On its face, EVE Online seems such a paradise for the independent person. No laws, no restrictions, no way forward except individual merit. Can't handle it? Die or quit. Completely predictably, the resulting society does not consist of thousands of yeoman farmers but rather strong-man rule in the form of player guilds (corporations). Over and above this emergent oligarchic tyranny, the owners of EVE established a first-of-its-kind player governance, a parliament of sorts whereby the players would supposedly be able to have a hand on the game's development. This only replays once again the farce told eloquently by our own Julian Dibbell many years ago in his My Tiny Life. Another famous example was Peter Ludlow's and Mark Wallace's experience in the "freedom-loving" confines of Sims Online and Second Life.
For, as correspondent Marcus Carter reports, there ain't no freedom in EVE after all. He writes:
Something just happened in EVE Online that I thought TerraNovans might be interested in.
EVE has a player elected council, the CSM. The election for CSM7 just finished. The winner, ‘The Mittani’ is a bit of a controversial figure in EVE, and got most of the votes. It doesn’t hurt that he is the head diplomat for the Goonswarm Federation, probably the most powerful (and controversial) alliance in the game (Goonswarm made TerraNova last October).
Voting for CSM7 finished at around about the time EVE Fanfest began. At the Alliance Panel hosted by CCP, near the end of fanfest, The Mittani made some controversial comments.
I’ll just copy/paste from the massively article
During a Q&A session after the presentation, he said something that has become the focus of a great deal of controversy. "Incidentally, if you want to make the guy kill himself, his (in-game) name is [redacted]," The Mittani said, adding that "he has his own corp. Find him." The talk was watched by a packed room of Fanfest attendees and streamed live to thousands of players at home.
In the community, there was/is serious uproar. Many were quick to point out that what The Mittani had done was in strict violation of the EVE EULA and has been described as cyber-bullying. He soon apologised, and later offered his resignation from the chairman position on CSM7, but not the CSM itself.
However, CCP just announced that his conduct on the day was a “clear violation of our Terms of Service” and “According to our existing policies, we have issued a 30 day ban from EVE Online to the panel speaker” which removes him from the CSM entirely. See more from that statement here.
What I find most interesting is that *a player broke a games EULA while not even playing that game*. In the thread on the forums, several users were quick to jump on this, some more flippantly than others, “You guys should ban me because I am sitting in my room saying EULA/TOS breaking things out loud in front of the monitor”.
Now while this situation is clearly different, occurring at a hosted CCP event and live-streamed online, but if the boundary for a game EULA isn’t at the end of the game – where is it?