Monday, May 3, 2010

Institutionalized bullying

In retrospect it was a mistake to start my post about bullying with a flight into nulsec, because it resulted in the predictable response of "You shouldn't fly into nulsec as newbie" and "Players must gatecamp to protect their territory". I don't know if I hadn't made it clear enough, or people just didn't *want* to understand what I wrote, that I was fully aware that newbies *will* be shot down in nulsec, because that *is* necessary to defend territory.

My point was that asymmetric PvP, whatever you want to call it (ganking, bullying, ...) is bad, because it is neither satisfying to the winner nor to the loser. It is negative sum PvP in which *both* sides are worse off, the loser because he didn't have a chance, and the winners because they spent hours watching that gate for somebody to come through and then he doesn't put up a fight.

The point of flying into nulsec was to show that this asymmetric PvP in EVE is the rule, not the exception. And just about every EVE player commenting on that thread confirmed that in different words: Being ganked when entering nulsec is "normal". EVE is institutionalized bullying. There is no fair PvP in EVE, or as one commenter said "If in EVE you get into a fair fight, somebody made a mistake".

Personally I don't like unfair fights. There is a deeper philosophical discussion to be had about the moral dimension of liking unfair fights in your favor against other players. But for now it suffices to say that I think it isn't very good game design, based on the assumption that good game design produces a maximum amount of fun for a maximum number of players.

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