wrote previously about Xander Phoena's intention to interview every CSM8 candidate that wants to be interviewed. I would go so far as to say, if they don't want to be interviewed, they're not worth the bother giving them a single vote.
My plan is to summarize, and give my own thoughts, on each of the interviews. I'm not going to summarize to the point that listening to an interview is no longer necessary. I'm not going to cover every detail of the interview, and will give broad strokes in many instances. If you're interested in a candidate, then head to Crossing Zebras to download the interviews.
I'm now out of order. I've listened to the Nathan Jameson, the second interview, and but am not quite ready to publish my thoughts. So I'm shuffling Xander's third interview to the front of my queue, mainly because I was so impressed, my thoughts were easy to write.
Now to Xander's third interview, with Roc Wieler, Matari/Roleplayer/Musician/Ladies-man.
I honestly thought Xander went too hard on Roc. Nearly every question was a tough, difficult and uncomfortable question. I wanted to reach through the pipes and throttle our friendly Scotsman. Speaking to Xander afterwards, he defended his tough questions. This is Roc's fourth time running. Having been unsuccessful three times previously, what did he honestly think was going to change? Was he running for the right reasons? Xander did his research, bringing up "embarrassing" moments for Roc, and wondering if the player's view of him might not be accurate, and perhaps public perception is his Achilles heel come election time.
I ended up being quite impressed with Roc. I'm not sure he expected the sorts of questions asked of him, but his poise certainly didn't betray any unpreparedness. He answered everything on the spot, no hesitation. His answers were intelligent and honest.
Compare Roc's interview to that of Mynnna. You'd think Mynnna was expecting an interview with Arydanika or Alekseyev Karrde. Perhaps that is exactly what he was expecting, because every time he was thrown a tough question, he seemed taken by surprise and it took some time for him to find an answer.
Hell, I came away from the Roc interview wanting to give him my two votes. Not because I felt sorry for him, but because he seems to understand, more than most, what a candidate's role on the CSM should be. I trust his resolve. His ability to communicate. I trust that if he says he'll do something, then he's darned well going to do it.
Will I give him my votes? Well, there are a lot of interviews coming. But I can't imagine anyone is going to impress me more than Roc did. So yeah, at the moment, my votes are his.
A few questions were taken up with Roc's opinions of appropriate campaign platforms. He's against those candidates who present themselves on only a single issue.
The single-initiative, such as being the faction warfare candidate, or the wormhole candidate, he doesn't see as viable. It's not demonstrating versatility to the playerbase. There's no guarantee that a candidate's single initiative will be developed, so one has to have a broad view of the game, a broad understanding of the game, if they want to be an effective representative.
Xander then comes down on Roc for a quote he made concerning the Winter Summit minutes. That Roc felt that the minutes didn't tell the entire story. That's there was a disconnect in how the CSM and CCP were interpreting portions of the minutes. Xander took issue with this, "How can this be? The CSM wrote the minutes, and CCP signed off on them. If CCP signed off, then what was written must be true."
The minutes are a summary of an event. CCP may read them over, but since they were there at the event, they're unable to read from the perspective of someone who was not present. (The same can be said of the CSM, who wrote the summary.) They're seeing a summary, but unconsciously filling in details based on their first-hand knowledge of the event. Get that summary into the hands of a playerbase that was not present, without that first-hand knowledge, and it can read much differently than CCP or the CSM thought or intended that it would. Thus a summary can never tell an entire truth, even given the best intentions of the CSM and CCP.
Why did Roc's previous campaigns fail? Because Roc stands by his principles. He could play the game, get behind the current hot topic, promise to fix system X, Y and Z. He can do all the things other candidates do, candidates who rarely deliver on their promises. How many candidates in CSM7 turned out to be lame ducks? Seven or eight of them? They got there because of their bold and far-fetched campaign promises. And players buy into it.
Roc wants to represent all players. He wants to hear all sides of an argument. He can be a voice to two contradictory positions. A ganker might approach him with well-reasoned arguments about ganking mechanics. A carebear might approach him with well-reasoned arguments against ganking mechanics. Roc now has knowledge of both sides of the issue. If the topic of ganking comes up in conversation with CCP, he can speak knowledgeably to both sides of that conversation. His job isn't to convince CCP to do any particular thing, it's to present them with options. CCP is in the best position to make the best choices for the game, but giving them more options lets them make better decisions.
That's not a sexy platform, but it's a honest platform. And it's certainly a platform that plays true to the real role of a CSM representative. Not the role that most players and candidates imagine of the CSM.
Roc hasn't been successful, because players get hoodwinked by the glossy promises, rather than the actual reality. Roc offers the reality. Whether players will ever buy into the reality, he'll once again find out this election season.
There was some conversation on Roc's roleplaying character, the line that divides the real from the fantasy. Some discussion on some in-character blog posts that offended a few white knights. There are people that get Roc, have fun with it all, and then there are the people that take everything far too seriously. (Two Step, we're looking at you!)
Roc is a ladies man, after all.
To his credit, things that people feel Roc should be ashamed of, he's very much not. Those embarrassing moments? Not so. Generally it's folks taking life too seriously, or not understanding what it is to roleplay. Roc stands by the things he's said and done, is very principled in that regard. He explains those moments very well, and you come out of it feeling wrong for ever doubting him. I think that's a very respectable quality.
Then the interview finished up with some discussion of CREST. Roc is (or has been) a third-party developer (think Capsuleer for the iPhone) and is well-versed in the EVE API. He has a great deal of knowledge in what third-party developers can offer CCP, if given the tools to develop rich and useful applications. CREST is certainly becoming more a forefront issue with CCP, and having Roc in on that dialogue would be valuable.
If not for his principles, Roc could very well run as the CREST candidate.
Roc is well-worth your consideration. Listen to the interview. I doubt you'll come away not impressed.
This article is not a transcript of the interview. It's paraphrased. It's interpreted. It's sprinkled with my own opinions. I do strongly suggest taking thirty-three minutes out of your day to listen to the interview yourself.
Credit to Xander for the interview. At any rate, and judge Roc for yourself.
At the very least, these moments have shown Xander to be an able interviewer, and while interested in being respectful to his guests, he's not interested in giving them a comfortable forum devoid of any challenges.
This series of interviews is definitely a first for the EVE community and a CSM election. It's certainly nothing we've seen before, not even during a CSM tenure. Xander has proven himself to be an able caretaker for this process.