Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Patch Day Ponderings

While we are all waiting (you did set a 48 hr skill, right?), our recent corp theft launched a flurry of internal discussion far out of proportion to the deed itself.

The basic underlying question : "Is it reasonable to assume that the trustworthiness of a game character mirrors the trustworthiness of the RL person behind the keyboard?"

Now, before you go all emo on me, read the question carefully. It deals with trustworthiness, not morality. Many of my carebear brothers & sisters fail to make the distinction and start the flow of tears in situations where they are not warranted.

In the game, a pirate who catches you in low sec trying to ninja mine, offers or accepts an offer to ransom your ship and honors the ransom has demonstrated trustworthiness, just as a corpmate who hauls the ore from a co-op mining op and turns it all over at the conclusion of the op has done.

In a like manner, the pirate who neither gives nor asks quarter or ransom demonstrates trustworthiness, in that you can count on a certain course of action.

The disconnect is the person who tells you one thing, but does another. The person who drops a can in front of a starter station named "Free stuff. Take some!" and then pops the unsuspecting noob that does so. The pirate that offers ransom, takes the isk and blows you up anyway.

In my Eve time, I've found such disingenuous folks to be rare. Not unknown, just rare. I'm hopeful that is because Eve does mirror real life.


Mynxee said...

I wonder how much "morality" in-game is influenced by whether a player values EVE primarily as a game or as a social experience. I suspect the ones who value it mainly as a game are more inclined to do "immoral" things whereas those who value the social experience are probably less inclined to rip off their friends and colleagues. It'd be interesting to see the results of a well-constructed poll on this topic.

Erbo Evans said...

Well spoken, Mynxee, and I wonder further if the environment people "came" to EVE from is a big influence on how people value EVE. See, Lexx and I are originally from Second Life, where we run several businesses in-world, and we try to treat people fairly when we do business there. We run the Ralpha Dogs in EVE much the same way. Now, people coming to EVE from, say, WoW might tend more towards the "it's a game," "immoral" viewpoint. There's at least a graduate-level thesis in there somewhere.

MailDeadDrop said...

A "well-constructed poll" ? About players' trustworthiness? Oh the irony is thick there. Sounds much like the Liar's Paradox.

CPT Calamity said...

Look, I gotta admit, I took the 14 day free trial, and enjoyed the gameplay so I subscribed. I still only viewed EVE as a game until I joined the Uni. It was then I began to see this as much a nested sub-society as a game. No, I don't have problems separating fact from reality :o) but I began to notice Unistas acting "trustworthy". That means that some people are investing in this environment... taking advantage of the opportunity the EVE Online universe offers to project the ego into an alternate environment for a short period of time and interact socially. The folks who make that investment is what makes this game so fun to play... and that is the difference, IMHO, between the trustworthy and a gamer.

Anonymous said...

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