Greedy Goblin

Friday, September 16, 2016

Toxicity vs competition

It seems something good came out of the "Kick Falcon, because I have nothing better to do" campaign. I'm a strict believer that if many people say something, they are not lying. They can be wrong, but they are truthful. So when awful lot of redditors and Goons call me toxic, they must believe so. Sure, that's no excuse for Falcon, but what about me? A big bunch of people think that I hurt them or their friends, I must address this.

The simplest summary of their position is this comment: "This is a toxic blog post. You're stirring the pot for no good reason than `I want to get someone fired`". Do I want Falcon fired? Yes. Does being fired hurts Falcon? Yes. Does that make me toxic?

Pointing at what he did first is not an excuse, especially after the "You don't go toxic with toxic people" post. The solution is not "rightful violence" in the sense that "bombing IS is good because IS is bad". The solution is asking "Did ordinary German soldiers who served under Hitler behave horribly after the war?" The answer is no. Despite the Nazi regime performed the worst crimes against humanity and these soldiers directly participated, both post-war Germanies were pretty ordinary Western or Eastern European countries instead of hellholes as one would expect lands populated by literal Nazis.

"Who is toxic" is a similar topic as violence against "the other" versus "of us", but it doesn't need a socially constructed "evil other". I don't consider CCP Falcon a member of a hostile nation, religion or cult. I wouldn't have a problem with him living in the same city where I do or him working in the same company where I do ... assuming he works with a mop in his hands.

What I consider him is a competitor instead of a partner. Someone whose "winning" is mutually exclusive with my "winning". I wanted to use EVE for my game projects, to show how trading and influencing with money instead of sociality works, but I cannot, since he uses his dev powers to skew the results (skewing for me is just as bad as skewing against me, this is why offering me beers made things worse). So I work on getting him fired, since outside of dev corruption, EVE is the closest to perfect game currently.

When you compete for a job, a mating partner, for a game win, you naturally work against another people. Your winning means they are losing. Losing hurts. Sometimes they have feelings about the competition target and losing hurt these feelings. Yet, there is absolutely nothing wrong with competing them and the other competitors should either get good and win or be adults and don't cry over a loss. There was nothing wrong with me fighting Goons and Goons fighting me. I never ran around "oh noes, Goons said mean things about me", I blocked them and kept fighting.

When you are partnering with someone for common goal, you shouldn't be hurting them. "Hurting" is defined by them. If I have a fat colleague, I'm not supposed to call him "unhealthy, disgusting" despite I'm factually true. His body, his life, I want his work, not his body. Those who hurt partners are the toxic people. They are called this way because they poison the room around them. While competitive people make their enemies miserable, toxic people make their friends miserable. Guy beating up a burglar: good guy defending himself and his own. Guy beating up his wife: toxic, hateful crap.

While I believed that I can stay in EVE, I avoided hurting Falcon, exactly because partnership is not possible when shooting each other. My initial response to his first bully post was to divert fire to Sion for his "Falcon saved Goon vandals" post. This was an offer to Falcon that it was all a big misunderstanding stirred by Sion. He didn't take it and responded with his doubling-down post. My reply was further Goon-bashing and while it implied that Falcon mishandled the case (making error =/= being bad person), I literally said:
I'd like to repeat that I do not claim that CCP Falcon did as written here, Sion does, I'm just copy-pasting him. I wouldn't believe Sion that the rain is wet, I think he made the whole story up to create the narrative "CCP Falcon is protecting us, don't dare to mess with us". However, I believe that to clear the taint thrown at them by Sion, CCP now must be what they failed to be at the vandalism: "vindictive, public, and vicious."
Another olive branch to Falcon to simply correct his mistake, blame the problems on Goons (who caused them at the first place) and move on.

Then came the Goon propaganda site and celebrated the previous exchange simply as "CCP Falcon knocks Gevlon out". My post about it didn't even attack Falcon, merely explained that this "misunderstanding" is a powerful tool in the hands of Goons and CCP must do something about being pictured as Goon-loving. My next post was about the prominent Goon-killer Stunt Flores being banned for trivial violation. Instead of calling out obvious favoritism (The Mittani still wasn't banned after series of much worse actions), I warned my followers to be extra careful and follow the rules to the letter, even when our opponents don't.

