Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Jester effect

Well, well, well! I said it would happen, but I can't call it a prediction, because it was so bloody obvious. The industrial changes in a recent Devblog have inspired some fevered commentary: Mabrick on Eve24 and Jester are the posts that got most dramatic about it that I've found. 

Having followed His Jestership for some time, almost as long as I've played EVE, which isn't that long, but it's kind of long. I'd say solidly, medium long. I'll start again. Jester tends to get into a certain kind of trouble as a CSM member who blogs. I see something similar happen with Malcanis on Failheap. 

The Jester effect: when someone is more articulate than average about why things happen like they do, (s)his listeners tend to hallucinate that (s)he has control over what is happening. 

A textbook example is when someone comments: "I agree with you, Jester, that there is a problem. So why didn't you push for a solution harder?" As if all he had to do was buy CCP Fozzie another drink and it would have turned out totally different. 

Ancillary sub-effects of the Jester effect include people blaming Jester when things don't happen the way they like, and people attaching their own tangential issues to whatever Jester happens to be posting on. His latest about the upcoming industrial rejiggering has attracted a lot of discussion on force projection in null-sec, for example. Quite frequently they take a confrontational tone with Jester while accidentally reiterating Jester's original thoughts, somehow forgotten between reply and publish

As far as the actual Devblog at issue goes, people always want contradictory things. I'm a totally amateur game designer and I know that. CCP has to know that. It's always better to shake things up. If they really want to shake things up, maybe they can stop letting people multibox and have alts out the ass. 

See? I kinda just did it there.

Further, it has become the habit in these debates to indirectly threaten to rage-quit if one's preferred solution is not implemented.* This is usually phrased as a concern over CCP losing subscriptions. It is simply a threat. Do not be fooled by the concern-for-CCP's business wrapping it comes in. And as we have learned from shysters the world over, threats are meant to make you choose things that are against your interest.

* or the inverse, being if one's not-preferred solution is implemented.


  1. It is an interesting apple a blogging/highly publicly communicating CSM member bites into.

  2. Sounds like you're still up for it, good! I voted for you, for what that's worth.