Monday, 18 August 2014

Jewish Bullshit Ninja

This is a post in and of itself, the purpose of which is to lead into a more recent event I feel compelled to discuss, but not without a bit of groundwork.

Back in the formative months of Sudden Buggery, we came into dispute with some corp we shared a wormhole with. Mostly it revolved around their CEO who was stealing and siphoning off from his own corp, and when we clubbed in on sites, ours too. He said he was a former Mossad agent living in California, drove an RX-8 and went drifting in it to pick up the bitches, and partied hard. Had an ego bigger than a really, really big thing. Lets go with iceberg. He knew Krav Maga, and could shoot some outrageous score with his Desert Eagle .50 cal. Blah blah. Total fucking douche canoe. I called him the Jewish Bullshit Ninja.

One of the BUGRY members dossed with one of the members of that corp, IRL. So one day, we log in to find a request to help him move out ships from the other corp's POS. Lots of ships. Soon, their Chimera. This was back in the days when capitals in womholes were SRS SHNIZ and super-rare.

Soon it became apparent that this was a heist, that the mole wanted to "collect his back pay", etc. So we moved out all their ships, logged out in the Chimera and told the other guys to move the fuck out. Stuff got stolen. It turned out the roommates were in cahoots.

The Jewish Bullshit Ninja struck back by claiming that the toon in his corp had his account hacked. CCP of course takes a dim view of this, and put pressure on the duo of dastardly roommates, threatening life bans, blah blah, and the other guy caved and admitted he and his roommate used to log in and update one another's skill queues. He ought to have just doubled down and said he hated the Jewish Bullshit Ninja, did it alll himself, and fuck him in particular. But he was just weak inside, like a fucking moshii icecream cake.

Anyway, time passed, and about 6-8 weeks later, one of my mates complains to me his Orca is gone. missing, stolen or something. He petitions the loss, and it turns out the Orca he got from me as spoils I got from the heist, was "stolen property" gained illegally via an account hack. The 718M he paid me for it was meaningless, and a penalty it seems not to accept stolen goods.

I fixed up the guy his 718M, and checked my assets, and sure enough all the stolen gear I'd got save for the jewish Bullshit ninja's pimped-out Phantasm, had been reversed out of my hangar(s) and returned to the jewish Bullshit Ninja. Yeah, and that included it turns out, a bunch of ships which weren't his.

So, more petitions ensue, and the GM's got petulant, and finished with a line more or less like "the issue is at an end. We have spent weeks reversing these transactions and trades of items stolen by a hacked account." So that was that.

The month-long bans finished, the dust settled, and life went on.

The point of this? Well, corp heists are a fact of life in EVE, and especially wormhole life. But of course, account hacks are a serious breach of the EULA and all that jazz. There's a fine tradition of spying thieving, and bastardry to uphold, but not if you are illegally doing it.

There's some mutterings on gamer forums and blog sites about how in-game assets are beginning to be treated similarly to IRL assets. It's strange to consider it, but in a way, real world laws do get applied to EVE. Or in the very least, real world principles such as the daft idea of hunting down each Mjolnir Rocket nicked from some douchebag egomaniac/kleptomaniac and every orca, and taking it under real world legal principles.

Which is odd, when you think about it - in a universe when CCP can create content randomly and magically restore ships lost from exploits or server glitches and shit like that, it has always pzzled me as to why they felt the need to actually and forensically track down every single item stolen. I mean, OK, you need to verify the story.

But then you go a step further. Rather than restoring it to the person via fiat and magic wand waving, you impose the penalty of not trading in stolen goods on unknowing customers and fourth and fifth parties, by reversing transactions (but not the money paid) leaving the end customer of an Orca out 718M (3 PLEX at the time) and no one the wiser. Not even a mail to the guy saying "We took your Orca because it was stolen via account hack."It just disappears, leaving the guy in space in a fucking pod.

So, what's the moral of this story? Either I'm getting a ban for discussing a CCP moderation decision (you're welcome to give me another holiday on this one, dear readers) 6 years after the fact, or it is that if we are moving to real legal oversight of gaming, CCP needs to be logical and consistent, and hear evidence from both sides, and pursue a juddicial style jjudgement process. Arguably, the kind of GM decisions you used to get years ago were crazy, fickle and murderously obtuse. Precedent didn't transfer even from one to another GM, and consistency was a cause for bitter, uproarious laughter.

It seems better now, more consistent, more purposeful and focused - but often still down to individual GM's and their whims, or your connection to various powerful gaming entities.

As I will detail in a future blog, I may have cause to enmesh myself in a similar case in very, very recent times, and I'm going to be interested to see what's changed, and what remains a bizarre exercise in Kafkaesque bureaucratic parody.


  1. While we are 'unable' to freely discuss GM bans, they will be down to individual GM's and their whims.

    Transparency is required for consistency.

    Instead we currently have : Make everything illegal; selectively enforce.

    Which is bizzare in a game that asshatery is a selling point.

  2. True. A fair few people do join - and play - because of the fully free sandbox where you get to kick sand in each other's faces. However, there are rules and limits to this, wherein you can only steal what you can access via the normal game rules using the limitations available to your own account and yur own characters (or, realistically, your ability to inveigle, machinate and organise and coerce others into doing your bidding). Stealing someone else's account short-cicruits the rules of the game, and should be punished.

    My question, which remains open and worthy of debate, is whether or not the strict IRL legal definitions of stolen property be adhered to, or whether the magic ccircle can be breached by CCP who doesn't in fact have to track down the stolen property and in effect punish unwitting recipients of that property (as happened).

    That's an interesting debate that the gaming community, both in and out of EVE, needs to have.

    If you employ real, strict, real-world laws and legal principles (even leaving aside in-game, in-character, sanctioned crimes, including boat violencing; it's digital murder and a game) as CCP did in this case, then like you say, transparency is key.

    Transparency is in fact a fundamental principle of the law, in real life. The pillories and stocks were not just a punishment, but an advertisement of the consequences of breaching the law. This advanced with civilisation from punitive, retributive measures like that, to modern times where at least 1/3rd of the nightly news is crime and punishment. Daily on the news you read about criminals and their punishments - it's as effective as seeing a person in the town square in the stocks and throwing rotten vegetables at their face, and serves the same societal purpose.

    However, in the case of EVE and games in general, the system of crime and punishment and advertising of consequences breaks down. As you'll see from my next post, account theft leading to corp heists still goes on. The Law in EVE isn't advertised, isn't enforced, and punishments are not discussed - indeed, because CCP hasn't got across the whole idea of their game masters being judges, in a sense, and needing to use all the principles of IRL legal systems; evidence, precedence, judgments and appeals.


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