Notorious EVE Online player banned for threatening to cut off someone’s hands in real life

    
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Yes, you’ve read that headline correctly. It’s been an insane day for EVE Online, as players awoke to the news that powerful military alliance Circle of Two had been betrayed by one of its top people. A player named The Judge stole over a trillion ISK worth of assets from the alliance and gave away all of its space stations to its enemies in one of the biggest political betrayals the game has ever seen. We’ll have a full report on the record-breaking theft and the current political situation in EVE later tonight, but this story has already taken an unusual turn.

Circle of Two’s leader, a notorious player named gigX, was so furious to learn of The Judge’s betrayal that he went into full meltdown mode in the alliance chat channel. Not content to keep his rivalry in-game, gigX asked his alliance to give him The Judge’s real name and home address. He followed up the request by writing “The Judge feel free to use your hands by typing here” before adding “while you can” to make a pretty serious threat.

CCP Games has a very clear policy surrounding making real life threats in-game and immediately issued gigX with a permanent game ban. Some players are asking for the ban to be overturned and citing worse cases in the past that didn’t lead to permabans, but it’s pretty hard to argue with a threat to cut off someone’s hands. Stay tuned for a breakdown of last nights’ massive theft and political betrayal that led to this bizarre turn of events.

Source: Reddit

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Frank White

Sigh. I guess I’m too old to be “sensitive” enough to take every threat so seriously. Personally, I think it was a bit of an overreaction on CCP’s part. I mean, if he was serious about getting the thief’s info and harming him, it’s not like being banned from the game would dissuade him from that path. If anything, getting permanently banned on top of everything else might be the one thing to put him over the edge and convince him to follow through with his threat. I think it would have been better for them to issue him a warning and maybe a temporary ban, enough time for him to cool down and come to his senses.

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Jacobin GW

Disgruntled guy with guild bank permissions steals stuff. Other than the scale its not all that impressive and really just abusing the mechanics of a game that is supposedly lawless, yet personal bank space is invincible.

If the guy stole the cash and then had to fly it across the galaxy to a safe heaven it would be cool, abusing permissions with no risks or repercussions for the theft is not.

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Roger Melly

Never heard anything but bad things about the community in this game . Does it have any decent friendly people in it ?

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kgptzac

Yes. They just don’t make the news, for obvious reasons.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

Sure it does. Brendan has been writing about the good as well as the bad in the community for going on nine years? Ten? Longer than I’ve known him, anyway. Nobody champions the positive in the EVE community like he does. The difference is that EVE is designed to allow/encourage extremes of “bad” that most other MMOs lack, so it has more stories like this one than other games, and that skews perception.

Notably this year, the EVE community has been participating in exoplanet research. Last year, there was a huge fundraiser for the widow of an EVE player. Surely you’ve heard of Plex For Good too. As media, we would really rather be talking up the MMORPG community than admitting sociopaths are on the loose in our genre, which is why we’re publishing going on seven hurricane relief articles this week alone. But most of you don’t click on those stories, so you don’t even know about them. That doesn’t mean we don’t write them.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

eh i got threats of violence/death threats against me on my wow tbc realm forum and no one cared. not even teh gms/forum mods XD

seen threats of violence in various games since without getting much talk.

i mean they’re all pretty empty threats and i’ve seen worse on sports and bodybuilding and music production forums (seriously on the last lol).

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

I don’t know of many MMOs where you can legally steal thousands of dollars’ worth of stuff from other people or get away with the kinds of verbal abuse and harassment and doxxing that goes on routinely in EVE. In EVE, it’s more than just shit talk over kill stealing because it’s more than just kill stealing to begin with, you know? If you do see wild stuff like this in an MMO backed up with studio action and provoking wars, tip us. :D

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

eh if we’re gonna ascribe real world value to these digital items then we need to start talking first sale doctrine and then we need to start getting police involved in thefts like this one. and probably insurance companies too.

i really don’t pay that much attention to stuff like this when i see it in games i play anymore beyond the casual bemusement when it happens and then forgotten a few hours later.

but stuff like that is definitely why i don’t roll on rp servers anymore. seems to be more infested in those venues than elsewhere and impactful of my personal enjoyment of a game in that area and that of my guildies.

otherwise typically it’s just in zone chat randomly after some random guy pk’s another or w/e or doesn’t dps well enough or stands in teh fire. lol.

there’s some great old school memes of people raging on various once famous forums and threatening death upon others too – hence teh refeerence to non gaming venues.

and as per our email exchange, i do keep in mind that this particular case is news worthy where random casual threats may not be because of the circumstances involved here.

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Jonny Sage

Legally steal is a oxymoron.

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Bree Royce

“Legal” here referring to what’s permitted in the game according to the game’s rules and mechanics.

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Jonny Sage

No. Everyone who plays EVE clubs seals. Or at least that whatve I gathered from comments on MOP articles.

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odin valhalla

A toxic game, often leads to toxic outcomes. A great example of why EVE is a great game to avoid.

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deekay_plus

eh i’ve found chat in game of eve to be generally pretty friendly and chill :P

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drelkag

Shame you think that way. Some of the best gaming friendships I’ve had was in EVE.