The next move of Falcon was a relatively light insult, instantly cheered by the crowd of Reddit. I replied by linking the anti-bully song of Taylor Swift. I can't imagine nicer way of saying "your actions are hurtful, please stop". He wasn't happy about this and replied with the worst of his hatepostings, where I was no longer just a madman, but also a purposeful liar troll. My reply:
Yes, dear Falcon, you should turn corporate because you are working for a multi-million dollars, multi-national corporation with hundreds of employees, that's why! CCP Games isn't a club, a community project or even a 2 men university startup looking for Kickstarter backers on Facebook. Acting like it's one won't make it one any more than a pink pony makes a grown man a child. It just make him look a weirdo.
Yep, after four hateful insults, all I did was nicely reminding him of corporate standards and downplayed the conflict as lack of professional atmosphere in CCP. I expanded this idea, explicitly saying that "Everyone misunderstood him [Falcon]".

During the Goon Kickstarter nonsense, when Falcon appeared daily in streams and posts trying to get money to Goons, I acknowledged the problem of CCP that recruiting non-players into Goon players is both good (new players) and bad (favoritism for Goons). I didn't go all-out "CCP = CFC" like reddit.

When he shot down my CSM campaign, I was much more critical and it was downhill from there. While I dragged on for a few months in EVE hoping, that was the point when I made peace with the fact that my time in EVE is over. However the point is that as long as I hoped that we can coexist, I held back from the insults and hateful language that he used and tried to offer solutions. After I realized that we cannot be partners and I left EVE (while I'm in EVE, CCP devs are my business partners), I didn't hold back anymore. Why should I against an enemy?! He on the other hand went all-out-hate from day 1 despite he hoped that I stay in EVE and provide content (otherwise he could just ban me with a click). That is toxicity: abusing people useful to you, abusing your partners.

You should not hurt people you expect to work with on something. If they hurt you, try to offer them peace. It doesn't always work and then you can't work together. Trying to is making a miserable experience, hence such people are called toxic. On the other hand when you face a competitor, someone you expect nothing from, don't hold back. They had their shot at cooperation. They didn't take it. You aren't responsible for them, only for yourself!


Anonymous said...

There's a much simpler and shorter explanation for all this. Crying "toxic" is just the liberal tactic of "shaming and silencing a person who says or does anything that doesn't advance and support an agenda." Censorship. Which is actually toxic (if you're not a sheep and want to think for yourself, that is).

Eaten by a Grue said...

I am a little curious about your comment regarding your belief that money should be more effective than sociality in EVE. I do not know enough about EVE to give an opinion of whether or not, given the mechanics of the game, this is true. However, in the real world, you do not have to go far to see that money rules just about everything. No one will seriously argue this, and in fact people go to great lengths to fight against it when it becomes oppressive to the many over the benefit to the few. So you win.

In games, I can see why developers would arrange the game so that economies are not everything, and I suspect EVE has some of this (trillions in a bank account does nothing, I assume, without pilots willing to fly the ships that the money buys, and since in a game, you do not need money to live, players can afford to blow off the rich guy, where as in real life, without money, you do not eat)

So why try to prove that money is king? Everyone knows it is.

maxim said...

There is a larger picture missing here.

We are currently living in a culture where all forms of active fighting for/against anything are considered "toxic". It is expected that a civilised person will never have to fight his or her own wars, but will instead quietly hire someone to do it for them, while being all nice and beer-offerin' on the outside. Ability to hire toxic goons while keeping one's own hands clean and ability to publicly distance yourself from said goons, while attacking the problem up-front and in the light (even as the goons work in the dark to undermine it from the back) is the way "civilised" people fight their wars nowadays. You need to look no further than the US-IS relationship.

The instant you start to fight for anything personally, you become one of the "toxic" people. It's like bringing a gun to a debate.

Anonymous said...

"When he shot down my CSM campaign"

Your CSM campaign was not a CSM campaign. You were told to come back with a proper platform, and an intention to actually run instead of wasting votes.

You could not, or would not do this, and instead decided you had been banned from running. (How do you ban that which is not running?)

What you should have done is proclaimed "Every eve player who does not vote is a vote for me", then you could have said "I have the most votes ever in the history of the CSM", alternatively, you could have put effort into an actual CSM campaign, and taken the risk of finding out whether or not people agreed with any of your ideas for the game.

Ðesolate said...

Since I watched your Whole EvE-Adventure, because we talked about EvE in .

