I truly believe that the EVE Blog Banter initiative is a positive community force. As the administrator of the monthly discussion, I get to write the questions which are based on suggestions from the community and are directly linked to a topical subject already floating around in the metasphere. It is a privilege to be able to marshal the collective minds and opinions of such an eclectic group of writers and a responsibility I do not take lightly. It is often the case with these banters that instead of focusing on the topic, my peers instead choose to tear the question apart and make me regret having written it in such a way. Quite right too, this makes it a self-policing process and I wouldn't have it any other way.
With that in mind, I was a little mischievious with the question for Blog Banter 37: The Line in the Sand, in that the question could only provoke answers that were so subjective, personally I was more interested in how people approached their answer than the actual answer itself.
The question asked was:
"EVE Online sits on the frontier of social gaming, providing an entertainment environment like no other. The vibrant society of interacting and conflicting communities, both within the EVE client and without, is the driving force behind EVE's success. However, the anonymity of internet culture combined with a competitive gaming environment encourages in-game behaviour to spread beyond the confines of the sandbox. Where is the line?"
In a developing digital world that sees we EVE players at the forefront of emergent internet culture, our social conscience defines us. If we're not asking and answering these sorts of questions, then there will those in the world who will claim that we're collectively just a bunch of sandbox sociopaths waiting for the opportunity to fly a real spaceship into a very tall building.
The topic was clearly one that struck a chord with many, with 31 bloggers feeling compelled to voice an opinion on the subject. So what kind of moral fibre do these influential figureheads have? How did they all do in our pop psychology test? Do we need to send for the men in white coats or maybe even a SWAT team? Or are at least some of our players convincingly conscientious?
Firstly of Flying Silent was the brave blogger who stepped up to analyse our collective morality and determine whether we're fit to be left to play unsupervised. He did an admirable job of summarising Blog Banter 37 and I highly recommend you go read his Blog Banter 37: The Review now.