It's a somewhat ambiguous celebration. Originally the celebration was ordered to celebrate the escape of the King from assassination but over time Guy has attracted more and more sympathy and many modern English people see the festivities as an anarchist celebration that someone had the balls to have a go at our rulers.
|Guido Fawkes: Hero or villain?|
It got me thinking about why I quite like the idea of someone taking on our ruling government (in a somewhat abstract and sentimental way, in a real situation murder of our MPs and monarch would almost certainly see a military coup followed by a police state with people like me rounded up merely for mentioning the A word); why I like the notion of someone challenging government but I'm less happy with the notion of players challenging CCP.
There's a spectrum. At one end there's the state with its surveillance, military and police forces, rule of law, legislative powers, taxes. At the other end there's the person with whatever rights and freedoms we and our ancestors have managed to wrestle for ourselves. Because the state is so materially powerful it's important to limit the state's power and challenge it when it attempts to increase its reach. Because an individual is so powerless it's important that we defend the rights of other individuals to pursue their lives and business as they wish.
What about a company? Is a company a monolithic overmind that needs to be reigned back or is it a small frail entity that should be free to pursue its own direction without excessive criticism complaint and customer-organised direct action?
CCP is even wierder because there's the real/virtual split - in the game universe they have divine powers, conjuring anything they wish, banishing anyone from the universe they choose. But in the real world they're a small/medium business with a not particularly solid financial footing dependent on enthusiasm of hardworking and underpaid staff.
And that's why I'm uncomfortable with the level of player rebellion that's become normal in the Eve universe. Take, to pick an obvious example, CCP Fozzie. My impression is that in addition to doing a normal working day he's highly active on the CCP forums, on other areas of the Eve community like Reddit and Twitter, works longer hours than he's required to, and when he's not working he plays Eve or talks about Eve. To my amusement at a recent SCL even on the day when he wasn't scheduled to be there he was crawling under the desk fixing tech stuff. He even contacted a fan podcast recently and asked to appear so that he could correct a misunderstanding. The man eats lives and breathes Eve.
And he's not unusual - many people in CCP work hard and turn up to events and fanmeets outside their official work time. The games industry pays its people low compared to what people of their skills would get in mainstream businesses. Pays them low and works them hard. They run on enthusiasm, on passion for the hobby-turned-job.
Do we want to beat the enthusiasm out of Fozzie and his colleagues?
I don't have simple answers because it's a complex problem. TAGN made the very good point in comments on an earlier post of mine that Monoclegate wasn't simply about monocles, it was also a protest about the direction Eve was taking (off spaceships and towards walking in stations). Most Eve players are pretty glad they righted the ship so to speak, doing a lot more space focused game development, such as ship rebalancing and CCP Seagull's awesome space colonisation master plan.
But Monoclegate was also a crisis that revealed the company as horribly financially overextended, drove away a chunk of the playerbase and led directly to the laying off of 200 staff. Not many small businesses survive that kind of crisis. The company could have died.
THE COMPANY COULD HAVE DIED.
Do I hate walking in stations so much that I'd rather have no Eve than the Eve we would have gotten had they stayed on the Incarna track? No, I certainly don't.
And if Eve does ever close down some day I think the unmanageable rebelliousness of the community may have something to do with it. Especially if it continues to escalate as players perceive they get rewarded for making ultimatums and protests and incorporate such behaviour into the Eve metagame, a way to win against rival players.
Be careful on Fireworks Night. Sometimes people have an accident with the fireworks and get very badly burned.