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Mewmew

Is there ever any Eve news that isn’t some backstabbing thieving crap going on there?

Anyway, the hands comment would have just been some stupid comment, except for the part where he asked for the home address of the person.

Although in real life people say threats all the time in the heat of anger that have no actual meaning. People rage about doing things to people in the emotional early moments that have no real backing or basis.

Still he should have raged without asking for the address. I’d feel a lot more comfortable about defending the comments if that address wasn’t asked for. Realistically what that person cost some people, some of these victims may really want to do actual physical harm to him. And in Eve this stuff is all cool to do, so you don’t get to bring it off game.

Does anybody really think some game player was going to go and cut off this guy’s hands? Doubtful, very highly doubtful, but since he asked for the address I guess Eve has to protect themselves from the minuscule possibility by banning him. It’s too bad, as others posted, it’s a double whammy for this person after losing so much, but don’t ask for someones home address!

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Rolan Storm

When I got the news I have no idea what people were talking about, so I thought ban is justified. But in truth it is not necessary. He said it in the heat of the moment, they lost a ton… what I am talking about? There is no ‘them’ anymore. So I imagine the guy was pissed. I do not think he can do anything like that. I remember a story about a guy knifed over Lineage 2 item or something like that – his attacker never talked about it. Anywhere.

Loudmouths rarely go ahead with their threats and real thugs do not announce their plans. There might be exceptions, but like it was said – there were worse threats and no one was banned.

Guy lost only his organizations’ assets overnight, but account as well. That’s a crushing defeat. They should give The Judge Sith title or something.

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draugris

That´s exactly why i think it is an incredible stupid idea for studios implementing game mechanics and policies that allow and encourage players to scam each other.

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Estranged

Kinda scares me that some feel these threats are excusable.

Shouldn’t you just say, “well played!”, in EVE?

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zeko_rena

Yes, however that can be said of any competitive game
Some of the stuff I have seen in my time, in EVE and other games :(

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Rolan Storm

Heat of the moment. Just imagine how much they lost.

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starbuck1771

Heat of the moment does not excuse IRL threats. It’s a damn game and if you get so worked up you start threatening a persons life you have issues and deserve a lot worse then a ban from the game. Maybe Jail and time in a mental facility.

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Rolan Storm

No.

First, I do not deserve anything like that. I was not the one threatening The Judge.

Second, that’s just cheap. Since when EVE Online became Pride and Prejudice Online? There were worse threats thrown in EVE, yet no bans given. Or so I hear. I am sure there are occasions it was – veterans say so. And if devs think person is going to threat someone’s life for real it’s the last thing they should do. They should contact authorities and disclose his location – they have inside information (though it is posible IP was hidden) and provide any data necessary.

If this guy is serious about this he is still a threat and now even more so. He might find The Judge and do something to him. And all they did additionally piss him off.

All CCP did quickly passed responsibility off them and you guys support them for that. Aren’t them who made this situation possible in the first place? Whatever he intends to do about his threats ban is wrong decision. Worst-case scenario – ban does not save anyone. Best case – an overkill.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

The fact that CCP hasn’t cracked down consistently in the past – and it most definitely has not – doesn’t mean it should stay a free-for-all with no oversight whatsoever. Clearly CCP has decided that at least some of these high-profile cases aren’t worth the bad publicity anymore (we noticed their PR retweeted this article, so they plainly want to make the banning known).

Yes, CCP bears some moral responsibility for cultivating a gameworld where people can be giant asshats to each other in the first place, but that reality should never stay a studio’s hand when it comes to trying to clean it up (or to passing credible threats to the police – whose responsibility it actually is to handle IRL threats – to be dealt with accordingly).

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Rolan Storm

TL;DR: CCP should ban The Judge and _themselves_ for this mess.

Okay. Let’s talk CCP, not the player.

It’s not ‘some’ moral responsibility. It is all on them.

They grew it. ‘$45.000 in assets were stolen.’ Oh, goodie. ‘Someone flew with someone for half an year *Snake!!! sound here* then stolen his ultra-rare ship.’ Oh, you guys, you. ‘Someone threatens someone in-game.’ RED ALERT! CODE ZERO! SCRAMBLE! We will not abide by that! BAN!

What the hell?

Next step. Next step to everything that happens there. Actually it is fascinating they expected it will stay contained (and it did, right? to a degree). Not that someone can be humiliated on playing field and be all friendly afterwards. People tend to hold grudges, yes – ‘over pixels’ (over everything). It is not something new. Some people are bitter loosers, that’s a fact. And pretending that players are all noble fighters that laugh and shake afterwards is childish illusion.

CCP made a mistake long time ago allowing all this: theft, scamming, treachery of any kind, ponzi schemes (that was personal favorite of mine – ponzi schemes in a MMORPG). By the way, why no one even mentioned this great guy, this blasted Robin Hood – The Judge? What, he is a good guy in all this? Moron started all this mess, yet gigX get short end of the stick. I might be mistaken, but no one even talked about him here. I bet this The Judge had the day of its life. Not only it stole 5 trillion of assets (that’s the number, right? might be mistaken) which is about $25000 on black market, but its rival got banned. And no one even angry at him! Hats off, that’s an example of perfect operation. Bleh.

