EVE Online player apologises for bullying incident at CCP Fanfest

By Brenna Hillier
27 March 2012 04:07 GMT

The EVE Online Fanfest panelist at the centre of a bullying scandal has apologised for his actions.

“If I could go back in time and not have included the slide mentioning the miner, I would do so. While the Eve Online character ‘The Mittani’ would never apologize for any sort of villainy in game, I myself, as Alex Gianturco, feel utterly ashamed and sickened by my behavior.”

During one of the panels at CCP’s annual fanfest, Alex Gianturco, known in-game as The Mittany, gave out a player’s information and encouraged attendees to target him, but in a lengthy on the EVE Online forums he seems genuinely contrite.

“I stumbled away from the Alliance Panel with a vague sense that I had done something horrible. I didn’t know the extent of how much of a shitheel I had been until today, when footage of the presentation went up,” he said.

Gianturco said he was “so smashed” at the panel that he couldn’t recall what he’d actually said, and when confronted with it, had at first replied in-character as his villainous avatar The Mittani. After reading the details of what he’d actually done he was horrified.

“I feel absolutely ashamed of my behavior at the Alliance Panel. I went way, way, way past the line on Thursday night by mocking the Mackinaw miner at a real-life event,” he said.

“I, as a person, am not the entity that I play in EVE; I am not actually a sociopath or a sadist, and I certainly don’t want people to kill themselves in real life over an internet spaceship game, no matter what I may say or do within the game itself.”

Gianturco said he was “relieved” to find the miner in question was coping despite being targeted in-game.

“He deserves, and he has, my heartfelt apologies – here in public as well as a private apology. There’s no excuse for what I did,” he added.

“If I could go back in time and not have included the slide mentioning the miner, I would do so. While the Eve Online character ‘The Mittani’ would never apologize for any sort of villainy in game, I myself, as Alex Gianturco, feel utterly ashamed and sickened by my behavior.”

The bullying scandal broke when Eurogamer reported a player by the name of Kestrel had sent a written complaint highlighting the behaviour of the CCP-moderated panel in seemingly encouraging the harassments of players.

A communication between players was shown, one of whom Kestrel claimed exhibited obvious suicidal tendencies and depression.

“When this communication was shown to the audience the presenter, along with part of the audience of players and CCP representatives present all had a good laugh,” Kestrel said.

“The presenter went on to encourage other players of Eve Online to harass this player in the hope that he would eventually be compelled to act on his suicidal thoughts. This player’s in-game contact information was provided. I found this section of the presentation to be in extremely poor taste.”

The audience reaction to the communication, and the panelists response, make up a few seconds of the panel, which can be viewed in full here.

CCP is taking the complaint quite seriously; the developer has strict terms of service against harassment of any kind, and maintains a “suicide hotline protocol” which it said has been used more than once.

“I want to reassure you that CCP in no way condones the harassment of players, especially those who suffer from depression or suicidal thoughts, as we understand the possible consequences of such abhorrent behaviour,” CCP’s Ned Coker said.

“CCP will be very vigilant in monitoring any behaviour directed towards the individual named in the presentation.

“We are undertaking a full internal review of this panel as well as the process used for vetting the panel’s materials. Even though this panel was billed as unfiltered by CCP, we expect public presentations to be courteous and professional towards others.”

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