Eva so tragic
Drama bombs are practically an EVE Online feature and this week is no exception.
“Today Eva “Ankhesentapemkah” Jobse was removed from the Council of Stellar Management due to a breach of the non-disclosure agreement (NDA). We are deeply saddened but feel that it was the only possible solution in order to protect the integrity of the Council of Stellar Management”. – CCP
Ankh’ has long been a controversial figure in the CSM, promoting her campaign for election on a platform of ‘carebear’ sympathies and general love for high sec. Needless to say this was the equivalent of poking stick like objects into a hornets nest and EVEs more vocal community of pirates, griefers and general Carebear haters were quick to take up arms on the forums and much mudslinging ensued. Ankh has hardly helped her cause by implying in her CV / resume details that she is somehow intimately involved in the game design of EVE Online.
However, Ankh’s campaign was not unsuccessful securing the second highest number of votes at the last CSM election providing at least some legitimacy to her complaint that high sec carebears weren’t being properly represented or listened to by CCP.
Whilst Ankh’s dismissal by CCP for breaching the NDA is of interest in detail there are broader ramifications to consider. Ankh was not the first CSM member to be booted from the hallowed halls of CCP’s CSM with Larkonis being similarly thrown out for abusing his insider knowledge of a future patch to profit on the market. Clearly with two players being dispatched opinion is divided as to whether the maxim ‘even bad news is good PR’ applies here.
What interests me is the stark contrast between CCP, operating as it does as a professional business (to make money) and the CSM as a whole which at times appears to be nothing more than a collection of petulant children throwing tantrums when things don’t go their way.
The core issue, in my view, is that the CSM is caught between a rock and a hard place. If it has no power or influence with CCP its function is questionable. If it does hold power and influence then its ad hoc volunteerism seems ill equipped to negotiate or deal with CCP as a company. At least two players now have will fully chosen to ignore or outright attempt to subvert the very process and institution to which they were appointed.
Numerous blogs and commentaries from CSM members themselves paint a picture of a internally fractious and often quarrelsome group who are both arrogant and confrontational towards CCP . There seems to be a tangible sense of ‘us vs them’ which perhaps is born of the genesis of the CSM itself. There is rarely any impression of the unparalleled opportunity provided to CSM members to have an open dialogue with CCP, more over the concurrent theme seems to be of a CSM getting little if any traction with CCP who are in turn reluctant to give way.
Is this any wonder? If any company is faced with a squabbling gang of customers their egos inflated to the size of a small moon by their supposed legitimacy of a ‘democratic process’ how would we suppose they would react?
It is time the CSM recognised that they are only representatives of the EVE Online community and that their legitimacy is only supported by a very very tiny fraction of that. They are not, and should not be viewed as, all mighty game designers backed by the mob.
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