"There has been a tremendous level of interest in the Ministry of Love, and justifiably so; most of us have thought that it would be cool to be a ~bounty hunter~ or ~assassin~ in an online game, but no game company has ever pulled it off successfully. EVE itself is absolutely shit for bounty hunting, but Goonswarm is determined to make it work by setting up our own organization and funding it.Is it any surprise that the former head of the Goonswarm Intelligence Agency would create a covert operations group to track down the Goons critics? But The Mittani's strategy also contains a conventional military component in engaging in high-sec warfare against his targets. While this strategy would have no effect on players in low and null security space, the thinking is that normally risk-adverse high sec players are susceptible to pressure and will shut up rather than subject themselves to Goon harassment.
"The Ministry’s methods are currently in flux, though several unpersons have already been brought to Room 101. Like with Burn Jita, the practice of ‘how this shit works’ has to be evolved; once that focus is achieved we’ll purge ЅIG members who do not participate and lavish isk on those who show true devotion to Big Brother.
"I am particularly interested in recruiting our best scammers for some directed and creative operations. These will be an order of magnitude of difficulty beyond an “any mark will do” recruitment scam. We cannot risk spooking an unperson by letting any goon try their hand at scamming them, which means that the Ministry will need to hand-pick the best of the best. If you think you’re the best of the best – and a record of success in Top Goon or Letters of Marque, contact Powers Sa on jabber and he’ll vet you."
Indeed, the knowledge that one's words as well as actions mattered in New Eden and that the world extended beyond the computer monitor led me to seriously consider not mentioning my characters on The Nosy Gamer and perhaps not even blog about the game. But after a couple of months I decided that I'd accept any negative consequences my words might bring me.
The incident that inspired today's post was Goonswarm Federation war-deccing Mabrick Mining and Manufacturing. MABMM is the
"This could be a disturbing trend in the community and as it relates to the game. This takes Metagaming to a whole new level as well. By daring to speak your mind and thoughts on your own blog the one place where you supposed to have sanctuary to write and speak your thoughts the result is that you get War Dec by the biggest alliance in the game. That's very disturbing!" [emphasis mine]Perhaps I spent too much time in the political blogosphere because while I sympathize with the thought, I don't see a blog as a nice safe happy place in the real world. I think of blogging like Eve players think of PvP; taking incoming fire is a fact of life. Ask Egyptian blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah who was detained following the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. Or how about bloggers Saeed Malekpour and Vahid Asghari who were sentenced to death for speaking out against the Iranian regime? Currently here in the U.S. there is the case of those who blog about Brett Kimberlin, a man known as the Speedway Bomber convicted of setting off 8 bombs in Speedway, Indiana in a six-day period in 1978. Bloggers are being SWAT-ted, a practice in which police are contacted via VOIP software that a murder or shooting has occurred at a home. The police response is very unsettling, and potentially dangerous, for those targeted for the harassment. Bloggers are fighting back today with a day of silence to publicize the situation.
These type of real-world tactics are part of the reason I'm glad to have left the world of political blogging behind. Having your pixels in a computer game targeted for destruction is trivial compared to what happens in the real world. And if "Eve is Real", then all sorts of actions, from confidence games and ponzi schemes to, yes, the powerful attempting to silence critics through in-game actions is expected. I confine my potential conflicts to blogging about botters and RMTers because those are the battles I find worth fighting. Other bloggers need to make that determination on their own because "Eve is Real" and words have consequences, whether typed in local or on a blog.