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DeMMOcracy
June 12, 2007 2:24 PM   Subscribe

MMORPG maker to create oversight committee of elected players -- The makers of Eve Online, are taking a bold step in combating charges (previously discussed here) of favoritism towards one of the dominant in-game groups: holding elections for player ombudsman who will be flown to Iceland to audit the company's practices and report back to the game's subscribers.
posted by uri (21 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Knowing that game, the ombudsman will find some way to steal a trillion in game credits and never be heard from again.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:37 PM on June 12, 2007


This is excellent. So the Eve politico-economic setup moves from feudalism to proto-democracy, and the allegedly corrupt can go from stealing plans to stuffing ballots.

[NOT A PLAYER]
posted by imperium at 2:42 PM on June 12, 2007


eve is very close to the #1 game idea I wish I had had the gumption to create & realize.

XTrek + Traveller = good stuff
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:43 PM on June 12, 2007


Yeah I'm sure it'll be a wonderful all expenses paid tour of Iceland.
posted by wuwei at 2:52 PM on June 12, 2007


With all the talk of how World of Warcraft is such a huge phenomenon, and how Second Life is becoming more and more important with each day, neither ever seem to generate emergent phenomena as interesting as Eve Online. Between the robust economy model and the fairly lax restrictions on what is and isn't kosher in the game world, the game is clearly on a higher plane of complexity than your usual MMO. Toss in a gamerunner corruption scandal and you've even got Eve breaking down the fourth wall in a way that far exceeds the usual developer/player interaction (i.e. forum posts about nerfing an awesome ship/sword/spell).

The unintended consequences of daily life in Eve continue to make for better stories than [insert marketer here] finds a home in SL. Too bad CCP had to engage in rampant favouritism for this latest development to surface.
posted by chrominance at 2:54 PM on June 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


In Soviet Russia,
the CcCP...

Oh never mind.
posted by AmberV at 2:57 PM on June 12, 2007


I wonder how the Guiding Hand Social Club has fared against the Band of Brothers?

I don't play EVE, but I keep hearing all these awesome tales of intrigue that keep me from writing it off.
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:11 PM on June 12, 2007


The only EVE players I've ever met would never, ever leave their computers long enough to fly to Iceland. In fact, the only EVE players I've met seemed to do precious little outside of EVE. I'm not even sure if they actually slept - and if they did, it was mere catnaps while they were waiting for a long transport in EVE. They might leave the computer long enough to answer the door for pizza, sure, but anything else?

Is CCP Games also going to spring for the multiply-redundant satellite broadband connection and self-contained, computer-encrusted NerdTransporterTM pods?

*NerdTransporterTM is a registered Trademark for a soon to be announced Loquacious Heavy Industries service, which will roll out and be available in the spring of 2008. Finally you can safely and comfortably transport nerds of any sort to any point on the globe - and beyond - no matter what their fussy needs might be.

While Phase 1 of NerdTransporterTM includes all of the services you'd expect from a Loquacious Heavy Industries product - such as truly redundant, multi-sourced and low-lag TCP/IP connectivity, environmental controls, air filtration, self contained feeding and waste management as well as broad-spectrum modular caffeine delivery systems - Phase 2 milestones include plans for habitable, deliverable modules in energy and trajectory packages from sub-orbital transfers to LEO insertions, as well as injection and parking services all the way to L5 and beyond. Optional docking facilities and return trajectories available.

So, remember: Transport your nerds in safety, style and with zero connection-downtime issues! Never hear "ZOMG TEH AIRPORT WIFI IS TEH SUXXOR!!" or "OMFG BATTERY DYING GIVE ME OUTLET NOW!!" ever again!

posted by loquacious at 3:11 PM on June 12, 2007 [4 favorites]


How much for the "writing a paper" class of Nerdporters?
posted by Samizdata at 3:37 PM on June 12, 2007


Like most of CCP's implementations, this solution fails to address the problem for which it was designed.

