Friday, 21 October 2016

Effects of the Gambling Ban on the EVE Community

Originally I wasn't planning to write a second post on this subject. I covered it briefly in my previous posts and I was planning on leaving in there. But I've been catching up on podcasts and seeing what other bloggers, forum posters, Reddit posters and tweets have been saying and I've decided there still some points that I'd like to make.

Oh, that Gevlon!
Before I jump into the topic though I just want to take a quick moment to reflect and laugh at one of the more comical sides of the gambling ban. Over on the Greedy Goblin, when this was announced it seem Gevlon decided that since he posted a ticket 5 days prior to the announcement, the gambling ban was his doing. In his comments, he clarifies his position claiming he made CCP act now, rather than in several years time. I mean he may have a point if it weren't that it would likely take considerably longer than 5 days to rewrite the portions of the EULA and get them checked over by legal, or that this discussion over the legality of EVE gambling has been going on on the forums and Reddit for weeks. It's even been covered by The Nosy Gamer back in September. The truth is, he's still a bit mad that Lenny swooped in and stole the victory over the goons from him, so taking the credit for this make him feel like he took down his new enemy. Anyway, on with the real content.

The gambling ban and the community
So a lot of the comments around the gambling ban are focused on the ISK that used to be used for community projects and websites no longer being available. Some players have even gone so far as to suggest CCP should intervene and start paying out to streamers, news sites and events to replace the lost funding. Notably, the people being most vocal about how bad it tends to be the same people that write articles for organisations that were sponsored by gambling sites. Personally I don;t see it as a problem, In fact, I'd go so far as to say that this is a positive change for EVE community websites.

To get an idea of why I think it's a positive change, it's important for you to understand what I believe makes up the community. There's a lot of different people with different views, some who think only players with the most positive opinions of EVE are the community, or for some, it's only groups of people who drive conflict and the other arbitrarily labelled "content creators". For me, it's pretty simple. Do you play EVE? Yes? Then you're part of the community. It doesn't matter if you love creating thousand man space battles, or if you want to play it like it's a single player game and just do your own thing. Everyone playing EVE is a part of the community.

This is where I feel the gambling sites had a negative impact. The problem with those sites is that they pooled money into a very limited number of wallets, then the owners of those wallets got to pick and choose which parts of the community they wanted to promote and which parts they wanted to ignore. This creates an imbalance, as if a site, event or player doesn't receive the funding they are automatically at a disadvantage and will find it difficult to compete. Now sure, there are other sources of income that create a similar effect, notably Imperium News (formerly TMC) where the ISK is sourced from Goonswarm, but those tend to be much more limited in effect.

On the subject of EVE media, Ashterothi made a point on the Talking In Stations podcast that while people will still write, the payments brought writers closer together, and that without that funding writers might split up and become harder to find. I would tend to disagree here. Sure, writers may split up so there won't be as many writers pooled into the big sites, but people will still want to read EVE articles and people will find them. If anything this will simply help ensure that smaller writers who are currently left out of the big sites will get even more focus (except me because I write like a *insert derogatory term here*). Media aggregators like Eve Bloggers by Steve Ronuken and hell, even the disaster that is r/eve will become more important, but the articles will be found.

Additionally, as noted in my previous post, I tend to think the players that really want to deliver content for EVE will do so out of their passion for EVE and not a paycheck from a shady gambling site. Those that do feel the need to generate income can still do so by asking for donations from players or working out private deals with wider arrays of in-game groups. Nobody can claim to know what the true overall effect to community media and events will be until it's seen first hand but I absolutely believe that we'll see a better and more diverse selection of websites and projects come out of this and I believe the community will be vastly improved by taking this journey.

2 comments:

  1. Great points you bring up. I can says for a fact that my attempt to fund our Minarchist Revolution got completely ignored by IWI. No surprise, we were not buddy-buddy and so easy to ignore.

    Another point that is most important and I have not seen mentionned is the risk that the gambling code is rigged to favor friends. Unless the gambling is done by a true neutral entity, you can be easily involved in a scam with a gambling front, regardless of the RMT aspect or not.

    It is like the citadels now. If you buy/sell in them today, you better be sure that they belong to one of our friend, or like goons did when they were giving money to IWI, you may very well be financing the next war against your own interests.

    There is no neutral third party in Eve Online, the closest of true neutral being CCP as they have to protect their business.

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