Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A discussion of fairness

So this guy builds up his virtual character since 2003, and then uses the power he acquired over all this time to attack and gank players of another group, just because he can, and because he doesn't like them and the way they play. So the other players point out that the fight is uneven, they don't have 7 years of training and all the attack possibilities that the veteran has, and they start shouting that this is "unfair". Are they right, was that attack unfair? Or was that fight fair, because the other players have the same starting conditions, and anyway could get up to nearly the veterans level in half a year, if they work hard enough?

If you are an EVE player and just spontaneously cried out "of course that is fair", you are probably going to change your mind in a second, when I explain what I am talking about.

I'm talking about me creating the virtual character of Tobold, the Blogger, back in 2003, and having since then frequently attacked PvP on my blog. More specifically I attacked EVE PvP and the PvP fans this week. In response I got several comments that I wasn't giving the game "a fair shake", and complained about my journalistic "standards". Not so fun being on the receiving end of the ganking, is it? Well, what did you expect? I always hated PvP, always posted that I hated PvP, especially the asymmetric kind, and that is something that isn't likely to change. You could say that my reporting on EVE PvP is exactly as predictable and "fair and balanced" as a Fox News report on president Obama. See, journalistic standards, there they are!

But seriously: Many of the comments I got also contained disparaging remarks about World of Warcraft, probably written under the mistaken assumption that it somehow would hurt me if you insulted WoW. It doesn't, but it serves to demonstrate that EVE players aren't shy to say negative things about other games they don't like. Why should I not have the right to say negative things about the parts of a game that I don't like? Just because, and I quote: "Tobold is one of the most popular WoW bloggers, with an audience certainly in tens of thousands, if not hundreds. If he is going to "test" a game and post about it, he has a certain standard of intelligence and interaction to rise to."? I feel strongly negative about PvP, and when I write about EVE PvP my remarks will always be strongly negative. I'd say I easily reached the standard of intelligence demanded, it is just that people on the internet tend to think that everyone not agreeing with them is a moron. And I also met quite high standards of interaction, playing EVE for three weeks now, which is more than most professional reviewers give a game, not to mention Ed Zitron. If you think, as many of you said, that I don't "understand" EVE PVP, you are mistaken, I fully understand it, I just hate it. What the critics are effectively saying is that I should only write about aspects of EVE that I like. Sorry, reviewing games doesn't work that way. Bloggers tend to be passionate and thus often biased about something, and you don't get to complain if you end up at the wrong end of that bias. Especially if you are defending a game in which treachery and underhand attacks are part of the game, and are often "played" outside the game itself on forums or other places, so you're basically still playing here.

Because, see, all of the "advice" the EVE fans gave me also applies to this situation: If you feel that my blog having a lot of readers gives me an unfair advantage in a battle of opinions, all you have to do is to open your own blog, work hard on it for 6 months, and you can have thousands of readers too. This blog is my territory, my nulsec, in which I staked out certain positions, which includes a strong anti-PvP bias. I will do everything to defend my position, I have all the weapons I need for that, and if that makes you feel unfairly ganked, well, life is harsh as you repeatedly told me. Maybe you shouldn't enter unfriendly nulsec in the first place, if the result is that you complain afterwards about unfairness! There certainly were enough warning signs posted at the gates.

Tobold's MMORPG Blog : Bitching about PvP since 2003

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