don't think your fashion blog shows their clothes in the best light.

Anonymous said...

first rule in dev PR evasion school. don't single out. no. instead talk illusively in this case about "the community that gives you joy".
It's severe lack of professionalism, it's good to expose some of the team and in todays social media world it's hard not to be exposed to the consumers. at least PR check your posts or use your personal account.

Gevlon said...

I've seen many blogs I can't take seriously and I've posted nothing about them because I couldn't take them seriously.

"Yelling, hey, look at that guy, there is nothing interesting about him!" makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

@Gev He doesn't say 'nothing interesting' he says he finds it amusing. Makes perfect sense. You bring a level of dedication and fervour to what you're doing that few people can match.

@>>first rule in dev PR evasion school. don't single out. no. instead talk illusively in this case about "the community that gives you joy".

Isn't it wonderful that CCP don't send their devs to "PR evasion school"? I am relatively new to eve and I think it's fantastic that the way CCP interacts with the community is NOT canned, evasive generalisations that are focused on covering their asses.

Now in this case (and I'm sure in others too) you might not agree, but would you really rather CCP only interacted through carefully sanitised press releases? I wouldn't.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it wonderful that CCP don't send their devs to "PR evasion school"? I am relatively new to eve and I think it's fantastic that the way CCP interacts with the community is NOT canned, evasive generalisations that are focused on covering their asses. Now in this case (and I'm sure in others too) you might not agree, but would you really rather CCP only interacted through carefully sanitised press releases? I wouldn't.

yes it is, and that is something else. Like CCP_Karkur is a master of community management. we all appreciate her hard work and she keeps in touch on professional positive level. CCP_Falcons comment is something else. even if it is meant in the best positive way it just reads wrong. But CCP_Karkur and everyone else will be illusive on upcoming stuff under NDA. like it should be. so it is very important to keep your social media exposure as upbeat as the PR guys let you.

Anonymous said...

It would be better for CCP Falcon to communicate via official resources - devblogs and forums - rather than post on reddit, as he clearly lacks professionalism and tact to properly post on a public resource on behalf of CCP. He already got involved in a number of stories, including UAxDeath's CSM campaign , and is continuing to put stains on his reputation. The fact that this person holds the position of the community manager amuzes me.

daniel said...

"Before people get up in arms about CCP Falcon (oh.. too late) think about how rare it is for studio employees to interact with their communities in a genuine way."

it's not about the interaction of a dev with the community, it's about that falcon uses the ccp flag, implying he's posting as an official, while he's posting as a private person.

if one has a look at other ccp employees on reddit, they all seem to understand that they just can't post whatever they feel like.

btw it wouldn't be much of a hassle for falcon to generate an account from which everybody knows who's behind it, but without the implication of being official.

Provi Miner said...

I am not a big fan of griefing folks, But let me be clear, exotica caught a perm ban for what they did to someone who agreed to the terms. Mittens caught a 6 mo ban for inciting folks to incite another disturbed person into committing suicide.

you tell me which was worse?

I think CCP is evolving and with it a moving of the goal posts, it is clear to me that there is no defined set of terms or punishments that you can rely on. Rather if you decide to push boundaries you will find yourself at some point in trouble and have no idea why.

Anonymous said...

Lets say I would take your advice.
I'd stop being social and having fun in EVE and I'd become one of the top 1% players by putting in some actual effort.
And then what?

Gevlon said...

Winning is much more satisfying than the random lolling the "fun ppl" have. Also, if you could develop such skills in a video game, you could do it easier in the harder real life, greatly increasing your satisfaction with life.

Anonymous said...

You guys really don't interact much with Falcon do ya. He's very much involved with the Community not just from EVe-O forums but from Facebook groups, reddit and twitter as well as elsewhere. There are several devs which are active within the community talking like normal people with CCP tags on them, or on there actual names with a ~CCP name at the end of the post to signify who it is. He also replied to this Blog on that same reddit page.

