Spaceship politics is serious business – and if you doubt the validity of that statement, then you haven’t been following the fallout from the drunken Alliance Panel at CCP’s Fanfest 2012 (link points to the snippet in particular). During that panel, The Mittani (CSM6 Chairman, Chairman-elect of CSM7 and CEO of Goonswarm) gave a presentation called ‘Goons Love You’, in which he sarcastically lambasted the various ‘pubbies’ and ‘carebears’ of Eve through a series of mails, letters and various other tears generated by the Goons in the last year.
It was mildly funny – the hilarity of some of the tears offset somewhat by the general flailing around and bombastic delivery of Mittens up on stage, his purple wizard hat nearly falling off at times. In the course of his presentation, he brought up one letter in particular in which the victim of some Goon malfeasance stated various RL tragedies (divorce, suicidal depression, etc). This, for those who engage in non-consensual PVP, is nothing new.
Where The Mittani seems to have crossed a line, however, was when he blurted out the character name of the victim in question, encouraging the audience to ‘look him up’ and give him grief about it. At the time, this went entirely unremarked by both Eve players at large and CCP. However, Brendan Drain over at Massively decided to pursue his well-known dislike of The Mittani on this subject and wrote an article entitled “CCP investigates player panel that encouraged cyber-bullying”.
In it, as the title might suggest, Mr. Drain took the opinion (note: opinion) that what The Mittani had done up on stage was a form of ‘cyber bullying’. Now, as this is an Eve blog and not my more general RL blog, I won’t go into my opinion of cyber bullying, but suffice it to say that it is a big deal these days. An Eve Online player identified as ‘Kestrel’ in this, somewhat more balanced, article regarding the matter at Eurogamer apparently contacted CCP and Eurogamer to complain about the actions of The Mittani, sparking the ‘investigation’.
Upon his return Stateside from Fanfest, The Mittani took to twitter to offer his apologies, saying “Sadly…I was so drunk at the time that I didn’t remember what I said until I saw [the] article,” and “however, being drunk was no excuse”. Then, there was this tweet:
Could it be that The Mittani is feeling pressure on this topic and is being forced out of CSM? Or, perhaps, The Mittani has a conscience after all and genuinely feels remorse over the issue. Time will tell, but the damage has been done.
In my own opinion, most of that damage has to fall on Brendan Drain of Massively. Compared side by side to the Eurogamer article which actually broke the news, Mr. Drain’s take on the issue is so amazingly one-sided and full of loaded language that it does a genuine disservice to the usually high-quality Massively.com. Sadly, while The Mittani has owned up to his comments and issued an apology, going so far as to commit internet spaceship seppuku, I doubt we’ll see anything in the remote area of a retraction or apology from the staff writer at Massively.
Postscript: The Mittani has since issued an official apology to the community, located here. No mention is made of resigning from CSM7.