I followed the Mittani Debacle from a distance and only with the occasional glance at the official forums. Basically, the man got drunk, said really dumb things, realized it, apologized and is now being burned at a stake Salem-style. No flame burns as hot as that of religious fury and the the witch hunt of the Mittani has drawn out the villagers, their torches and pitchforks. All, of course, in the righteous defense of a helpless and innocent victim of Mittani’s devilish schemes.
And yes, Mittani broke the damn EULA, probably 20 times / minute when he played the game, used foul language in public, used derogatory terms on other players and schemed wickedly smart moves to scam other players out of their hard-earned ISK. We all watched and cheered. He gave credence to the entire reputation that EVE is hard. If you can not take the heat, step out of the fire, HFTU and so on. CCP specifically designed the system to be merciless, allow human behavior that otherwise is immoral and illegal to differentiate their game from the many bland versions of WoW. It is a brutal games for adults.
Finally, a game environment where adults are allowed to exercise personal responsibility. A true sandbox, free of the laws that in the real world replace common sense and ethics. Where I can make true choices in my behavior towards other people that are based on my moral standing and suffer – or not – the consequences as an individual. Where no Nannie state protects the weak, the innocent, the pathetic. Where I must fight for myself either by being the biggest bad-ass out there, develop stealth and skill to avoid being targeted or team up in a band of brothers and seek strength in numbers.
But now, Mittani has set the precedence. Under the hood of this seemingly dark game lurks a standard EULA with its code of conduct that seem pretty much copies from every one MMO out there. It is there to protect CCP from law suits. Be nice, be kind, be gentle to your fellow player. Derogatory terms, verboten. Insults to fellow players are harassment.
With this EULA in hand, pitch-fork wielding villagers are now not just going to burn Mittani (who had it coming) but the last game where personal responsibility decided how you wanted to interact with other other players. They will demand that their mining ships can not be ganked. They will demand that nothing can be stolen, scammed, destroyed. They will demand that all personal conversations are monitored and filtered for foul language, insulting comments or threats of any kind. They will demand that the sky – which is black and dark and dangerous – be painted cheerful, pink and with dancing purple unicorns. And they will get their wishes or the torches will get lit.
The freedom is gone from EVE, I fear forever and New Eden will be poorer place for it.