Mittens, and the hole he has dug for himself

So, The Mittani said something outrageous (at about the 1hr 2 m 55s mark – now censored but Liang’s got you covered) and the gaming media picked up the story and people are arguing about it.

A brief summary of events is that on the alliance panel, he was talking about a player who mailed goons something about being extremly depressed after he got ganked in the Ice interdiction. During the Q&A, he disclosed  the name of the player and said something like “grief him some more so he actually kills himself”

Bearing in mind that it’s a possibly bannable offense:


An immediate permanent ban of an account may result if a player:

* a. Organizes or participates in a corporation or group that is based on or advocates any anti-ethnic, anti-gay, anti-religious, racist, sexist or other hate-mongering philosophies.

Severe offences may result in an immediate ban without warning; however, warnings may be given for first time offenses, followed by account suspensions of varying degree and ultimately a permanent ban if a player:

* a. Is abusive, obscene, offensive, sexually explicit, ethnically or racially offensive, or threatening to another player or an official EVE Online representative.

Soon enough, Mittens posted from his phone:

A comprehensive apology was posted on the forums.

I’m fairly certain that Mittens, being an ex-lawyer, knows how serious this can get. He didn’t just troll someone in a game; he incited others to commit cyber-bullying, in public, on the record, on broadcast media and at the request of CCP Games.

A case can be made about cyber-bullying under US laws because he mentioned wanting to get him to kill himself in real life. I don’t know the European laws but he might have something to answer for there as well. He was obviously(?) joking, but that’s the sort of talk that could get him, Alexander Gianturco the real-life person, disbarred and/or cause him real-life career and reputation damage, make it difficult to re-enter Iceland and generally cause him the same sort of grief he is willing to inflict on someone else.

Some people think he’s overreacting by resigning from the CSM chair – personally I think he needs to overreact as a means of damage control before it spirals out of control, for his own good, and to salvage the good working relationship he has with CCP developers.

Just don’t mistake it for remorse for the guy he abused.

13 Responses to “Mittens, and the hole he has dug for himself”

  1. March 27, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Watching the actual clip, and it just comes across as someone effected by alcohol, trying much too hard to be funny. It was an awkward, embarrassing moment. Yes – stripped down the incident can be made to look very bad, but within the context of EVE it actually happens all the time. I barely go a day without seeing bullying in local, on killboards, or in the forums. I dislike the Mittens – he’s rude, disrespectful, and has an annoying ego. However – the fact people are jumping up and down with such outright indignation for it suggest many were just looking for an excuse. He’s apologised and then gone further than I would have expected. I suspect it won’t just go away however – not because people are horribly concerned for the individual who was bullied, but because they hate Mittens.

    • 2 Serpentine Logic
      March 27, 2012 at 11:38 am

      Like I said, he needs to overreact to take away the political ammunition of his opponents and regain the moral high ground, or he’ll never get on CSM8.

      • March 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm

        Based on the goon exit poll, he could have gotten on csm7 (not chair) purely on goon vote alone.

        It is somewhat unrealistic to assume that he could manage to alienate every single member of non-goon pro-mittani voting block. I think if he wants chair in csm8 again then yeah he has to work super hard. If he just wants csm8, he probably will get it just on name recognition alone.

        Also, don’t forget, this is not usa politics – the moral high ground doesn’t translate to votes/popularity the same in eve online the computer game as it does in IRL politics.

        you could say xenuria had moral high ground in the csm7 elections – but he lost hilariously. From certain perspectives mittani never had the moral high ground but he won on the back of non-goon voters anyway.

  2. March 27, 2012 at 11:47 am

    If The Mittani steps down from his CSM chair I will kill myself IRL for fear of EVE becoming a terrible game again. Please think of my safety, this is not a joke.

  3. March 27, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    US Cyber Bullying laws are almost universally geared towards school children. Given the fact that the guy in question joked about the incident himself, there’s absolutely no way that a case for Cyber Bullying could be successfully made.

    The Mittani does not need to resign.

    • 7 Serpentine Logic
      March 27, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      He doesn’t need to resign, but he probably will.

      That way he can return unscathed in CSM8 to thunderous applause.

      After all, his elite political skills and backchannel dev access aren’t diminished by not being chair, as much as he protested otherwise during the election campaign. Giving up the chairmanship is not a big deal to someone who doesn’t need it to operate.

  4. March 27, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    One thing that people seem to be ignoring is CCP. The Mittani is in many respects the figurehead for the players and their representative to CCP as the head of the CSM. By being drunk and obnoxious in charge of a crowd and in a very public/media arena (then making it worse by inciting them to attack a person thought to be in a very vulnerable state) he’s painted CCP into a corner.

    If they let him stay, they effectively condone his actions, and those of anyone who then follows on from them. They have to act. Mittens is a smart operator. He knows he has to go for the good of CCP and for the good of the game. It is far far better to go than be pushed. Mea culpa means little without the act to back it up.

  5. March 28, 2012 at 1:32 am

    I honestly think he should go.

    I think he’s got too sucked into what is essentially performance art. Trying to keep 7000 whiny quibbling goons interested in a game that is essentially quite dull to most people.

  6. 10 Steve
    March 28, 2012 at 6:28 am

    I love all the assumptions here by the “caring masses”…

    1. Its a bannable offense–bit of a stretch.
    2. No private information was revealed.
    3. All these people who deeply care about this poor miner automatically assume, yes indeed, he really is mentally unstable–with friends like that who needs enemies?

    Now, was it in poor taste? Yeah, but that is what that panel is mainly about. Darius Johnson showed up drunk as a skunk in his appearance and apparently that is to be expected.

    Should the Mittani be embarrassed and make amends? Sure. He was acting in a stupid manner and went beyond the limits of decent play and he IS the CSM chairmen and won the most recent election by a substantial margin.

    However, given 1-3 and the Wis’ lack of towering outrage I can’t help but feel many here are using this controversy for their own agenda.

  7. March 28, 2012 at 7:32 am

    What agenda? I don’t like the Goons. I don’t like the Mittani. But then again, I’ve never met the man so that very much tempers my opinion.

    My point is purely and simply that he’s put CCP into a very awkward position and (imho) should resign from the CSM. It could also be argued that those wanting him to remain are also pushing an agenda.

    Read the EULA first. And reread your own submission. Are you sure you’ve made no assumptions about the “caring masses”? And don’t make the mistake that quite some time after Mittani’s display, the miner was found to be oblivious of the controversy excuses his error.

    The tune being sung would be very very different if the miner had been hurt as a result. If you chuck a stick of dynamite into a room and no one got hurt, you still threw the dynamite in the first place.

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