'I don't want people to kill themselves in real life over an internet spaceship game'
One of the elected representatives of the Eve Online community says he is “absolutely ashamed” after it was alleged he publicly mocked a “depressed” player at a recent games event.
Icelandic studio CCP Games, which operates Eve Online, yesterday launched an internal review into allegations that a player who “indicated suicidal thoughts” was publicly mocked at last week’s FanFest convention.
A panel discussion, moderated by CCP staff and featuring a Council of Stellar Management member, reportedly featured video of in-game communication between two Eve Online players, where one showed "obvious" signs of severe depression.
According to an eyewitness account by Eve Online player ‘Kestrel’, many on the panel and in the audience “all had a good laugh" at the player’s expense.
"The [unnamed] presenter went on to encourage other players of Eve Online to harass this player in the hope that he would eventually be compelled to act on his suicidal thoughts,” ‘Kestrel’ said.
The man accused of cheerleading the jokes, a Council of Stellar Management member known as 'The Mittani' (avatar pictured) has since issued a frank and thorough apology on the Eve forums.
Revealing his real name as Alex Gianturco, he said “I certainly don't want people to kill themselves in real life over an internet spaceship game”.
“I feel utterly ashamed and sickened by my behaviour,” he said, adding that he has privately apologised to the player he mocked.
“I stumbled away from the [panel discussion] with a vague sense that I had done something horrible.
“I didn't know the extent of how much of a shitheel I had been until today, when footage of the presentation went up,” he added.
“I was so smashed that I didn't recall exactly what I said, as anyone who was there can tell you. When I came to the forums the other day and saw threads complaining about my behaviour - not remembering what I'd said - I assumed that I was enduring the usual anti-Goonswarm trolls, and posted something like ‘deal with it’ in my usual ‘The Mittani’ way.
“Then I landed, and saw the article listing my actual quote. Christ.
“I feel absolutely ashamed of my behaviour at the Alliance Panel. I went way, way, way past the line on Thursday night by mocking the Mackinaw miner at a real-life event.
“I, as a person, am not the entity that I play in Eve; I am not actually a sociopath or a sadist, and I certainly don't want people to kill themselves in real life over an internet spaceship game, no matter what I may say or do within the game itself.
“CCP may say 'Eve is Real', but Eve is not real - and the line between the game and reality should not be overstepped.
“I'm relieved to discover that the Mackinaw miner is doing fine and mining away, despite being blown up by Goonswarm in-game.
“He deserves, and he has, my heartfelt apologies - here in public as well as a private apology. There's no excuse for what I did - while some might try to use my inebriation as a mitigating factor, I put myself in that compromised mental state, and the guilt of that is entirely mine.”