There are many opinions on what it is to be a pirate in Eve. Many people, looking at it from the outside, seem to create a romanticized version wrapped around their knowledge of pirates in history. Even among those who align themselves as pirate in Eve their defines of who and what they are will vary from group to group and culture to culture. If one were to stick to a true definition of piracy most of us would not fit this mold.
I would not be a Pirate Queen in that mold.
But, Eve is about forging your own world and your own identity. It is about picking up someone's box and smashing them across the head with it as you walk from the room wearing white before Memorial Day. It is about owning the label like you own a pimp cane. With swagger and style.
It is true, however, that many of the pirate corps are not so much pirate. We will pirate but we are more creatures of low social morals when it comes to the destruction of other's property in game. The hunt and the kill are reward enough more often than not. There are times when the kill is just for the kill and no other reason is calculated.
It was with puzzled interest, that I noticed someone comment in 7-2's public channel about a freighter to gank. I checked the name, which was unfamiliar and found it to be one of the locals that we sometimes fight and who always seem to bait and blob. They are a high sec group, or at least they live on the island and venture into their local low sec similar to the way you find a good deal on Craig's List and find yourself venturing into that part of town you wouldn't live in but don't mind slipping in for a sale or two.
Freighter ganking is a pastimes It requires some planning and some logistics to accomplish It is a game of numbers. So many people. So much DPS. So and so selection of ships. This much time. This much ISK. I was not paying that much attention to the conversation but I decided to barge in when the topic of the freighter came up. It seemed that he had a war dec against the pilot and I wanted to know why he was attempting to entice the negative sec status populous to gank the freighter.
My smooth conversation skills soon netted the answer. It seemed that the freighter pilot was the alt of the person they were war deced with. They were exchanging smack talk and delaying him while they attempted to find someone to gank them. Since their corporation did not believe in untoward aggression they decided that the local pirate groups would fall over themselves to gank a freighter. He seemed puzzled when we were not interested. And, is it okay to (try to) convince someone else to do the thing you cannot do for moral reasons?
I asked how much loot the freighter had in it. He didn't know. It was suggested that he ship scan the freighter and try to entice people with the possibility of loot. Also, payment was acceptable as well. He didn't like those answers much.
We didn't gank the freighter. No one cared and we were doing other things. His confusion at our lack of care is what I found the most interesting. He assumed, because we are what is labeled as pirates, that we would come running when a target was dangled in front of us. He even posted one of the killmails from the last time 7-2 went freighter ganking. Our lack of interest and moderate trolling seemed to confuse him.
He also didn't like my ISK breakdown over how much it might cost us to gank the freighter.
Some bemoan the passing of pirates of old Eve. Those who spent their time stalking and ransoming vs hunting and killing. I wasn't around for those times. These days killing something and getting out before someone else comes along leads to fast, violent conflicts. Ransoms still happens but they are not often the norm anymore. The romanticized version of piracy is not the one that I experience each day. I wonder what they think we do. What they think we say. Do they wonder what our yarrs per minute are in the average conversation?
It is easy to forget that this is only one culture of many. That others log in to a game that is vastly different from my own. There are huge cultural gulfs of understanding between groups. Random assumptions based upon rumors and the briefest bit of exposure combined. But we all play the same game in our different ways. One world. Thousands of people. An untold number of yarrs per minute. Because, after all, I'm sure everyone yarrs at least a little bit. No?