One of the fundamental aspects that I do not think people fully appreciate about the Goons in EVE Online is their origin in the Something Awful forums.
To join Goonswarm in EVE, you need to be an active and contributing member of the SA community, which pretty much means being active on the forums. The Mittani wrote a column describing the difference between groups like the Goons, who come to the game already part of a community, and those he refers to as the “EVE born,” a group that includes me, which comes to EVE and then begins forming communities… or not forming them and finding EVE to be a dark and lonely place.
But my point, or something like a point, is that Goons are drawn from a base of people who are, for lack of a better term, forum warriors. They stem from a community that has its base in forums. So it is always mildly amusing to me to see somebody exasperated by the fact that, when they post something clearly counter to Goon interest, like Trebor’s anti-bloc (or anti-Goon) voting proposal, they get blobbed by Goons posting challenges to it in the forums.
I think we need a new saying, something equivalent to the Mark Twain quote about never getting in an argument with somebody who buys ink by the barrel and paper by the ton, to cover the modern world. In Twain’s day, the editor of a newspaper wielded a lot of power by his ability to get his words printed and out to people in a way that no other method could match. In EVE, taking on an articulate, motivated, and forum focused community has similar issues.
All of which is probably not exactly news or even of interest to most people. But I started thinking about this in the aftermath of the Glenn Beck “Goonswarm = CIA” story last week.
Predictably, the Goons were annoyed at their own being included in Beck’s fantasies and, among other things, mobbed the comments section related to the story on Glenn Beck’s site. A very forum warrior style of response.
But I wonder if that was the best riposte to Beck’s attack?
As far as I can tell, Glenn Beck is all about getting attention for Glenn Beck. He is trying for the status of living brand, making him a political Martha Stewart. So I have to wonder if this was a win in his eyes, what with all the page views and nearly 300 comments on the story, which looks to be about 10-20x what other items on his site get.
I suppose we’ll know if he brings up the vast Goonswarm conspiracy again.
I also wonder what Dave Emory made of the same situation? While being diametrically opposed politically to Glenn Beck, he also sees the hand of the CIA in just about everything. I might have to go find out. It would be, if nothing else, amusing to have two polar opposite sources claiming the Goons were in bed with the CIA.
Addendum: Of course, then there is the New York Times putting the CIA in the picture as well. So it’s got to be true, right?