About a Goon’s Rage and the Philosophy of Identity

Kiss the ring, peon. There’s a war raging and we need you for the army!

It’s the new great war, the one we all have been waiting for. Goonswarm and its allies wanted it, because it was about time to have a new enemy that doesn’t die in a matter of days, and the people who don’t like Goonswarm and its allies wanted it because removing a bloc is something you can smug about really well. The one half of EVE does not like Goonswarm and the other half somehow belongs to them, so of course it needs to fight. On Something Awful it’s “Goons vs Literally the entire Galaxy,” and on reddit it’s “The good guys vs. the psychopath cancer guys.”

The war, however, is not something that just happened because of some kind of internet spaceship duality. Goons are not the cause of the hunger in Africa and the reddit people won’t fix it either.

For Goonswarm, this war is like a symptom of a disease, without being the disease itself. For “the Allies,” this war is like the first job of a student: something you like to do because it’s good money and you have to do it for a greater good, while disliking the things you actually do in that job.

We’ll get to that.

Disclaimer: I’m a Goon. After getting rid of those of you who closed the tab after reading that, I have to admit that I am also a Finance Goon and I’m managing Goonswarm’s rental program called Section 8. If you know me, it’s most likely because of that. Most of you however will not know me, because I’m not an FC or some Theta celebrity.

More importantly though, I am a Goon. I have an SA account that I do not use for posting in the monstrosity of crap that is the EVE thread, and DJ might not even hate me either, which is something worth noting in todays’ GoonWaffe. That’s the point where you can throw me into the pot of ~true goons~ and insult me the same way we insulted DJ when he started to rabble about Goonswarm being not for Goons anymore, because I am that kind of Goon that does not use this term as a punchline in EVE: An internet spaceship game and you are not a Goon unless you have a non-shit SA account, simple as that.

Sorry, Karmafleet. Do you have stairs in your house?

What’s the point of me writing this? I am mad. I’m mad at my alliance, I’m mad at what we have become and I’m mad about how we keep on putting paint over holes instead of fixing them. This is not me quitting EVE, this is not me leaving my alliance or switching to PL and I surely won’t do some reddit AMA either, whiteknighting about how I didn’t steal all that renter money for the greater good. I want to share my thoughts with you and either you care, or you don’t. Your opinion means very little to me, so please go forth and ask all your questions and comment this article, because I’m actively going to ignore all of them.

The Philosophy of Goon Identity

First off, let’s rabble about the infamous Goon Culture a bit. While certain Karmafleet people will now open their subforum and re-read their instructions about what Goon Culture is, let’s make one thing clear: Goons are not an EVE thing. There are Goons in literally every online and offline game, and we play together in various communities in pretty much every MMO that exists. It just happens that in EVE it worked out differently and people assume that being a Goon means being in Goonswarm. It does not. While Goonfleet still is the place for most goons, there are goons in SMA, Razor, TNT, PL, probably NC and even TEST, although of course some of them will simply not call themselves like that, which is okay. You can be part of a community, but you don’t have to.

Goon Culture is when you call a rich EVE player jew, you insult red-haired TEST women on a stream, and you get probated for saying words like “m8” or “toon,” right?

Actually, the jew and sexism part is really easy. Imagine you have a best friend in real life and you know each other's humor very well. When you tell him a dirty joke about a jew having a big nose because air is free, both of you know how you meant it and neither of you will yell at each other for being a racist. That’s similar for Goons, only on a larger level: A group of neckbearded fat players make jokes about women and their kitchens and they all laugh dirty while secretly wishing they knew how a woman looks in real life.

No one feels offended by that, because everyone is part of the joke and know how it was meant. This is basically what Goon culture is about: One community sharing the same dumb thoughts and making jokes about each other and those outside of the community.

Nowadays, this concept is basically being exploited: The group became so big and full of people who aren’t part of this community that those jokes don’t work anymore. However, the new guys want to be part of the group, so they throw around the same jokes as before, only without knowing the meaning behind it. For them, it sounds like basic insulting and they understand how to do it, which transforms the original joke into dumb insultive mashing of words that outsiders consider extremely offensive. That’s why lots of non-goons turn into dickheads after joining Goonswarm, and it’s probably why you don’t like them anymore.

Interestingly, this concept does not work on our renters. They never felt like Goons back in PBLRD. Lots of them weren’t even aware they were renting from Goons. Even now in Section 8, where they join the Alliance directly, they have their own playground to play on, and they separate themselves from us no matter how much we try to integrate them.

That’s why I don’t include renters in any discussion either. They are their own people and they don’t identify with Goons or our culture at all. Also, the Goon hatred towards renters is dumb, even when it was a BoB thing.

By the way, when I saw DJ doing that AMA on reddit and people were seriously saying “Look at this true goon, he isn’t as shit as today’s goons are. God, they used to be so great!” I wanted to puke all over my screen and ignite a pile of shit on top of it. What are you even talking about? How could you ever say such a thing when you joined EVE before B-R? Goon culture hasn’t changed, only Goonswarm did. Even if it would have changed, every pubbie in the world hates us for being Goons and it was like that since our first spawn in 2005. Goons were always hated. There are no Goons, Goons are cancer, Goons will ruin the game. None of those are new phrases and if you don’t know what DJ is talking about because you are not part of us, stop acting up about it.

The Thing on the Doorstep

Now, let’s talk about the war. Even if Pandemic Horde/Legion/Test and whatever flavors that name has claimed it, the war is not about you. If it was, this would be entirely different and I honestly think that you wouldn’t have come so far.

