Friday, March 30, 2012

Mittens and stuff

It is regrettable it had to come down to this... I've spent more than 3 years in the CSM and it always hurts when something like this erodes a lot of hard work behind the scenes (including work by Mittens himself).

I don't subscribe to the view that things have to be only negative or only positive. So I'll break it down.

So let me start by saying that I think The Mittani's words during that Alliance Panel were inconsiderate and stupid. I don't condone that action or those words in any way, I would never have said that kind of thing and I'm certainly not happy he did. There was a real potential for damage and while alcohol and a history of being a self-professed asshole is an explanation, it is not an excuse. Yet I would be remiss if I didn't point out that it is my opinion those words have been blown way out of proportion. He got carried away by his in-game persona, made an off-hand remark in an attempt to be funny (it wasn't) that could have had serious consequences, but admitted his mistake, apologized profusely both publicly and privately to the player, and the player in question was unharmed and wasn't harassed. The player was apparently not even aware of anything until news sites started to get in touch with him.

When speaking publicly, either as a member of my alliance, a member of the CSM or generally an Eve player, I try very hard not to cause any bad image to be reflected to those groups I belong to, being mindful that no matter in which quality I speak as, my words will be associated with all of them. The CSM are player representative, and should be held to higher standards than the average player. His lapse in judgement was bad for all of us in that regard...

I don't agree with The Mittani a lot on the CSM, at least as far as implementation details go his objectives and mine are frequently opposite. I'm not a fan of his public persona either, and I certainly feel no value in being liked by the groups he belongs to. Yet the way I gauge the value of a CSM member is not according to who they got elected by or whether I agree with their opinion. My only concern is whether they can contribute constructively, whether they actively participate and communicate with CCP and the players and thereby bring something to the CSM process. In that regard Mittens was an effective member of the CSM and I'm really sorry to see him go. It is fair to say that CSM 6 was successful in no small part due to his efforts and commitment and I regarded him as a valuable colleague. I had looked forward to working with him again in CSM 7, differences of opinion aside, and it's fair to say that CSM 7 will be lesser for his absence.

Yet the rules are the rules, and he did act against them. Just as players were banned for making threats against devs or other players, his tempban was practically unavoidable. The TOS/EULA of all games are crafted to basically give the developper license to ban anyone for anything remotely questionable, and for a reason: It's bad publicity for a developper to be perceived as condoning objectionable actions, and failure to act only creates a perception of bias when actions have to be taken in other cases. I personally felt his apology sufficient, but CCP didn't or couldn't. I'm not happy it came down to this, but I now think it was the unavoidable thing for CCP to do, it may also have been the legal thing to do, but I don't know about that. The fact that it was done by a high-profile member of the community in such a public fashion forced CCP's hand, I would think.

I'll talk about the implications of this situation on CSM 6 chairmanship, CSM 7 chairmanship, representation of Mittens' voters and a few others things in a separate blog, they are still under consideration.