TL:DR: People.. part two of a two part color focused ramble for today...
The Kingdom of Yarr has been my casual terms for Molden Heath's pirate groups. I use kingdom, not because any one person or groups rules but because it is a land of pirates more than anything else. I also like how it sounds. But the Kingdom of Yarr is my homeland and my association is with piracy.
I see myself as a reasonably pleasant person. Some days I am a bitch. I think I average out with reasonably pleasant. The boys may be lying to me because of the bitchiness but I hope not. In the end I am not perfect but I am a pirate. I may not be a scary pirate but I do, happily, align with the outlaw side of Eve.
One very common question I see in Eve Uni chat by people wanting to get into the game is that they want to become anti-pirates of some type. Pirates are thought of, especially in high sec, as gankers. People who spend all of their time hunting helpless targets and avoiding the law. It sounds like the type of fight many people can get into. Motivation is an important thing in this game. It is a perception and one that I can understand if the people do not know us. Know me. In some ways I've spent time bringing my inside out so that people can see more then the killmails and battlereports. I call people by name and share the silly parts of fleet, the arguments and the moods because while people sometimes get caught up in the image of pirates and forget that we too, are people.
There are people out there who find their game focus in fighting against my existence. No matter what my humanity they cannot agree with my actions. That is fine. In some ways, I cannot agree with theirs. It is both interesting and strange to me. After all, I fight whomever. I don't have a reason to fight. It is just what we do. They have a reason. It is an unofficial war dec where we are the war targets, I guess.
There seem to be two main types of anti-pirates. Those that anti-pirate to anti-pirate and those that roleplay as anti-pirates. The first type are prone to becoming pirates eventually. Their enjoyment of fighting mixed with the fact that not all pirates are kind enough to keep their security status at outlaw tends to eventually tip them over and they become what they hunt. I guess that is similar to 'you are what you eat.'
The other main type (and there are sub-types but I won't be covering each case) seems to roleplay as anti-pirates. Again, they hunt pirates but they are doing so as role players. This means that they keep their security status up, they don't succumb to the temptation to shoot neutral fleets, they have rules and standards that must be met. They are a tight knit, serious group who finds their fun in being what they have crafted their characters to be.
But sometimes, even they are corrupted. Thus is the fate of several members of 7-2. Seduced away from anti-piracy they became pirates and discovered that they liked it. They liked us. That we were normal people. Fun people. Not evil people. I almost said sane but lets face it, we all know too many crazy people on the internet for me to make assumptions there. And the side effect is that others may come with them and someone may become offended that they left.
Maybe it is the descent into evil that it represents. I don't know. Yet, there has been some fall out of late due to an extended invitation outside of our pirate circles to old friends that resulted in a negative backlash of postings where Altaen, sweet anti-pirate-turned-pirate that he is was accused of being devious, having terrible Eve friends, of having Nixon's moral character, and there being a good chance of his not having friends in real life. I wasn't this mad at him for plunging my sec status back below -5 and wasting the ISK I spent on bringing it up.
While the thread has been an entertaining read, it brings to light the question of where does one stop and the other start. Internet spaceships are serious but they are still internet spaceships. There are terrible, vile people on the internet. Some of them are on Eve. There are people who you cannot agree with in game but enjoy in real life and people who you can agree with in game and not stand if the two of you were in the same room. There is no hard line drawn in the sand.
It is okay for people to change their place and path in Eve. I may one day leave THC2. Someone else may become a pirate. Another person may leave the shackles of null sec for Eve University. There are right ways to leave a corp and wrong ways. Some may burn bridges with snide words and others may stay an unoffical member.
The grass is just as green on the other side of the fence. That fence may be piracy on one side and anti-piracy on the other. It may be high sec vs null sec or wormholes vs incursions. But something always has some appeal and where you are has another. Deciding to change, inside of a game with as many options as Eve presents is something that is going to happen. It is one of the fun parts of the game. The game part.
Is Altaen evil? Am I? Is the anti-pirate? Are miners? Is Goonswarm? Or TEST? Is the other militia? Or the gankers? is RvB for decing Eve Uni? Or is Eve Uni themselves? Are all these entities good? Yes. No. Maybe. Its to complex to answer simply with raw emotion as a basis. Yes, the meta game spills out onto the internet. But it is called the meta game for a reason. We are still playing Eve in the end. Even if it has become a broader, wider game, we're still playing it.
Special thanks to Altaen "the Nixon" for causing these three thousand rambling words broken into two parts to be brought to text near you.