First of all, I’ve no problem with game mechanics that help protect players to some degree, such as Crimewatch and CONCORD and security status. Game mechanics are objective criteria and rules. They apply equally to all players, without prejudice. I’m also in favour of educating players about EVE and its many dangers.
My problem lies with subjective rules, such as those in the EVE Online Naming Policy and the Terms of Service. Subjective rules will always be applied unevenly, even given the good intentions of CCP Games. I think where possible, CCP should strive to eliminate subjective rules and replace with either objective game mechanics or work to further educate players.
Two simple things CCP can do. First, fix the font. Especially so that a lowercase “L” does not look like an uppercase “i”.
Second, a UI window that educates. Below I include an example of a very simply UI window that would allow CCP to eliminate all rules concerning impersonation and representation of other players from the Naming Policy and the Terms of Service documents. The only rules remaining would pertain to impersonation or misrepresentation of CCP employees and representatives. Otherwise, everything else is fair game and it is up to the players to protect themselves and to protect their own reputations.
(Rules concerning the alteration of EVElopedia and other CCP web properties are another matter altogether. I’ve no problem with those being off-limits where impersonation and representation are concerned.)
The UI window below works two-fold. Both as a warning to players and as an education into the harsh realities of EVE Online. The window also ensures that new players are educated on the realities of EVE early. To ensure that players receive said education, the UI window would appear before the completion of all contract, send money and trade transactions. The window would function in completing or cancelling those transactions. The window would appear a minimum of 10 times (thus the counter in the lower left corner) before it could be disabled via the option menu. All players are forced to see this window at least ten times during their EVE subscriptions, thus no player can claim that they were unaware of fraud, extortion and racketeering among players.
Thoughts? The text can obviously be altered and extended as necessary. And I wrote it fairly quickly, so there are some silly grammar errors in there.
You can read more of Poetic Stanziel’s opinions at his Poetic Discourse blog.