EVE Online is at least in part a game about space pirates. But it's also a massive, teeming online ecosystem that often blurs the line between virtual and real-life experiences. So when you mess with EVE, it's fair to say that you can expect to be met with swift and brutal justice both online and off.
EVE developer CCP taught several former EVE players this lesson in the best way possible this week after the Icelandic studio tracked down four people responsible for vandalizing a real-life monument to the game just days after it was first erected. In addition to pressing criminal charges against these players "outside the virtual world," EVE community manager CCP Falcon said in post yesterday on the game's forum that they will face an even harsher punishment in the game world.
"The fact that the monument was vandalised is an insult to the entire community, not just to the individual who's name was directly targeted by the vandalism," CCP Falcon wrote.
"We would like to reiterate that we do not tolerate this kind of behaviour and will continue to operate a zero tolerance approach to dealing with harassment and victimization in the EVE Universe."
As such, three of the four people identified were issued lifetime bans from EVE and Dust 514, a related game that operates in the same universe. The fourth player, who was "indirectly involved in the vandalism," was issued a six month ban.
Harsh, but fair. Because even as CCP meted out justice, it didn't just throw these disgraced EVE players to the dogs.
"While the community has been justifiably outraged and a number of people have requested that we release the ingame identities of those who carried out the act, we feel that this would be contrary to our privacy policies," CCP Falcon added, sounding a tone of civility and caution. "As such we will deal with this incident in line with our current policies, and the identities of those responsible will remain confidential."
Because what kind of lawgiver would CCP be if truly let the rest of the EVE community go at these people tooth and nail?
"With this in mind, we now consider this issue resolved within the EVE Universe, and any further action taken outside the virtual world relating to criminal damage or recovery of costs for repairs to the EVE Universe Monument will remain confidential between CCP Games, the authorities, and those involved," he concluded.