PvP, to me, has 2 main components. First is that it requires two consenting parties for it to be acceptable. Second, is that it’s primarily focused around competition, and is often used for anti-social behavior.
First off, you should know I’m a fiscal conservative and social liberal. I am ok with 2 people doing what they want, as long as there is consent. There is a lot of argument around what consent is and what it isn’t, and in particular at what age you can actually understand the implications of consent. It is not possible to give consent when you are intoxicated, for example.
Real world example in Canada at the moment; Jian Ghomeshi is a fairly popular radio DJ for the CBC, a crown corp new broadcaster. You might remember him from the Billy Bob interview. Well, last week he was fired from the CBC, and news is slowly trickling in to as why. TLDR; he had admitted to being inclined to BDSM for some time. The other parties are claiming a lack of consent on these relationships. And in this particular case, there’s the whole position of power issue. I’ll let the courts settle it but this is likely to be a watershed event for Canadian law.
Most people’s understanding of BDSM is from the movies or from 50 Shades of Grey. Something taboo in the dark corners that someone else does, 100 km away from civilized society. Hearing that a Canadian icon is into this, and not ashamed of it is pushing it to the limelight. I don’t mind the activity as long as both parties consent. The main issue, from my perspective at least, is that people’s understanding of the act, and thereby their consent, is flawed. There is a massive difference between asking someone if they like “rough sex” and “do you want to be choked to the point of passing out”. There are shades of BDSM and what someone would find acceptable, you can’t really dial it to 11 with someone you just met unless you were really descriptive as to what it meant.
When you look at PvP, it’s a similar boat. What does PvP actually mean? Does it mean even footed battlegrounds, where stats and skills are normalized? Does it mean territorial control? Does it mean greifing and exploiting? Does it mean meta-PvP such as the multiple cases in EVE ISK scams? When you are clicking the EULA, it certainly doesn’t state any of that. You actually have to play (or read about other players) to understand the event and when (if) you can actually give consent.
In some PvE games, you need to flag for PvP and willingly embark. In the more sandbox type games, just logging in is considered consent. And your consent is usually backed up by an exchange of money to the developer…
This one has two sub components. The structured PvP, governed by rules – which is what e-sports are based upon – is the one I think most people are interested in. At least, it’s the one that dominates the market globally, though less so in NA. The other part is the anti-social stuff, or wild-west if you will. Bullying and griefing falls into this bucket, including all sorts of harassment.
I don’t mind the first one as again, it’s predicated on consent and the rules make it clear on the engagement and results. You know clearly before engagement the limit of the activity and how a winner is declared (if there is one). PvP battlegrounds and realm warfare fits into this. LoL, WoT, MOBAs, CoD are all based on this model. Though competition and failure, people progress. Either you’re competing against yourself or someone else – you need a target goal.
The anti-social side is where the crap happens. Trash talk, harassment, bullying, corpse camping, theft, meta-PvP, murder sprees, destruction for no gain are all some examples. This isn’t exclusive from the structured PvP in any way. You’ll find graveyard campers and trash talkers a plenty in that model. But some games are built with only this in mind. DayZ is a really solid example where the PvP is so rule-less that no one can progress outside of gangs. If you see someone, you kill them and loot them, plain and simple. There is no other goal in the game, no point of building progress as the risk of loss far outweighs any potential gains. EvE has this problem with AWOXers, where personal corporations do not want to invite new players as they pose a greater risk than a benefit.
I get why people want to play games that allow you to do this. CoD allows indiscriminate headshots right? No real-world benefit to this. It’s fantasy fulfillment. We need it as an outlet. I’m onboard with the concept and I see why people would want to participate.
I just won’t consent to it and participate. Lack of player consent is where some developers are trying to find new ways to address bad players.
LoL’s tribunal was set up to mitigate this activity. Get reported enough, get sent to tribunal, face a potential ban. It’s not working though, since the ban puts people in the unranked games, which causes even more grief. XBOX Live has a ranking system where only the worst ranked people play together, a sort of cesspit of society if you will. I haven’t heard news on it but the principle makes sense. AA has a penalty box, where you go to a tribunal of sorts then have to sit in-game for a period of time – I think the most I’ve seen was 12 hours. I think it’s a good thought but the penalties are much too lenient.
I don’t play EvE, Darkfall or AA because I don’t like the anti-social aspect and the lack of structure. I think they each offer a decent take on the whole sandbox structure mind you. Still, I won’t consent to that type of PvP and since each of those games doesn’t give you an option of consent, outside of logging on, I see no reason to play. There are plenty of other options out there.