Tinfoil Hats

A little disclaimer: Tinfoil Hats, and other slightly paranoid, oddly thought-out and conceived posts of its ilk are typically the result of either too much caffeine, or too much alcohol, depending on the time of day or how lax I’m being with social etiquette when it comes to day-drinking. As such, the results of these writings can be taken as just that, a very “of the moment”, factually unsupported opinion.

Any Eve player who can consider themselves a vet of at least a year will remember with a dark look the “Summer of Rage” fiasco of last year; hell, there are players who started playing Eve AFTER the Monocle-Gate/golden ammo/”Fearless” debacle that know the whole story. The scathing leaked report, the resulting public relations firestorm, and eventual pull-back from the edge of oblivion by CCP and the CSM is very well documented pretty much everywhere else pertaining to Eve on the web, so I’ll spare the rehashed history lesson.

What interests me however, is the part of the story that’s never been talked about, or to my knowledge, really ever been explored. Its almost as if the prelude, or even chapter 1 of our “Summer of Rage: The Novel” has been omitted; let me explain.

Our story, as we know it, begins with the leaked “Fearless” newsletter, the damning and highly misunderstood internal CCP document exploring the possibility of introducing “golden ammo” beyond vanity items to be sold for cash in Eve Online. As I’ve said, the results of this leak are well documented, so what interests me today is the mysterious link of how this time-bomb of a pamphlet went from internal CCP office document to public explosion.

As has been confirmed much later, it wasn’t just one news source that received the “Fearless” pamphlet; Eve news media giants such as EveNews24, the Kugu forums, and Jester’s Trek all received copies before it eventually went public, and some of these people actually choose to sit on it for a while waiting to validate it authenticity. So to me, now we’ve got our first red flag: intent. This wasn’t a misaddressed email, or someone taking home the wrong laptop bag, this was an intended distribution, and with intent, we have motivation.

So now at the heart of this, you have to ask yourself, “who would leak that?” Some disgruntled CCP employee? A sly janitor with a penchant for stirring up trouble? Given the eventual utter shit-storm and job-insecurity at CCP offices following the “Fearless” leak (and even taking into account that no one could have possibly imagined the scale of the backlash on this), I’m going to rule out an actual CCP employee. So instead, I start to look at fragmented pieces and try and piece together who was at CCP offices, the birthplace of this “discussion-stimulating” bit of inter-office literature, before everything exploded that may have seen an odd copy lying on someones desk, or possibly even been shown one as an example of how things work around the office?

If you’ll allow me to pull my tinfoil hat down even further over my eyebrows, I might mention that the 6th CSM had their first summit meeting with CCP in Iceland on May 18th – 20th 2011; remember that idea about a random copy being shown as an example of office brainstorming?

So, now we’ve got Intent, Motive, and now even a group of Suspects; things are starting to look very interesting (read: “paranoid”, but bear with me).

Now, who, as someone not working for CCP who was privy to a copy of “Fearless”, might stand or learn to gain from a debacle like the Summer of Rage? This person may have looked at this damning pamphlet and seen the true genius of how something of this explosive nature could be turned on itself.

This person could have sat on this until the utterly perfect moment: the monstrously disastrous release of Incarna. If you remember, the “Fearless” document leak dropped at literally the worst possible time for CCP: right as the cacophony of anti-Incarna player outcry was reaching fever pitch, and this was already after the $99 3rd party licensing disaster.

Who, through various anonymous venues, might have had this inflammatory little flyer “accidentally” leaked all over the Eve community to nexuses of news, at the best/worst possible time, effectively pouring gasoline on what was already shaping up to be a nice little brush-fire? Who then might have stepped back from this blaze and let other, more volatile, more edgy, and more reckless individuals step up to the plate to be the sword point of the anti-CCP zeal that swept through Eve, only giving whispered suggestions from a behind the scenes vantage point?

Who then, nobly and dutifully, emerged in the aftermath of this destruction as the shining savior and Great Negotiator? Who selflessly offered to drop everything and fly back to Iceland to meet with Hilmar Petursson, and on a personal (and filmed) player-to-CEO level, orchestrated the humble yet highly publicized salvation of Eve Online the game and CCP the company, garnering him the eyes and ears of virtually every player and CCP employee in the process, cementing his role as Chairman for Life, and securing his role and legacy as without question most infamous, recognized, and influential player in Eve’s history?

…looking over your shoulder yet?

I should end with the secondary disclaimer that this factually unsupported and wholly speculative little bit of writing is not meant to be a lesson in finger pointing, but rather a standing ovation. On the one side of things, if this is a series of events that may have just “occurred”, then I’m just chasing after shadows in hopes of finding something and the above is at best an amusing little bit of fiction. But if not, this is Machiavellian on a scale never before conceived in Eve Online, and that’s saying something. And, if in fact I am right, let me just stand and be first to say “well played sir”.

Very well played.



~ by Aiden Mourn on February 24, 2012.

8 Responses to “Tinfoil Hats”

  1. Nice bit of propaganda, there 🙂


    (FWIW I don’t think you can rule out CCP employees from this – we know a lot of them were disgruntled at the game’s direction at the time and nobody could have predicted just how much of a shitstorm the thing would generate)

  2. TL;DR version: Mittens, you magnificent bastard, I READ YOUR BOOK!

  3. You know, I thought the same as you. Thing is, even if it isnt true Mittens will happily take the credit

  4. would prefer to think of Mittens as an Aiden Mourn alt 🙂

  5. Possible, but unlikely. To see that far ahead one would have to have known in advance that the players would get THAT pissed, that the company would be THAT contrite, and that the players would be THAT willing to move on. It’s a terribly risky gambit, considering how close to the bring CCP was that Summer.

    That said, we’ll never know. If Mittens was the source of the leak, he’ll never admit that he broke the NDA.

  6. […] a previous post of mine, I wrote a very tongue-in-cheek “what if” scenario involving the leak of the […]

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