Too Far?

 

In a continuing series of blogposts about what he sees causing the downfall of EVE, Ripard Teg went into detail about how the murder and suicide committed by two D&D players nearly ended production of the game. Ripard has argued that CCP’s laissez-faire stance towards what’s going on in EVE could cause the media to blame CCP over a real life tragedy. While I agree that the media is quick to point fingers and blame video games for any tragedy, recent history has shown that media pressure hasn’t slowed down the gaming industry at all.

I was a sophomore in high school in 1999 when two teenagers walked into their school and opened fire. The resulting chaos ended with the murders of 13 people and injuries to another 21. The events of the Columbine High School Massacre was one of the worst tragedies in American history, and the debate of what triggered the attack lasted for years. Many things were blamed; lack of parental oversight, lax gun control laws, the goth culture, antidepressants, internet usage, music (primarily Marilyn Manson), movies (primarily Natural Born Killers) and video games. Doom and Wolfenstein 3D were the focus of the media witch hunt, with the entire FPS genre blamed for producing a culture of murder and violence. Despite the media fervor and several unsuccessful lawsuits, the FPS genre continued to flourish into the juggernaut it is today.

Anders Behring Breivik, the perpetrator of the 2011 Norway attacks, is no stranger to online video gaming. He reportedly would spend up to sixteen hours a day playing World of Warcraft. Breivik also penned a manifesto explaining how he used Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 as a “training simulator” to simulate combat operations. Again, the media partially tried to blame his actions on video games despite recent studies doubting the link between videogames and violence. Two years after the attack, Activision Blizzard is still thriving and its titles still generate a ridiculous amount of revenue.

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The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School brought video games into the spotlight again. The shooter, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, was reportedly addicted to a number of video games, including Starcraft 2, Call of Duty, and even Dance Dance Revolution. Despite a cocktail of emotional and personal problems, video games once again were partially blamed. All of those titles are still doing very well.

Call of Duty and other first-person shooters aren’t the only titles to be blamed; the Grand Theft Auto games are probably the most controversial titles of all-time. Numerous crimes have been committed that were allegedly inspired by events in the GTA games. Trials for murder, assault, and robberies have all used Grand Theft Auto as a defense. Countless lawsuits have been filed against Rockstar Games and yet they continue to deliver successful game after successful game.

So while Ripard is worried about bad publicity the game might receive if a deranged EVE Online player commits a crime, I’m not.  Recent history has shown that the video game industry thrives, even with half-assed links reported by the media. If Ripard’s concern is the stigma of a suicide over an in-game event, Ripard shouldn’t worry. There have been several suicides over video games in the last few years, so why would it impact EVE when it hasn’t other publishers? Why do people need to make up justifications for their actions and not hold them responsible?

If an EVE player commits suicide or murders another person, would you honestly blame CCP, even if some in-game event happened to them? Even if such a tragedy were to take place and CCP became the centre of a media shitstorm, I doubt there would ever be a stigma associated with EVE Online. Because if those other titles don’t, I’m pretty sure EVE won’t.

Tags: erotica 1, hvac, ripard teg, scam

About the author

HVAC Repairman

LIKES: EVE Online, twitter, Payday 2, Marvel Heroes, trolling Xander
DISLIKES: EVE Online, Blawrf McTaggert, people who use the phrase ‘€œcowboy up’

  • Hey there, I can appreciate your point of view here and I think they are both right to an extent. It would be nice to see some links to game related suicides. The rest of the article links well to examples to justify your reasoning 🙂

  • Saint

    CCP will be fine – Even if a player is involved in a crime, they’ll inevitably have a copy of GTA/Call of Duty/Whatever too and that will get the blame becuase it’s a much easier link for the media than trying to explain how a slow paced space game is to blame

    • Poetic Stanziel

      If I ever go on a super-killing spree I hope Hearthstone, QuizUp, and Minesweeper can survive the media onslaught.

      • Saint

        Watch out, those mines are weapons of war and therefore playing a game with them in is encouraging the decay of society. *dons tinfoil hat*

  • Tarkelan

    The discussion isn’t only about what happens to CCP. It’s about if we as a community want to have someone like Eroctia 1 with us or not.
    What ever can be said about the victim could have left or what ever.
    The thing Erotica 1 and other recorded is over the top for me and a part of the community.
    CCP made the rules of the sandbox it’s theirs to decide what kind of playerbase they would like to have. Which includes financial decissions.
    Erotica 1 hasn’t done a good job to attract more potential customers.

    • Hector de Maris

      I am very interested in CCP’s official stand towards this Erotica 1 fellow and his merry band. I think they should make a statement of their view on this, because he does take it further than any i’ve seen.

  • Poetic Stanziel

    D&D’s financial problems had nothing to do with the “satanic moral panic” of the 80s. TSR was simply a mismanaged company. I’m sure Ripard knows that, but he needed to frame it differently to create “EVE’s moral panic.”

  • You logic is faulty:

    IF someone will decide to kill another person BECAUSE of an in-game heist then there is absolutely no excuse for CCP. Especially if that individual has a recorded (LOGs, TS recordings, duh) history of out-game bullying people.

    The very first question from the police department will be asking is: “Why didn’t you do something about an abnormal behaviour like that?”

    Do you have the answer to that?

    I mean, other than EVE is hard, HTFU.

    • Poetic Stanziel

      You seem to be confused. Whereas Erotica 1 is a dick, he did not at all threaten Sohkar. All of the rage and threats were from Sohkar.

      • Poe… You may have misread me, I try to clarify:

        just think for a moment that someone other than Sohkar with more aggressiveness and better ways of tracking down a person in real life would do.

        One perfect recipe for example is someone coming back from an away mission. There have been reports of things like this:

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1402836/Soldiers-kill-wives-after-serving-in-Afghanistan.html

        I am not protecting Sohkar. He was naive and greedy and got punished for that (although that punishment was out of line imho). But I am in no way OK with what Ero did. He should be burned. Hard and fast.

        Scamming ingame is – although questionable – is in the books. Torturing out of game (TS) is not. And never should be.

        -edit. I was referring to this.scenario. CCP is in a position to save people’s life (yes, like Ero’s) by stopping THEM before they become the victim.