Funny thing I had utmost respect for the company. They made an unique world. They are toughtest team to challenge black market trade (IP bans _and_ hardware signature bans). They were known just for that – containing all that chaos. Well, turns out that ain’t so, right?

I stated two times that ban was overreaction now… Well, I will elaborate. It was not overreaction. gigX is classic scapegoat. CCP can’t ban themselves – of course. The Judge will not be banned because he did nothing wrong, right? (!!!) So gigX will take the fall.

But I won’t buy it. As far as I concerned the one to blame – first and foremost – are CCP. Then the guy who stole – The Judge (great name for a thief, kudos). And only after that gigX for running his mouth way too far. I do not support this ‘victim’ of space either. Threats in chat? That’s classy.

We were fed an illusion that gigX is the only bad guy here, while truth is he is not. And a lot of people agreed to that! ‘He want too far.’ They all want too far, CCP a long time ago and still no one cares. Of course, gigX is the only problem.

If you read all this – I am sorry it took this long to explain my position. But anything shorter won’t be enough. Ta.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

Hey I don’t disagree entirely – I do think CCP breeds, encourages this stuff, always has, profits from it, even. I just also think the people caught engaging in the worst behavior shouldn’t be given a pass just because CCP deserves some of the blame. If they want to try to clean it up, I’m all for it. It might be too late to save the game, but it’ll be interesting watching them try.

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Rolan Storm

‘Profits’. Yeah, that’s the point I did not make. And I should have.

Neither I think people who threaten other should walk away from it, but I meant – beside the fact guy was utterly upset – its EVE. If I saw headline that reads ‘FFXIV player scammed his guild for $10000 worth of assets’ I’d make owl 180 degree head whirl. With EVE it is another day in warzone. So no, I do not think he deserves a pass in any other game. Or out of it. EVE – maybe. He was lead to believe by the very environment that such behavior is acceptable. Can it be seen as mitigating circumstances? I think it can.

Yeah. It will be interesting, but so far they just make it proper. ‘He went too far, we ban him’. Please, guys, keep us all posted on situation, will you? I had an idiotic decision to return to EVE just recently.

I think I’ll stick to SWL. No roleplaying, of course. Heard rumors too, heh.

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kgptzac

@Rolan Storm

Your wall of text still doesn’t explain why gigX shouldn’t be banned given the game’s existing culture and rules. If you are arguing that Eve shouldn’t be what it is now (ie allow and glorify scamming and sabotage), then it’s a discussion on the nonexisting game, rather than in Eve Online.

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Rolan Storm

My wall of text explains everything, you just chose to ignore it.

But I will repeat myself after telling that I never said he should not be banned. It is purely you assumption. I said it is overkill to ban him. And no, that is not the same thing. Whether he should be banned or not is not exactly anyone’s place to decide – it CCP’s, they made their call. Instead of choosing any other way to punish him. Which does not make problem to go away, but rather look like things are proper.

He said things he should not, he got reprimanded – good job!

It is all there. But I bet you would have read it if you wanted to, right? And no, I did not talk about nonexistent game. I merely wrote that one existing at the moment provocative enough to lead some people – like gigX – believe real life threats are the same thing as anything else going on there which makes it in his eyes acceptable, especially at the very emotional moment for him caused by the very game which accepts and celebrates things destructive – like that theft he was target of. Or betrayal, you choose which definition of the situation suits you better.

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zeko_rena

I have seen worse said in Trade Chat :)

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Dan

I’m sorry, but if you are going to hand over the keys to the kingdom to a fellow guild member, especially in Eve online where $1000’s of dollars are at stake, you’d better already have your corp-mates login info, address, phone number, and bank account/routing numbers tucked away for safekeeping – and he/she had better have yours… Not going to turn that info over? Fine, no keys for you…

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John Mclain

^ This. It’s basic common sense in Eve to have “ALL” personal information, and even photos/video of the people in charge of major corps/alliances for security against this stuff. Your letting some random guy on the internet hold onto potentially tens of thousands of dollars in assets, you damn well better know where the guy lives AHEAD OF TIME.

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Bryan Correll

So that you can do …….what exactly? As I understand these ‘thieves’ aren’t breaking any of EVE’s rules and certainly aren’t violating any real laws.

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Bree Royce

I don’t get that either. It seems backwards: You probably shouldn’t share your online stuff with people you don’t already know well enough IRL that you’d share your IRL stuff. Gathering a dossier on internet strangers doesn’t help unless you’re planning to harass or dox people after the fact, in which case they are… still not friends you should trust with your stuff.

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starbuck1771

The funny part was that it wasn’t just his Corporation’s but that of an entire alliance meaning many Corporation’s. Rule of thumb is to not put all of your eggs in one basket but clearly these geniuses were not that smart and lost it all.

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deekay_plus

i have better access control for my 40 man guild than these guys apparently practiced. >>