Fanfest weekend was barely over when the newly revealed EVE monument became target of an act of vandalism. Rather than randomly defacing the plaque with character names, the perpetrator chose one specific name to scratch out: Xenuria.
Of course there are many players in EVE who hold grudges and nurture pet-peeves against others, but what singles out Xenuria as a target for such an action? The player behind that name has attracted controversy over a long time. Xenuria has been banned and shunned even by organizations that are notoriously lenient when it comes to player behaviour, like the GSF and TEST Alliance.
Xenuria also stood for CSM election repeatedly. This year there was no public drama surrounding the candidacy, but the previous time Xenuria ran for a seat on the CSM, the candidacy was ultimately rejected. Allegedly Xenuria was affiliated with Lulszec, a hacker group that had claimed responsibility for an attack on the servers of CCP.
There has of course been a lot of response to the vandalism itself, but I wanted to hear what Xenuria would say to this. So I sent him a few questions about that incident, the general controversy surrounding his person, and his CSM candidacy:
Q: I reckon you are aware of the act of vandalism directed at your character’s name on the monument. Any guess or speculation who might do such a thing?
A: I do have some speculation as to who it could be but I am withholding said speculation as to avoid witch hunts.
Q: There are of course other people who attract a lot of controversy. Why would someone single out your name?
A: There are many reasons why somebody would single out my name. I am a polarizing figure and have been targeted in the past most recently at EvE FanFest 2013. The majority of people who have targeted me in the context of EvE did so because they feel that people with autism are less than human or “Sub-Human”.
Q: You say “targeted at FanFest 2013” Could you elaborate a bit on the how and why? Also, the commonly cited reasons why people dislike you do not mention your autism. Could you think of other reasons why certain people like to target you?
A: I really don’t want to talk about it except to say that I was threatened with violence on numerous occasions. I was also specifically excluded from parties and other social events.
Q: You were accused of having a narcissistic character. Does that act of vandalism make you feel important?
A: There are many different kinds of narcissism. I do not see attention as an end in of itself rather an opportunity to stimulate dialog on a subject matter I feel is important. This act of vandalism gives me many feelings but none of them are a sense of importance. I am not any more or less important than I was before the act of vandalism took place.
Q: This year, just like in the previous year, you stood as candidate for the CSM election. Last year you were interviewed by Xander Phoena but this year there was no interview despite there being two podcasts who did them (Cap Stable and Legacy of a Capsuleer) How come?
A: Nobody offered to interview me and nobody covered my candidacy.
(On my follow-up question whether Xenuria himself tried to contact those podcasters, I received no answer)
Q: Last year you were ultimately rejected as candidate because of your alleged affiliation with Lulzsec. Just like last year, the CSM election was handled by CCP Dolan. You accused him of bias back then. What has changed in the meantime for CCP to accept your candidacy and for you to try again?
A: I cannot comment directly on the decision made by CCP Dolan to allow me to run for CSM 9. I can however say that the main issue last time was that CCP Dolan was misled by internet trolls. He was convinced that I was a cyber terrorist but had no real evidence to back this up. My issue with his choice then was that no oversight or recourse existed for me. Bad things can happen when nobody is looking.
Q: Was there a timely way offered for you to react to the accusations back then?
A: No there was not, the info was provided to me at the very last moment.
Q: How would you generally describe the situation one faces as a CSM candidate who is confronted with a serious public accusation?
A: The black PR is not what makes getting CSM difficult, it’s the fact that null sec power blocs still dominate the entire voting process.
Q: Your platform was based significantly on the notion that you are an iconoclast. Someone who wants to go against the status-quo of the great powers of EVE and support those who seek to break that apart. Since BNI looks like they are embracing that role as well, and are open towards players who are “different”, why have you not associated yourself more closely with them?
A: I am officially Blacklisted from BNI and any BRAVE entities, the reason given to me was that I “Robbed a bank”. This accusation in particular is a new one but the concept of kangaroo courts convicting me based on rumors is nothing new. I had a desire to work with BNI unfortunately the feeling was not mutual.
Q: Was that meant as an accusation that you have scammed in-game or that you are supposedly guilty of an actual crime?
A: The way it was explained to me was that there were concerns I had held up a bank in the real world and robbed said bank.
Q: Do you think BNI just wanted to troll you or is that some rumour that has been spread about you in earnest?
A: Considering it is not at all uncommon for people to accuse me of peculiar things I would not be surprised if BNI actually did think that I had robbed a bank.
Q: You have previously been shunned by TEST Alliance. Do you think the rejection from BNI has anything to do with them being in a coalition with TEST?
A: The thing with TEST happened when the alliance leader approved my membership and I joined the mumble to troll. In a matter of minutes there was 300+ people in the channel. I told them among other things that I was part of the “9GAG Army“. Somehow we got onto the topic of reddit and the /r/jailbait scandal. I said that while free speech is to be considered I do not think reddit should have ever entertained the idea of such content being on their site. I explained that I had a history of unpleasant encounters with predators and other bad people. I told those present that at one point in the past a child abuser made himself known on a mumble group I was part of and not only did I get him banned but I had him added to a watch list where he lived. Despite my strong convictions on this matter I was painted as the villain and was banned for being “creepy” and “associating with child abusers”. The projections that I myself am in fact some sort of pervert are both unwarranted and over the line.
As for the BNI rejection, I feel like everybody knows everybody else or is at least connected in the sandbox of New-Eden. Not everybody is mature, civilized or even properly skilled to make good decisions when it comes to petty social drama. The best way to articulate what happens is the LunchRoom Analogy: At a table in a highschool lunchroom the potential for something said on one end of the table to change fundamentally by the time it reaches the other end is very high. Rumors and gossip to a large extent fuel the social cohesiveness of groups like TEST and GOON. It’s not a good thing but it is a reality of social psychology. I have always been a typical aspergers case wherein I prefer honesty unless I have no other choice. I will lie to protect somebody from harm but that is about it. Being so rigid and structure oriented can be abrasive to some people and I respect that. The point I am trying to make is that I don’t mesh with most alliances because my entire ideology and way of thinking is counter-intuitive to theirs.
Q: Clearly your corp is member of an alliance. So there are people who can work with you. What is the difference between them and those who can’t or wont?
A: No my corp is not a member of an alliance, I was kicked out of PASTA. I was in a fleet and womynpower had an emotional meltdown because I left the fleet. He hijacked the executor account and used it to kick me. (Ed: That happened only recently on 4th of May. Xenuria’s corp had been part of Pasta Syndicate since April 16th. In the time between me asking the question and Xenuria answering, his expulsion from the Alliance had become effective.)
Q: I have noticed in your employment history that you have been part of the alliance I am currently with. What ended that engagement?
A: The engagement with Villore Accords was tremendously positive and I very much enjoyed working with everybody there. I actually played EvE alot more then because I had people I could count on to assist me and I them. Some time after I had been a member I fell into a deep depression which is something that can and often does happen to me. I isolated myself and eventually left to pursue other things.
Strange accusations, personal attacks and now even targeted vandalism of a monument. Xenuria certainly attracts a high level of dislike. For many in EVE, The Mittani tends to be the man people love to hate, but Xenuria certainly manages to compete for the spot. At least in the views of an apparently rather spiteful group of players.