Oh those petty, petty moralitiesPosted: 2010-01-01 Filed under: eveonline | Tags: eve online, moralities, psychology, pvp 7 Comments
I’m not a trusting person. When I’m in a room with someone, anyone and they’re holding a knife for whatever reason, I’ll keep finding reasons to stare at them until I’m reasonably certain that if I turn my back that I’ll hear them picking up the knife. With that in mind, you can imagine my Eve experience.
As I try to tempt fate as little as possible in life, I extend that principle to Eve, which wasn’t much of a leap, seeing as it seems that half the time Eve is trying to kill me and the other half is spent trying to scam me.
The scariest part of nature in man and animal is justification. I heard once that a respected psychologist had said that the only people able to consciously hurt themselves with intent to kill were insane. That’s stupid, all it takes is the right motivation. Being human myself, justification is an all too familiar subject. If someone told you to burn down an empty house, you’d probably refuse. But, if they offered enough money/or not to kill your family, your mind would probably tell you to burn that sucker.
My mind, and probably other people’s minds, work on a risk/gain principle. If it cost you a dollar to pick up and keep a ten dollar bill, most of us would pick up that bill faster than if they were in a restaurant after dinner with an attractive member of the opposite sex.
Building on that example, say that you had a 50/50 chance of getting the ten dollar bill. Some of us would take it, others wouldn’t. Here’s where I’m going with this:
If someone gave you ten dollars and told you to punch a starving kitten, most of us wouldn’t do it. Most of us also wouldn’t do it for twenty. Same for a hundred. But a thousand? a hundred thousand? Eventually, at some gain, be it enough money to live happily or the lives of your loved ones, you would punch the hell out of that starving kitten.
You sick bastard, you’ve just punched a starving kitten.
A fairly big factor in any risk/gain scenario is moralities. You would punch a brick wall in a heartbeat for ten thousand dollars, but a small animal would take some justifying that your gain would outweigh how bad the act would make you feel.
Drawing this back to Eve territory, you’re playing a game about internet spaceships. Taking something worth literally nothing from someone is so easily moralized that it’s simple. You can convince yourself that that Dominix is worth more to you than the dude who put the sell order up for 55k.
Another annoying bit about being human is sum wealth relation, a term I’ve just made up, which applies to this scenario:
If you’re driving far away from your house, thinking about how much you really want a lawn gnome, and see a house with fifty lawn gnomes outside it, justifying stealing one will be a hell of a lot easier than justifying stealing a lawn gnome from a homeless old lady trying to sell her one gnome to buy food.
Even though a home security system would probably be much harder than grabbing and running(the homeless are generally not very good sprinters), you’re gonna go to the house because your moralities would argue over how much the gnomes were worth to their respective owners.
Similarly, if I see a sell order for a domi from some dude for ten thousand and a thousand buy orders by the same guy for a thousand titans or something else that tells me he’s loaded, I’ll buy it in an instant. The sum wealth relation is essentially the bit of our moralities that reasons in how much whatever you’re doing will hurt someone compared to how much it will help you. In Internet spaceship land, it’s hard to hurt someone enough to feel bad about it, because you’re talking about bits of pixels.
The other way Evers avoid feeling bad about blowing up an Iteron V loaded with your proceeds from the last week of playing and now you’ve gotta do it all again……
Sorry, where was I?
Anyway, pretending that your character is someone else is a pretty easy way to skate around all the moral implications. Convincing yourself that you’re only role playing as a jerkwad pirate is one of the simpler ways to enjoy a guilt free experience.
Another way that I just remembered is convincing yourself that the victim deserves it. For example, if a 3 week old char in a CNR accidentally ejects, no-one within five systems will pause for a second to help him as everyone within seven systems tries to board the ship.
The last way Evers convince themselves that killing is awesome is ignoring. If you blow some dude up and then laugh at him, with a bit of thinking, you can suppress the guilt completely. I honestly can’t say much about this, because the only mental suppression I know about I made myself suppress in a cycle that…
Where was I?
Anyway, if anyone thinks there is another way people justify taking from another, I’d like to hear it. Happy new year, party was fun, piccys tomorrow.