"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?"
Ah, the line.
Where it is, when it is crossed, how far is can be crossed, can it be moved... these are question that I'm sure many people in blogs will discuss at length during this blog banter.
For me, the line is simple and stark: if I wouldn't do it to you when in person, then I won't use the distance and anonymity of the internet to do it either.
This philosophy has its own hazards of course. If I'm playing Eve in the same room as my CEO and I decide to rob the corp blind of billions of ISK worth of assets, I can imagine he would not be so pleased with me. Sometimes saying "Its only a game" is not enough to forestall some physical reactions, but I'm willing to bet that most internet tough guys in Eve would not actually resort of physical violence when faced with transgressions of the in game sort.
But it does bring up the point that player invest a lot of time and effort (and dollars) into the game building "sandcastles" and this game allows players to kick those sand castles over, regardless of their complexity or history. My line works for me because I don't tend to kick over sand castles (just the occasional sand car here and there).
So now that I've basically said that my line might now work for all acceptable Eve interactions, where is the line and how do you tell where you are in relation to it? Damn, I started writing this post thinking I knew the answer but now I'm not so sure.
I'm going to have to think about this one more.