Thursday, September 20, 2012
CSM7 - Disenchantment
It's not that I don't still support some of the work they are doing, but I have soured somewhat on aspects of the CSM7 administration and their behaviour.
What lead to this recent disenchantment?
First, there was the Voting Reform thread (the original, not the reboot by CCP Xhagen). Except for Trebor, who had the misfortune of creating the thread, the rest of CSM7 cries innocence, that they had nothing to do with Trebor's proposals. They seek out CCP Xhagen to save them from themselves. They can tell us that they didn't spill the milk, except that we can clearly see them standing in a puddle of it.
There's little doubt in my mind that Trebor did not go rogue, that his proposal and, more importantly, the criteria for submitted proposals were not created in a vacuum. Trebor ran this by his colleagues. They told him "Looks good, go ahead and post it." It's not in Trebor's nature to do things on his own without the input and approval of his fellow representatives.
So when they try to distance themselves from the proposal, leave Trebor twisting in the wind, it smacks of nothing less than political opportunism. Word is that Trebor does not plan to run for CSM8, that this is his last term. So, if someone is going to be the fall guy, might as well be the guy with no further CSM aspirations. Super convenient that he planted that tree in the first place, it becomes super easy to hang him from it.
I'm fine with throwing people under the bus, if they're not contributing, not pulling their weight. But to throw someone under the bus for something the group agreed upon, that's kind of sickening. If CSM7 representatives had disagreements with Trebor's voting reform criteria, then he definitely would not have created the reform thread until there was that consensus. I don't even know Trebor, but it's obvious (to me) that is how he operates.
The entire voting reform debacle reminds me of a section of the CSM Report. The Crimewatch section where CCP Greyscale presents an idea for solving the gatecamp "problem." A few CSM members agreed with the idea, that it seemed sound. Not a single concern or objection was voiced from anybody else (not even the lowsec candidates, of whom this would affect the most). It wasn't until two months later, when the players got to see what went down in that session, when player objections began appearing, that the CSM suddenly realized that, yeah, it was a bad idea.
Crimewatch and gate guns. Voting reform proposals. There's little reason to think that the CSM can even recognize a bad idea when it's presented to them. They only acknowledge an idea as bad for the game when the playerbase starts hollering, "This idea is bad for the game." The playerbase is proving to be a better CSM than the CSM itself.
Second thing that lead to my current disenchantment, was the Ripard Teg podcast on Alekseyev's Declarations of War. This entire discussion was a trainwreck. Hans, Seleene, and Aleks entered the conversation looking for a fight. Aleks was constantly on the attack, never deigning to listen to a thing Ripard had to say. Ripard had some excellent points on using the media to get messages out to a wider audience or to pressure CCP in certain areas. The CSM dismissed him out of hand. Ripard had some excellent points on how the CSM could improve their messaging. Again, his suggestions were disregarded. The CSM was blinded by it's own need to defend itself from previous attacks and accusations. They missed an opportunity to win over somebody who has a good degree of influence in the community. The CSM came out of the proceeding looking petty and self-absorbed.
Now that some shit has come down, instead of manning up, admitting mistakes, really attempting to improve, I feel they're hunkering down. Groups hugs all around whenever a bad person says something bad about any of them. They're insulating themselves with their own group-perpetuated approval loop. Recursive group-esteem boosting. "Don't listen to them Aleks. I think all your interjections and speaking-before-thinking during the Ripard podcast were a-okay! Keep on truckin', brah!"
This post was originally going to be about ways in which the CSM could improve it's messaging. More transparency. More insight into the CCP/CSM process. More legitimization of the CSM by CCP.
But instead, this post morphed into something else entirely.
I apparently have a lot of say about CSM7 right now. So, expect a series of posts over the next few days. Messaging, for sure. I've also been giving some thought to CSM6's term, and how CSM7 would have handled the problems of last year. A brainstorm on where we might be today with EVE Online had CSM7 been the people in charge during 2011. (Hint: not a very good place.)