Red vs Blue has been war-dec’d by NCDOT and “Yellow Federation” over the use of the word ‘mate’. This sparked some thoughts in my atrophied brain; lacking a blog of my own I thought I’d share this opinion piece with you.
The “Mate” War, pretty soon no word will be safe.
‘A man should never, ever strike a woman, much less his sister,’ my parents used to tell me while also underlining the dire consequences if I should elect to ignore said warning. This was intended as much to teach me proper values and respect for women as to prevent me from lashing out at my younger sister and obliterating her in a sibling squabble. What they never intended was for this to give her, three and a half years my junior, carte blanche to be a complete little brat.
They eventually found out, though only after we were both grown people. Every time she needed to get back at me, or get rid of me for a few hours, she would inflict some non-lethal damage on herself and run to mom or, if she was feeling particularly vindictive, to dad crying bloody murder. She would claim the bite or welt to her arm had been caused by me while showing-off the self-inflicted wound, crying and making puppy eyes at my parents. No further evidence was necessary, no trial by jury, no CSI examining the size of the bite marks and comparing it to my obviously larger jaw. No matter what I did or said to defend myself, I’d get spanked or belted and sent to my room for the rest of the day.
My sister played the system and there was nothing I could do about it! Oh I did tell my mother she inflicted the ‘damage’ on herself, once even going as far as pointing out she was conveniently never seriously hurt or even bleeding. But who’d believe a cute five-year-old little girl would go to such lengths? Not my parents! You can imagine the ire I would feel at being not only unjustly punished but also taken advantage of. Today we’re both very close and have a good laugh about it while recounting the story to friends and family; but back then it was the source of a lot of pent up frustration and anger.
This day in age we have similar problems; society is particularly sensitive to certain subjects of discrimination and abuse of all kinds. We are right as a species to consider such things among the most serious and react to transgressions in these areas with alacrity and harshness for the aggressor. But we also have assholes, both men and women, who like to play the system and spoil the day for innocent folks who never hurt anyone and find themselves defenseless in the face of such accusations.
This is where I land on Eve online, that game we all love and hate for its intricate display of human emotions, desires and deeds. If you read blogs and posts as much as I do you no doubt have heard of the ‘Mate War’ between NCDOT and Red vs Blue. We got a piece of intel from the RvB side telling us of the war which began over an NCDOT alt in RvB being repeatedly called ‘mate’:
Red versus Blue got wardecced earlier this week by Northern Coalition. This happened because an alt of one of NDCOT directors was kicked from RvB by one of the team leaders. He got upset by this and a private chat between him and said team leader heated up and he eventually went nuts because he was being called “Mate” during the convo, which according to him as an aussie meant he was being called :gay:. He ended the convo and shortly after RvB received an NCDOT wardec. When word reached RvB’s leaders that they were setting up a fleet RvB came into action, the night ops were postponed. Purple status was enabled and everyone was told to set their overview to third party war targets. All active fleets were quickly merged and the whole reached over a 100 members very quickly, most fielding battle cruisers with some battleships and most in cruisers and, destroyers and frigates.
The action started when the purple fleet intercepted NCDOT fleet in Otela solar system. NCDOT while having a sizeable fleet had not considered RvB showing up in anything but frigates and were quickly decimated by the battleships, battlecruisers and generally being outnumbered by RvB.
Most of NCDOT fleet flee’d Otela and went to New Caldari to regroup. RvB’s purple fleet at the same time grew even larger in size to well over 150 members, and even being joined by a separate RR fleet comprised off RvB veterans and team leaders. After a small pause RvB’s purple fleet jumped into New Caldari and overwhelmed NCDOT with sheer numbers and even their massive amount of battleships could not stand against the numbers of Red vs Blue. Most of their dominixes were destroyed and the rest of NCdots fleet once again flee’d the battlefield.
Red vs Blue had an epic evening, lulz were had and local and certain members of the NCdots fleet were flooded with MATES! messages.
What was supposed to be a vindictive show of force from NCDOT for the MATE debacle quickly turned into an EPIC night out for Red Versus Blue.
Don’t call me mate!
Whenever anyone called me ‘mate’ I have always thought it as a synonym for friend, buddy or comrade, I’m sure it is the same with everyone out there. But here comes one person who, for his own vindictive or personal reasons decides to say this word, where he comes from, is a synonym for ‘faggot’ for it suggests he is a [sexual] mate of someone of the same sex. It does not matter that this makes absolutely no sense to most of us, the issue has been raised and a response must be given if in fact, as he said he would, he has reported this to CCP.
It’s my sister all over again!
CCP Games has an interesting dilemma in these cases. If they look at the evidence and chat logs they might come to a similar conclusion as we; the accuser is being an asshole and trying to play the system, as obviously ‘mate’ is not a slur of any kind that we know of. But the accuser said ‘where I come from’; meaning that in his country, town, village or shack the word ‘mate’ is a most grievous insult. If you ignore this then not only are you ignoring the slur itself but you could also be accused of ignoring a cultural sensitivity. I hope that CCP sees this for what it is; but I can also see things of this nature quickly spiraling out of control if the accuser is determined enough. CCP would then have to start weighing the pros and cons of ignoring this and we all know how a company will run away from liability like the plague.
Where do we draw the line? It is obviously wrong to insult other people based on their cultural, sexual, racial and spiritual orientations. It is obviously correct to defend these people and provide them with a recourse in-game should they be slighted in this fashion. But how do we protect ourselves from the smart-asses, the little brothers or sister brats who will see an opportunity to exact revenge or grief on others by invoking this ‘rule’ and playing it to their advantage?
If we follow this line of thinking, the next person I see telling me to “f*** off” in local or private chat I will report to CCP and have him or her banned. I will tell CCP that in the little country where I live, when someone uses the ‘F’ word it is a clear and serious threat to hunt me down and rape me. It is obviously a bullshit allegation but in order to prove this you would have to go through a lot of investigation, sift through evidence, speak to natives of my country or my town and corroborate. Isn’t it cheaper both in resources and manpower for CCP just to ban the ‘offending party’ and close the case?
Please tell me I’m wrong for I shudder at the thought of playing EvE under such circumstances.