The Weekly Raid: MMOs in 2017 - No Country For Toxic Men

This week marked the passing of an era in online gaming. Everyone's favorite lawless sandbox Eve Online was hit by another in-game political scandal. A major player Alliance called Circle of Two (CO2) was betrayed by a high ranking insider and subsequently fell apart. Over a trillion in ISK along with the Alliance's Keepstar Citadel capital HQ was stolen in an instant.

While political betrayals and massive wars are the norm in EVE, the real controversy this time was around the permanent ban issued against the biggest victim of the heist. In a fit of rage, the Alliance leader who fell victim to this huge betrayal made a not-so-subtle real world threat towards his former lieutenant (The Judge):

While this is an pretty clear outside-the-game threat, some felt the perma-ban for a first offense like this was a bit harsh. Especially when you consider similar threats were, in the past, only met by a temporary ban. CCP claims their policies and terms of service have changed over the years, and ultimately its their game. There's no legal objection to their decision, but I believe this decision marks a watershed moment in Internet history.

Over the past 20 years, we've witnessed the explosive growth of the Internet from a shady digital saloon with (almost) no rules to the sanitized version in which our parents, and even grandparents, feel comfortable spamming Facebook with wholesome memes.

I witnessed almost the entirety of this evolution, and while I can't find any logical reasons to fault the end of the Wild West era, I still feel a pang of regret when I think about it. We'd love to hear your thoughts on how the internet, and specifically internet gaming has changed with regard to toxicity. If someone told me Blizzard would be banning players for throwing games or typing the N word in-game during my Starcraft Broodwar days, I would have laughed in your face, probably while calling you the N word.

Lifelong gamer always looking for the next virtual adventure. I'm still waiting for the next big MMORPG. Until then, you can find me hopping between multiple games.

  • Timothy Noël

    There needs to be low sec, mid sec, and high sec internets for the criminals, shitposters, and normies respectively. Then there will be harmony.

  • PenguinPowered

    A lot of games are separating toxic and non-toxic players into their own groups and they can play with each other. I love that system. Don't ban the trolls, just let them all play with each other.

    • Timothy Noël

      I prefer this system, it also provides a gentle karma for those toxic people who realize it's not fun when everyone is toxic.

  • Michael Carroll

    I miss the old days, this new age of man baby bitches is just no fun any more. We use to threaten each other with all sorts of random nonsense back in the day. Though i am happy to report Heroes of the Storm hasn't banned any one yet for raving at the mouth haha.

  • The ban seems a bit much especially considering what just happened. People get mad and say things. I don't think it's ban worthy especially considering the scale of the heist. Suspension, sure.

    On the overall toxicity argument i think being a jerk/using racial slurs/insults shouldn't be bannable. Games have mute functions for a reason. But throwing games/afking should be bannable IMO. Ruining the game for other people in competitive games with ladders isn't excusable. There's no way to design around people leaving if you want a competitive ladder

    • Ravors Malody

      mmos are a sinking ship. there has been some up but mostly failures over the last decade. Im in the midst of selecting something new. Maybe its time to give in to mobile. From my experiences they do seem to have a nicer playerbase

  • connor leon

    A lot of games are separating toxic and non-toxic players into their own groups and they can play with each other. I love that system. Don't ban the trolls, just let them all play with each other.

  • EazyMakaveli

    toxicity is good.