How many times have I heard, in just about any MMO that allows PVP, "Oh, I know he's a dick in the game, but I know him, and he's a great guy in real life". Yeah, whatever. That comment is especially common in Eve, and people try to sell the fact that just because you can be an asshole, it's ok to be an asshole. Even though you're being an asshole to another person, it's ok because "it's just a game". I call bullshit.
I know lots of people. Because I decide who I socialize with, who I voluntarily talk to and to a certain extent who I work with, the majority of these people are nice people. Nice people don't need to be all gooey, be perfect, be polite to everyone all the time, donate to charities, help poor people build there houses, or any of that shit. It's more than good enough to just not go out and screw with people just because you can, or more importantly, because you can get away with it.
I know and hang out with great guys. They are great guys at work. At the hockey game. When we go out drinking, or go to a movie, or go to the gym, or to a restaurant. I even play some video games and MMOs with some of them, and they are nice guys in there too. At no time, have I ever seen, or even heard, of an instance when any of these nice people fucked with someone just because they thought they could get away with it, or even when they didn't know that someone was watching them. There are obviously grades of everything, and no one is perfect. Everyone has that dark streak or dark patch in them. It's just a matter of how easy it is to see it.
When it comes to Eve, PVP, and more importantly non-consentual PVP is part of the game mechanics. Engaging in PVP in low or null sec is no problem. There are no game cops, the game mechanics allow it, and if you don't want any of that kind of PVP action, don't go in there. Same goes for worm hole space. Go in any of those game areas and don't be surprised to get your face melted. I'm cool with that, and participated in that. I've been blown away and podded in all areas of eve. I've also blown away and podded guys in all areas of Eve, BUT, the guys that I did that to in high sec were war targets or ones I had kill rights on AND, the only guys I podded, were the guys talking shit. Just because I can screw with guys, mainly newbies, in high sec, doesn't mean I will. I'm an adult.
High sec is a different story. There are consequences. There are repercussions, although slight, for non-consentual PVP, aka ganking. Why? Primarily because the people that are in high sec are there because they likely aren't interested in the other areas where it's more of a PVP free for all. Plus, many other aspects of the game are available in high sec, and not available in other game areas. The . . "hardcore", the "pvpers", like to call these high sec players carebears. The carebears though, aren't completely safe up here. There are ways to bait the foolish, the unwitting, or the naive into non-consentual pvp traps, or to declare a war on them or their corporation, and then you can legally shoot the carebears.
Personally, I think the players who go around "playing" pirates, "pretending" to be griefers in the game space of Eve, are anything but "nice guys". I know nice guys in Eve. They're nice guys in real life. The peopel who cause grief and anguish in any game, not just Eve, are doing it because they're dickheads. Somewhere, for some reason, they've got some kind of anger issues, and on the internet, where there are no repercussions of any real significance, all it takes is just that little bit of anonymity, and the true nature of the asshole comes out. It's right there, just under the surface. So easy to get to. This supposed "nice guy" only needs a couple minutes to log in, and they can be the asshole they really want to be in real life, but can't. They've got issues. Mental problems. Suppressed anger.
"My parents don't pay enough attention to me . . ."
"My parents are a drag . . ."
"The girls don't like me . . ."
"The boys don't like me . . "
'The cool guys/kids/girls won't let me hang out with them . .
"I hate my job . . ."
"I don't have a job . . ."
"Everyone thinks I'm a loser . . "
"I don't have a <insert name of some item> . . ."
"So, instead of getting a grip on my worthless life, I'm going to see if I can screw with everyone I come across, make them as miserable, or more miserable than me, and then my life won't be as pathetic, and I won't seem like such a loser."
Whatever their primary problem is, the second part of their personal scumbaggery, is that they're trying to sell the bullshit that being an asshole is ok, because it's a video game. In the end, once the other people get over whatever the little net-baby did to them, the little griefer will still be a loser. :) When the little griefers come down off their griefing high, they find this out, but the thick ones, instead of realizing that nothing has been solved, go do it some more. When there's a whole pack of them, curiously, it's important to be the biggest loser of the herd of losers. In a litigious society, like the US for example, in the past where often a person could have that kind of stupidity pounded out of them, now, it can last and extend well into adult hood.
I'm not a small guy. I'm not a quiet guy either. I've never had a problem making my position known, influencing people or "persuading" people. While I am far from perfect, I at least had enough of a moral compass, and enough maturity, and enough of whatever else is involved, that I realized and understood that just because I COULD do something, or COULD get away with something, doesn't mean that I SHOULD do it. Just because I could use a number of my talents, or physical size to get my way, doesn't mean that I should, and it certainly doesn't make it right. Claiming anything else is the providence of the bully. Electronic bullies in Eve are no less of an asshole than the bullies in real life. They're still dickheads. At least the bullies in real life have the balls to get up in your face. I'll give them a sliver of respect for that.
This is the age of the console kiddy though. This is the age where it's all talk, like yapping dogs. When I grew up, and til well into my 30s, it was still the age of not writing a cheque with your mouth, that your ass can't cash. Even bullies often got what was coming to them. Never underestimate the effect of a little guy with a baseball bat on the attitude of a bully. Now though, there is nothing to get that angst out. There are no fist fights like the "old days". It's knives and automatic pistols and machine guns, and spineless drive-bys. On the internet, it's puerile bravado. Vapor. Spineless machismo by sad little people, hiding behind a computer screen. Like real life, the Eve gankers, griefers and "tough guys" are no different. In the past, in real life, the vast majority of intarpipe tough guys would be gagging on their teeth. If they're really lucky, in their life time, they won't see things go back to the way it used to be. Every once in a while, I am amused to see when internet tough guys talk the same way to people in real life, and while they are stunned by the pain when someone punches them in the face, they are probably more stunned that they got punched in the first place. Ooops! You weren't talking shit to a microphone or a keyboard! Unfortunately, a fist can't come out of the monitor to reset their fucked moral compass or their attitude. Yet.
At the same time, maybe all the little griefers in video games, that can unload their life issues in a virtual manner is a bit of a pressure relief valve and maybe lessens the likelyhood that they will explode in real life. At the same time though, that doesn't take into account the reaction of real people, to their actions in the virtual world. It is no real consolation that it is only "virtual" mayhem by latch-key and console kiddies, when other people, with no burning desire to make other people's lives as miserable as theirs, are just looking for some recreation or entertainment.
With some of the comments and changes proposed, and slowly being implemented by CCP, in the interest of the Eve community and a healthy social fabric in the game, maybe the boys in Iceland are getting a little tired of the assholes that Eve is notorious for. Not good for PR (except for attracting more angry, little losers . . ). Not good for attracting people looking to play a game. Only the small, and weak of mind, think that notoriety is just as good as popularity. CCP knows the difference, and they might be steering toward "popular" instead.
The Point? Much to the despair of the assholes in Eve, they might be forced to confine their talentless griefing asses to the areas of the game where there are other players that are more than capable of fighting back. Unfortunately for the griefers, they'll find that consentual PVP areas will be a tougher arena than high sec with un-armed transports and new players with 10,000 skill points. Poor babies ;)