We’ve all said, or thought that at one time another, or at least words to that effect. It’s the thought process we engage in when we’re in trouble. When we realize that, rightly or wrongly, we’re in for it, we grope about for anything that will get us out of it. That might be mitigating circumstances, some violation of our rights, whether what we did was actually a violation of the rules or law, whether we were the one that did it, or even just pleading for mercy. When you were a kid, the first one and the last two tended to work with mom, or at school, but arguing your rights, or trying to play lawyer didn’t tend to work with mom, or at school.
Criminals (by which I don’t just mean violators of the law, but whoever gets in trouble in a particular context) tend to come in three types. You have the “career criminal” who doesn’t care about the rules, and who engages in crime or rule-breaking as his major activity. You have the otherwise good guy who just makes a mistake, and most likely won’t repeat it. Then you have the in-between; the sort of person that doesn’t really intend to get in trouble, and theoretically cares about the rules, but who lacks impulse control or has poor judgement, and so is always stepping in it. This is That Guy we all know that has a job, most of the time, but keeps losing it because he gets a DUI every year or something like that. Or, the guy that gets arrested every so often because he just couldn’t back down from the trash-talking asshole at the bar that said something offensive about the Korean War.
“That’s all dandy, Kiryen” you say “but what’s it got to do with EVE or Elder Scrolls?”
Well, I’ll tell you.
As I said in my very first post, one impetus for starting this blog was Ripard quitting. One of the major impetus for him quitting (I think) was the volume of crap slung at him after the Erotica 1 incident. I realize the Erotica 1 issue may, to many people, be old news, but by the same token, I also think that gives a little perspective that may not have been there at the time.
The Erotica 1 incident, though, has to be understood with the understanding that there’s 2 “legal systems” in EVE. There’s the rules within the client which permit, even encourage some “criminal” behavior as valid play, Then, there’s the EULA and TOS, the other legal system.. and those work a lot more like Mom’s legal system did than real court does.
What’s really interesting to me is not the final incident of Erotica 1’s career itself, but the player reaction, and the hoops that a certain vocal contingent tried to jump through to tell itself this was some monumental injustice.
Yet on reflection, it shouldn’t be surprising. Real criminals will grasp at any straw to get out of trouble, or at least to lessen the consequences, and the Erotica 1 crowd, regardless of what they do within the client, consists of a lot of people that very much fall into the first type of criminal. Erotica 1 and his cronies were breaking the rules, they knew it perfectly well, and their plan was to try to lawyer their way out of it if they got caught.. if they had a plan at all. They forgot, however, that EVE is ultimately a video game, not the government, and ultimately your legal rights are there to protect you from mistreatment in the real legal system.
Now, it’s perfectly normal to want to minimize trouble when we get into it, and that is not bad. Mitigating circumstances should be considered. If rights were violated in legal process, a remedy should be made. If what you did wasn’t against the law (even if at first glance it appeared to be) or you weren’t the one that did it, you shouldn’t be punished, and the court should be merciful (to at least some degree) to those that show honest remorse and regret.
People in general, though, will tend to grasp at any of these straws when in trouble, and the more criminal they are in mentality, the more they will try to twist and wrangle the facts to make it work. People, in general, do not know their rights, and talk themselves into even more trouble trying to get out of it, but it’s never their fault.
That’s the mentality of the Erotica 1 defenders. Even if they weren’t in trouble themselves, and even if they aren’t criminals in real life (and in all probability they aren’t) in their gaming, or even just in this game, they have acquired a criminal mindset, and not just in-client. They have something they want (tears) they are willing to do anything to get it, and when caught they accept no responsibility, and try to turn the consquences into some sort of persecution.
I’ve been in law enforcement for 12 years now, and this is not new to me. It is, however, interesting to see the same behaviors I’ve observed so often in people under arrest surface in people who can’t keep the game in the game.