This war is about Goonswarm, its allies and its rotten internal structure. If we wouldn’t have treated allies so bad, things would have gone different. If we wouldn’t have tried to adapt to Fozzie sov by creating a mega alliance that absorbs every blue person around it, things would have gone different (note the ‘different’ - it’s not a ‘better’.) and if we wouldn’t have traded in our identity for the sake of winning forever, things would have been over by now.

Let’s recap what happened after B-R: As expected, the game entered a state of stability and stagnation. In the real world, this would be something very good, but in EVE this means boredom and frustration. Until the announcement of Phoebe nothing happened at all. Lots of EVE players stopped playing EVE while the two remaining blocs fed up their wallets with ISK and prepared for an eternal war that would never happen.

This nothing was the worst enemy Goonswarm ever had to fight in its lifetime. There were days in which no one did a single fleet. My renters did nothing but regular ISK farming while I was busy collecting their rent every month. Our FCs dropped off. Our directorate rotted in boredom. Everyone was lazy and did nothing but smugging about how well we fought and how awesome we were in B-R.

Greyscale came, dropped his load and left CCP, we dropped a region or three and it went on like that. However, our numbers were terrible and we couldn’t move on like that. We needed new people and we invented Karmafleet, using the infamous Markonius Porkbutte and recruiting literally everyone with a pulse. Goonswarm’s member count rose from 8000 to 17000 in one year.

This did not solve any of the problems though, it made them even worse: Mittens and his horny white boys in Illum and TSC spent their time focusing on TMC instead of EVE. The CFC was rebranded into “The Imperium” and daily pings went up to read article X, watch stream Y and support the cause by spending money on terrible zombie games.

Meanwhile our organization wasn’t fixed in any way, but instead our leadership spent more and more time making a gaming community into something one can earn real life money with. I’m not the kind of guy that will judge you for RMTing - it’s not my business and I don’t care what you do with your stuff - but I will judge you if you transform my community into a market.

Fozzie came, dropped his load and people were almost as disappointed as the people that invested into Star Citizens will be once the game comes out in a bundle with Half Life 3.

Stuff went critical: Endie hated us for a solid year already for various reasons, leaked some stuff and ran. Shortly after, Blawrf McTaggart felt the same way about what the coalition had become and this was a special day for me, because Blawrf is not only a friend of mine, but he also was my boss and mentor when I first started to gain ranks.

I was mad, because he was right: Fountain Kickstarter, Karmafleet, TMC pings, H1Z1 crap, no coordination, integration or functional departments anywhere, what the fuck had my alliance become? The drama around Blawrf was worse than most of you will realize. Directors were mad, people threatened to go nuclear and it was a very busy time. However, Dear Leader Mittens admitted he made mistakes and promised to improve. And he did: TMC became an optional ping section which everyone was able to disable, elysium was founded as a jabber-based option to talk to our directorate as a line member, the subforum Ask A Director was opened for general questions and talk for everyone.

That was enough to satisfy most people again and I won’t argue whether or not Mittens did this out of his own motivation or simply as a political move to avoid any more drama, because it doesn’t matter. I am glad Dear Leader went that way, but we are not done yet.

The Horror of Fixing Things

This is where we are right now: An unstable alliance with no identity, based on something most members don’t even understand anymore, with a rusty management and a rotten top.

We fixed a lot of things that were wrong. We are still fixing a lot of things that are wrong, but still, people like to go the easy way of ignoring a problem instead of tackling it. Ignorance is omnipresent in Goonswarm’s leadership and we keep on focusing on the wrong end instead of going straight the way and fix the shit that we caused on ourselves.

Sorry Jay, but our FC structure is a pile of people trying to out-smug each other continuously. They are ineffective and not focused on the cause. They don’t understand what we were, are, and will be about.

Schwa my man, you know I love you, but for god’s sake, recon and scouts make me sadder each damn day I look at it. We’ve been over this so often already.

More importantly though, we need to stop looking away from what’s going wrong in our own lines. Propaganda and euphemisms are great, but you can’t deploy them on the internal structure. Start thinking for yourself for once, start questioning why action X is really necessary and stop acting like everything is fine and good and meant to be that way when it clearly isn’t.

Do we really need to lose a war to realize this?

Why You Matter

That’s the part where you, random guy in your underwear that probably hates goons, come into play. You do some war games with the alliance I just described, okay, that works. You do some more war games with it? Maybe a bit much, but okay. You do some serious invasion with lots of people that even outnumber our reddit hordes? We lose.

Yes, we will lose this war. There, I said it. However, what is it worth? You don’t want our space, you couldn’t even remotely hold it if you would. Will this war fix our alliance? I hope. If not, well, we are screwed and it’s time to play better games. Do I hope that Goonswarm dies? No, even after all the shit we’ve been through and the amount of frustration I stockpiled, it’s my virtual home and I rather hope that we can fix shit than to die in a burning fire. However, if this is un-fixable and we keep on letting ignorance govern our paths, an end might be valuable.

This is your war and you hit us when we had our pants taken off and we were ejaculating over this lack of pants for a long time. Either this teaches us how to get those pants on again, or we’ll end up as naked masturbating fat guy in Seattle.

I’m fine with either option.

(Editor's Note: This submission comes to us via Kathao Crendraven of Goonswarm. As an opinion piece, the views expressed are those of the author.)

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