We’re always told that Eve is a sandbox. True, but if someone takes a great big shit in a sandbox then all the sand sticks to it
About 150 years ago, in France, a political philosopher called Alexis de Tocqueville muttered darkly that “in every democracy, the people get the government that they deserve”. Well he presumably said it in French. But actually, that grumpy old cheese-eating surrender monkey was right. The governments we elect are a very accurate reflection of what we ourselves represent.
Ok, so the CSM’s not a government, but it is the elected representative body of the universe of Eve players. As things stand, with only a few days to go, it looks certain that the NC/Goon block will succeed with their mission to seize control of your CSM. Early polls and surveys suggest that they will certainly secure 6 out of the 9 seats, through a combination of block and tactical voting. That’s 2/3rds of all seats. The reality is that they’ll take more.
And do you know what, it probably is the “government” we deserve. It seems likely that the CSM will now become a simple parallel of what’s happened politically within Eve. We’re always told that Eve is a sandbox. True, but if someone takes a great big shit in a sandbox then all the sand sticks to it, and that’s the way we’re headed.
If we allow the CSM to become a mirror for the political stagnation of the game itself then here’s what we can expect.
1. Pitiful lack of political diversity: They talk together constantly in game, plan operations together and share a single political and economic vision for our game. While 6 (or more?) of them will sit there smugly at the CSM table they’ll bring with them just one agenda. They’ll carry a majority without independent candidates voices even being heard. Motion passed, back slaps all round. Let’s go to the pub.
2. Dearth of genuine debate and disagreement: But it’s not just that the agenda of the CSM will become massively skewed towards one alliances interests. Sure – Mittens hopes that by bringing 9 people with the same view of the game to the table will put the CSM in a stronger, more combative position to negotiate with CCP. But it will also mean the death of any meaningful debate, discussion and disagreement between CSM members. We’ll lose the richness, finesse and careful consideration that comes from having multiple voices heard at the table.
3. Huge increase in the potential for exploitation: What’s particularly sinister and calculating about the NC / Goon takeover is that the candidates put forward have been from alliance leadership. This has several consequences. Firstly it means that we will be represented by people who are already spending huge amounts of their game time organising their own members, with less time to focus on the CSM. More worrying, though, is what it means for the NDA (Non disclosure agreement) that members of the CSM have to sign to ensure they don’t gain in-game advantage from their privileged access to information. However the NC / Goon alliance leaders from the CSM can freely plan and plot to make sure their alliances are perfectly placed to benefit from coming game changes without even breaking the NDA.
4. A big ‘two fingers’ message for the wider playerbase: A homogeneous CSM made up almost entirely of carbon-copy 0.0 alliance leaders sends a very clear message to the Eve universe. “You don’t matter”. It’s bad enough that the blob mentality has largely destroyed dynamic, fast paced PVP in Eve. You’ve not got to blob the CSM to get your voice heard. Whilst 0.0 alliances may thing they’re the be-all-and-end-all of Eve the simple fact is that they’re not. There’s as much excitement, intrigue, innovation and colour taking place throughout low sec and empire. It’s a huge world out there – with thousands and thousands of mercenaries, traders, industrialists going about their business every day. Sadly, though, their voice will not be heard.
5. An inexperienced CSM: Planetary interaction. Role playing. Empire warfare. Industry. New player experience. Small corp management. Contract warfare. Mission running. FW. Every single one of these aspects of Eve life have passionate, enthusiastic, knowledgeable players. Every single one of these aspects of Eve a complicated, nuanced, and highly specialised. Mittens and co will tell you that they’re the elite of Eve – the most experienced among us. But by electing a CSM comprised entirely of 0.0 warmongers we lose all of this diversity and breadth of knowledge.
I don’t care if you don’t vote for me. There are candidates available that can stand up against the NC and Goons more eloquently than I can. Opponents will accuse me of being ‘mad’ about the NC / Goonswarm campaign to take over the CSM. Do you know what? They’re right. I am bloody mad about it. We do get the government we deserve, and my political activism means I’m probably partly to blame for the ‘us and them’ mentality that led to blob warfare. Some of us may deserve that fate, but there a thousands of Eve players that neither want that fate nor deserve it.