I tried to come up with a clever title for this post, but it eluded me. I kind of don’t want to make this post, because it’s likely to derail this entire blog into real-world politics, but it sort of has to be made before I can get into some other things.
For anyone who has not listened already, the soundcloud of the actual bonus room is here.
One of the (numerous) excuses made during the Sokar scandal involving Erotica 1 was that Erotica and his cronies remained polite and calm during the entire “bonus room” exercise, while Sokar became more and more upset, eventually ranting angrily, and including some racist language and making some death threats.
Now, those two issues are separate ones in and of themselves, and I might get into them later. Suffice to say that whether or not Sokar made death threats or used racist language is irrelevant to the question of Erotica 1’s conduct. Racist, homophobic, sexist and other bigoted language are fairly common in EVE, and while they’re tasteless, inappropriate, and reflective of the juvenile sides of their users, they are not a result of rampant racism, sexism, or homophobia in the playerbase; they’re a result of people simply getting tired of living in a world overrun by liberals eager to condemn anything they don’t like as “racism”, “sexism”, or “homophobia” as a form of ad hom fallacy to distract from real issues. Victim politics is very powerful in the western world, and dominated by the left (although the right is increasingly getting into the act, and with the typical clumsiness of the right in the last 15 years.)
Victim-blaming (or, when that doesn’t work, blaming the police officer, the court, the “system”, or in EVE, the CSM or the devs) is a time-honored tradition of criminals everywhere – and for those for whom distractions are unavoidable, Erotica 1 is a criminal in the EVE context, not in the real-world one, as far as I know.
Victim-blaming, unfortunately, has also been hijacked by feminists and rape victim “advocates” who go into hystrionics every time an alleged rapist is given his right to a fair trial, to confront his accuser, and to have his guilt proved beyond a reasonable doubt. This habit has highly distorted what we view as victim-blaming; pointing out that going to the bedroom of someone who has been hitting on you all night when you’re drunk is stupid is not blaming the victim. Victim blaming attempts to excuse the attacker; merely pointing out that measures can be taken to avoid sexual assault does not somehow translate to condoning the sexual assault. The fact that one has a right to not be assaulted is irrelevant – the nature of criminals is to violate the rights of their victims. The fact that one has a right to leave valuables on one’s car seat does not mean that doing so is a bad idea because it makes burglary of the vehicle attractive; the fact that one has a right not to be sexually assaulted when in private with an unfamiliar person does not mean getting into that circumstance is not a bad idea. “Rape culture” and other inventions of the feminist are made of this sort of distortion, however.
The excesses of the feminist movement make it necessary to explain what is and is not victim-blaming. Victim-blaming occurs when the conduct or nature of the victim is used to excuse the conduct of the criminal, and that conduct or nature is either A) irrelevant or B) not a cause for action on the part of the criminal.
Victim-blaming also assumes the presence of a victim either in the moral or legal sense. People often attempt to mix the legal and the moral to their advantage, but a legal victim is not necessarily a moral one, and vice versa.
A person who pulls out a knife to rob someone, for example, and finds himself shot by his victim, is neither a legal nor a moral victim; his conduct was A) relevant to the response (he created a threat, and the shooter defended himself) and B) a cause for action. A person on the other hand who makes a death threat over EVE Online would be a legal victim, although possibly not a moral one if the person he threatened showed up at his house and killed him; while the threat was relevant to the response, making threats over a video game is not cause to hunt down the threat-maker and kill them as “self defense”.
In the Erotica 1 case, the victim was both a legal and moral victim of Erotica 1’s conduct. His own bad behavior does not excuse Erotica’s. Erotica had neither the right nor the duty to expose closet “racists” by luring them into his bonus room.
This excuse smacks of the same problems as criticism of the Nurnburg trials. Hugely questionable from a legal sense on numerous grounds, such as (but not limited to) the appearance of Ex Post Facto law and the presence of the Societs despite their own bad behavior, no amount of legal irregularity or shenanigans changes the fact that the Nazis on trial were despicable in every sense of the word, and the victors were under no obligation to give them trials at all.
Erotica 1, similarly, used the ISK-doubling game (itself a permissible type of scam) to lure people into the bonus room. The bonus room is an inexcusable abuse of the sandbox concept, and a deliberate blurring of the line between in-game conduct, and private matters outside the game. No amount of pointing out Sokar’s misbehavior will change that fact, especially since it was entirely a result of him being in the bonus room in the first place.
Why the bonus room is impermissible, I’ll get to soon. For now though, it’s enough to know that there’s no excuse for it, either participating it, or defending it. Those still trying to pretend it was some travesty that Erotica was banned ought to consider themselves lucky it wasn’t everyone involved, and that it’s not me making decisions at CCP. If it were, defending conduct already declared impermissible on the official forums would result, at a minimum, in a forum access suspension. This conduct has absolutely no place in any online game, and the people that insist on it really don’t need to be playing MMOs at all until they can learn that the game is there for the gameplay, not for their sense of imaginary superiority over those they can lure into questionable situations.