The reason this will never be fixed is because eve players are so invested in the game, that they want to believe the devs aren't corrupt. They get confused and assume that a great game must have great devs. CCP sucks beyond belief as administrators of this mmog, they should stick to coding and keep out of the workings of the actual game.
posted by parallax7d at 3:39 PM on June 12, 2007


I'm confused parallax7d, can you state in simple terms what the problem is exactly and how a player-elected oversight body won't fix it? I assume you're a player of EVE, what's the community reaction been like?
posted by Kattullus at 4:22 PM on June 12, 2007


My question is: How are elected players going to be qualified to audit CCP? Wouldn't any auditor need specialized training in computers and business to figure out if anything's wrong with the company?
posted by clockworkjoe at 5:27 PM on June 12, 2007


My question is: How are elected players going to be qualified to audit CCP? Wouldn't any auditor need specialized training in computers and business to figure out if anything's wrong with the company?

Read oversight offer as: Members from favored in-game groups invited to iceland for all-expenses paid fun-trip in return for reports from "neutral" subscribers of an absence of bad favoriting practices on the part of game developers.
posted by semantic scope at 6:13 PM on June 12, 2007


I saw a lightning talk at PyCon about Eve Online. It was pretty stunning. If I were a gamer, I'd be running over to it, intrigues or no. The whole idea of in-game "theft" and "murder" is 'get a life'-quality hilarious. Go space pirates!
posted by 3.2.3 at 7:48 PM on June 12, 2007


The whole idea of in-game "theft" and "murder" is 'get a life'-quality hilarious.

Uh, why? I really don't understand this attitude.
posted by Justinian at 7:51 PM on June 12, 2007


Concentrate really hard. If you die in the Matrix, you won't really die in real life.
posted by 3.2.3 at 8:16 PM on June 12, 2007


I used to play Eve, and tend to believe there's low level cheating going on between the devs and BoB. I'm not the only one. CCP's move is a good way to address this concern.
posted by Nelson at 8:43 PM on June 12, 2007


The only EVE players I've ever met would never, ever leave their computers long enough to fly to Iceland. In fact, the only EVE players I've met seemed to do precious little outside of EVE.

I bet they'd go, but be speculating on the kinds of minerals to be found in those rocky shores.

Actually, I found that either mining or doing long-distance transport, my goal was to minimize the time I needed to be at my computer. This was rather dangerous, and some kind of cherry light/alarm would be nice to tell you, while you're rooting around in the garden, that your ship is under attack. Thing was, the more you automated your work -- and this goes for those who stay at their computer but basically have reduced the game to pressing a button every ten minutes -- it wasn't all that much fun anymore. In fact, it was a whole lot like work of a particularly monotonous sort.

Introduction of time/activities outside of your own damn ship may make a big difference. That was really lacking, even in a Mechwarrior I kind of "asking for info in the bar" kind of way. I mean, if you can't walk into an asteroid bar full of rowdy space marines and alien riff-raff, what good is all that atmosphere?
posted by dreamsign at 10:21 PM on June 12, 2007


If this game is a fully immersive fantasy, then it should be possible for the operator to be a little more creative about favoritism allegation. Instead of this slightly dreary real-world fix, perhaps they could look to myths and legends.

In the game, the operators and moderators take a role not unlike that of a god - they created the world and are responsible for it, and intervene frm time to time. Gods exercise favoritism and anyone who complains gets a smiting. So bring that aspect into the game, mke mods gods along the lines of Greek myth - scheming, competing, wilful and somewhat human (ie prone to rivalry, favour and lapse) gods. Hell, even elevate mortals to the godhead fr a time, then fling the back arbitrarily. It could bring a really interesting touch of the Iliad to the game.

Just a thought. There are surprisingly few religion sims out there; only Black & White springs to mind.
posted by WPW at 3:15 AM on June 13, 2007


Are the rest of the Sugarcubes still in Iceland?
posted by SentientAI at 8:02 AM on June 13, 2007


I love Eve, not because I play it, but it generates all sorts of fascinating stories of corruption and politics.
posted by graventy at 9:22 AM on June 13, 2007


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