EDITOR NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are not the opinions of the New Eden Post and are solely that of this article’s author.
Addressing the well written essay by Goonswarm military leader Asher, he writes that Goons have traditionally been seen as the “bad guys” of EVE. A reputation that he believes is antiquated and wrong, and that following changes in Goonswarm Federation and the Imperium Asher believes that they are now the “good guys”. This has some semblance of truth, but it is one that I believe is an enhanced truth. Both sides have incredibly dirty hands and neither TEST nor Goons are the first alliances/coalitions I would ever send a new player in to.
Mentioned during my discussion with other Talking In Stations guests, Caleb Ayrania brought up that many of the bad reputation and blame Goonswarm receives is due to people punishing them for sins of the father. And that the new modern Goonswarm post cultural revolution is a son suffering from what he did not do. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The Goonswarm we will be discussing today is the post-2010 Goonswarm, when Mittani assumed full control. Remedial and D Johnson of the past are not the Goonswarm we will speak of today. And the sins we discuss are less than half a decade old as of writing.
The issue with chalking to “sins of the father” is the fact that there is no son. The father is still in power and still sinning. Mittani is the father. There is no innocent son. We very clearly have a sinful father who has yet to address to acknowledge the deeds that sow such resentment and anger. Whilst certainly the old use of racist and discriminatory language is far less present today, and that we have generally all grown up it isn’t to say that toxicity doesn’t exist. From my interactions however, it seems the majority of people who’ve joined Goon based corporations have had far more pleasant experiences than my time in TEST. I certainly believe that the old toxic culture of Goons and their Something Awful social origins is less prevalent in the rank and file.
However, let’s address the old Goons. The Father himself. The Mittani, whom is indeed a passionate individual for EVE Online. His behaviour and perception as the God-Emperor of his space empire, the most feared, the tyrant, the dictator, the undefeated. All these Asher chalks a comparison to wrestlers working a crowd to give themselves attention and to play a character. The character of a heel.
In wresting, we have some terms we will use:
- The Heel; the bad guy.
- The Face; the good guy
- Kayfabe; the idea of suspending disbelief and pretending it’s real
- Legit; genuine and real events that are not scripted or kayfabe.
And Mittani certainly plays his role as a heel well. The rabid crowds of non-Imperium subjects foam at the mouth hearing his name like residents of Airstrip One and their 5 minutes of hate against Goldstein. However, is it really an act? It certainly needs to be said that there’s a difference between acting mighty and evil, and actually carrying out those misdeeds whether it be doxxing a CSM member or the enemy FC, or using out of game retaliation to deal with in-game threats. These are legit. These are not and should not be part of an act because they cause actual harm. They are illegal. And they are not something to be proud of. They need to be addressed.
Yet, in the Imperium there is a curious quirk– only the Mittani’s word matters. There has been constant doubt cast over any statement made by anyone in the Imperium because their opinion matters nought compared to the Mittani. Was that essay written by Asher representing Goonswarm; is his voice gold? Or was this essay just a short opinion piece written by Asher as a humble layman representing nobody?
When Vily talks, he represents TEST Alliance even if the leadership is Sapporo Jones. If I receive a message from LadyScarlet demanding I stop harassing her renters else she drops NC. on me, I know that her words represent NC. even if Vince is leader. This is the dilemma I face when reading this essay. Is your word really worth a damn, Asher? Do you speak for the Imperium and is your word gold?
To give a comparison with real life. This is the equivalent of the Japanese WW2 war crimes dispute in Korea and China. Where low level Japanese officials might make an apology, but the guys up top never ever will. How hard is it to acknowledge the wrongdoings and prejudices of the past, which were wrong then and certainly wrong now, and make a statement that you are distancing yourself from it and will strive to be better but always remember the sordid misdeeds never to repeat again?
Of course, this would require the swallowing of some pride, and to address the fact that doxing has returned as early as 2019. I hate cancel culture and like many of the older gamers, I come from a 4chan background. I’m well aware of the severe toxicity of past gaming. I do not want people to be cancelled here.
How can you say you’re the good guy when the very people you closely associate with choose old dirty tactics against enemies? Clearly it’s ignored and tolerated and even rewritten in the books to pretend it never existed. When you back up and sponsor these kind of tactics, when you refuse to take action against members who do these things, and when the voices of reason in your community are snuffed out it should become apparent that you are part of the problem and are responsible for failing to prevent it.
Or perhaps some things have shifted, and perhaps the TEST military of today was the Goons of 2015. Perhaps Mittani is a fantastic heel and fantastic for the game. The essay is more likely a sword and shield. A shield to protect your line members and whisper assurances that they are righteous soldiers fighting for the right side, and a sword to point to your enemy warning them of what they’re advancing into and accusing the line members of being the tools of tyrants and monsters fighting for evil.
Who you associate with is a reflection of who you are. And there is a reason why we vilify people who tolerate, protect and harbor such vile deeds and individuals; issues that they leave unaddressed and wait for people to forget. Think carefully if you wish to associate with people who are so thin skinned and afraid they resort to such disgusting actions out of the game.
No. You are not the good guys.