I was honestly suprised seeing your Motivation turned down by a Developer / Staff Member of CCP. The Environment of EvE ant the core Philosophy of CCP seemed perfect. But as we see, where Humans have Power and Influence, social based actions win.
But turning against a single Person, not a "power Block" is the worst anti-"Player" action that can be taken (personal POV).

Lets hope there will be a conclusion.
If not, lets hope there will be good following up Games.

Gevlon said...

@Eaten by a Grue: because people think that money can be gained not by proper actions but by "making friends". Socials want to smooth-talk their way into money instead of working. In games you can't really hang out with NPCs, you must kill the 10 wolves for them.

@maxim: then why was Falcon upvoted and cheered by my enemies? He was clearly fighting.

@Anon: my CSM platform was completely legitimate and true. Rent-seeking and dev corruption killed EVE and it could only be prevented by formal barriers between players and devs. Ending CSM was one step in that.

@Desolate: the Falcon hate was just a starting point of looking for dev corruption. I didn't quit because of it. Falcon saving the Goon criminals was much worse. Bowing to the Goon Document of Shame was worse. Un-banning the RMT-ing IWI bankers was worse. The citadels broker fee change was absolutely unacceptable. I am certain that the devs constantly change or break the game rules to cater to their friends and to whoever bribes them. I just focus on the Falcon hate because it's the easiest to point at. A white knight or a paid troll could argue how saving the Goon criminals was a honest move to protect 40K innocent players. They can tell that the Document of Shame was a good idea. They can tell that Team Security was incompetent and IWI isn't RMT-ing. They can tell that highsec trade citadels generate interesting PvP content one day. But no white knight can say that Falcon was right to openly hatepost about a customer.

More importantly: social actions did not win. EVE is going down and all the devs will lose their jobs, all the players will lose their toys and I'll be here laughing on them. You can enforce a social way, but no way you can get away with it.

99smite said...

But but but Gevlon, how can you say that EVE is going down? EVE has become a much better game... (Irony off)
At least that's what may friends who still play EVE tell me every day, while traing to make me resub.
They have a citadel with a trading module and they own all the pocos in "their" pocket.
They have a small high-sec pocket, where they own all the pocos and have a trading citadel. They "allow" "friendly" miners to mine while they use their services and pay for them. While they offer a few services that could also be provided by NPCs, they do so demanding protection money. They also efficiently shut down any CODE. ganking activity in their pocket.
Their citadel makes several hundred million isk per day, but my friends are crap poor and often enough buy GTC and sell them for isk to fund their ships.

They do not have enough time to earn money, except for the two traders, but they make their money with trading chars based in Jita.

all the while they tell me how "OP" carriers now are and how easy it is to earn money in 0.0 in w-space... Except that they are not in 0.0 or w-space to make money.

When I pointed out this fact, that instead of buying GTC, they could be making money instead of wasting, they told me that they were creating "stuff", that they were building up their own little empire... And that my problem was that I simply wanted to play by myself.

As I agree that some specific changes to EVE, like you pointed out, ruin the game, I told them that these exact changes are the reason I won't resub.

I play other games that are really entertaining and without any toxic human waste and I couldn't care less about the fate of EVE...

Gevlon said...

@smite: EVE going down isn't an opinion. It's a fact shown by the horrible last quarter player loss and going free-to-play

Anonymous said...

Falcon is just typical social clown in need of popularity and attention. Like the saying goes, don't put down to maliciousness what can be put to stupidity. He used to play under the name Verone and was well known for being an asshole.

My advice is simply ignore this game altogether. CCP are doing a good job of ruining it on their own, without help from anyone.

Rob Thompson said...

EVE is like a terminally ill patient; he will have good days and bad days, but the outcome is never in doubt.

maxim said...

Falcon had the advantage of not wanting to actually change anything.

His position was simply "let's be friends and have a beer, you interesting mad person, as long as we don't BE mad and actually change anything". This is not "fighting", or even "holding ground". Heck, like anon above says, this position doesn't even require much thinking.

"Fighting" would be if he actually engaged you and attempted to PROVE you wrong, instead of simply dismissing you completely.

Gevlon said...

@maxim: I don't really understand your point. He didn't have to prove anything since he was a high-ranking dev, in position of godly power within the game. He could merely state "we at CCP don't like Gevlon and the way he plays" for the desired effect: to discourage people from working with me and tell Goons "hold out just a little bit, it'll be fixed for you"