This game is amazing on that part. The Devs interact with the players and for the large part avoid Political Correctness. They don't hide behind a media representative and have gotten much of the communities love for it. Hell the majority of Devs if you are active on Twitter will troll the hell out of each other and the players at all levels of CCP's business. It's not just a few Dev's who do it. I Personally enjoy this game for this simple part. The Devs are as much of the community as any player.

maxim said...

So what does social / asocial have to do with this?
I know plenty of socials who handle comments like CCP_Falcon's much more efficiently than you just did, so you didn't really prove the point of advantage of asociality.

Gevlon said...

@Maxim: There are methods some highly functioning socials learned to handle such attacks. But we can agree that most socials get defensive and reply insults with insults.

On the other hand every a-socials would handle such attacks well.

Zaxin said...

"Winning is much more satisfying than the random lolling the "fun ppl" have."

But only if you then get to show off to the "fun ppl" about how you have beaten them though?

It is not asocial to want to show others how much better your methods are than the "fun ppl".

Explaining methods without comparing them to others is asocial. Showing how much better someone is than another person because of they way they do things is not so different than "Look how much space we captured, look how awesome we are".

Gevlon said...

@Zaxin: besides catastrophic methods, every method is "good" in the sense of living in caves and hunting animals with your bare hands is a method of survival. You must compare methods to find which one is better.

@Everyone: ********************************************** Read "Update" section at the end of the post please *************************************************

Anonymous said...

Hey Gevlon, I follow your Blog from the beginning and I love it. You're putting some meaning in this game where everybody else is just cool about EVE and no one gives a damn (except some highsec gank victims).
What really bothers me is that CCP Falcon does not respect this fact and that he is talking to you in a way he would not talk to Imperium/CFC people. But those are the players who "weaponize boredom", who build renter empires, who literally would prefer to make other players "not logging in".
CCP must realize who is a valuable content creator and who is cancerous for EVE.

Anonymous said...

@Provi Miner

Another interpretation is that goalposts haven't moved at all and that Mittens got preferential treatment. If you accept what Gevlon highlights here about special treatment for Goons, that's just another link in the chain. Mittens should have been permabanned for the suicide incident, but wasn't because he and his ilk have manipulated CCP into thinking they need him. Nobody plays because of that turd that wouldn't play anyway with any other turd at the helm. He represents the reason that the sov complaints cannot really be addressed.

Jim L said...


Hmm sounds like one of those squishy words you often dismiss when other people use them because they cannot be quantified.

Gevlon said...

@Jim L: I had to use words he understands. His question clearly shown that he considered "fun" important. Practically the only thing you can tell an M&S to motivate him is "being the king is more fun". They kinds of accept that because they see the rich men with their Ferraries and supermodel girlfriends.

Marek Zaborowski said...

What I like most about Gevlon discussions with social is that Gevlon sees a-socials as not "better" person, but simply more developed, while they consider social and a-socials as anti-thesis of each other.

A-socials DO enjoy time spent with friends, compassion, emotions and others things like that. They just DONT make decisions based on said things, cause they know that feelings are subjective, while reality is mostly rational.

Eaten by a Grue said...

Pardon me if I ask something simple, but what exactly is "social" and "a-social" as defined here? I get the feeling that the "social" is just defined too narrowly as someone who cares about the opinions of others and compares himself to others to a ludicrous degree, to the point of his own detriment. Being social, in the normal sense of the word, is a key part of success in life, as interacting with others, understanding and sympathizing with others, etc. are skills honed by evolution and are very important to our proper functioning in society.

Gevlon said...

@Eaten by a Grue:

maxim said...

Actually, most asocials i know wouldn't even know they were attacked.
And then they would wonder why is it they are losing.

Gevlon said...

@maxim: not knowing wasn't an option after 20+ trolls linking it in comments and Goons posting a SotA for it.

maxim said...

Why would an asocial care about some trolls and SotAs?
Unless he was, you know, a "high-functioning" one.

You are either underesting the capacity of human beings (asocials especially) to be ignorant, or overestimating the difference between normal people and "high-functioning" ones.

Gevlon said...

@Maxim: this will be the Tuesday post