The player responsible for encouraging the harassment of a suicidal gamer has apologized, and announced his intentions to consider resignation.
It’s just like that age-old adage: Gaming conventions are all fun and games until an influential player gets drunk, dons a wizard cap, and encourages people to harass a deeply depressed gamer until he commits suicide. Such were the events of last weekend’s 2012 Eve FanFest, during which the chairman of the Eve Online Council of Stellar Management, Alexander Gianturco (perhaps better known as “The Mittani”) went on a five-minute-long bullying tirade against a recently-divorced player whom his group had recently blown apart in game. A “dramatic” reading of the player’s reaction to the death culminated in Gianturco muttering the following: “Incidentally, if you want to make the guy kill himself, his name is [REDACTED]. He has his own Corp. Find him.” Now, amidst the PR fallout of his actions, Gianturco has written a detailed apology for what he considers to be his “unacceptable” behavior.
Gianturco’s first public response to events came in the form of a Tweet, presumably posted as he stepped off his airplane home from the event. “Just landed,” he wrote. “Step one, apologize profusely. Step two, resign. Step three, send all my isk to the victim. Entirely my fault and unacceptable.”
Shortly after, Gianturco took to the official Eve Online forums where he issued a more in depth apology:
“This has been hanging over my head since Thursday when I stumbled away from the Alliance Panel with a vague sense that I had done something horrible. I didn’t know the extent of how much of a shitheel I had been until today, when footage of the presentation went up. As many of you now know, I gave out the in-game character name of a Mackinaw miner if anyone had wanted to blow him up – except that I was so smashed that I didn’t recall exactly what I said (as anyone who was there can tell you). When I came to the forums the other day and saw threads complaining about my behavior – not remembering what I’d said – I assumed that I was enduring the usual anti-Goonswarm trolls, and posted something like “deal with it~” in my usual ‘The Mittani’ way.
Then I landed, and saw the article listing my actual quote.
I feel absolutely ashamed of my behavior at the Alliance Panel. It’s one thing to play a villain in an online roleplaying game – when I post on these forums or on twitter, I usually do so as ‘The Mittani’, and do my level best to convince everyone that I’m an unrepentant space villain, as that kind of facade provides an in-game advantage to me and my alliance. But I am not that character in real life, as anyone who has met me can attest. I went way, way, /way/ past the line on Thursday night by mocking the Mackinaw miner at a real-life event. I, as a person, am not the entity that I play in EVE; I am not actually a sociopath or a sadist, and I certainly don’t want people to kill themselves in real life over an internet spaceship game, no matter what I may say or do within the game itself. CCP may say ‘EVE is Real’, but EVE is not real – and the line between the game and reality should not be overstepped.
I’m relieved to discover that the Mackinaw miner is doing fine and mining away, despite being blown up by Goonswarm in-game. He deserves, and he has, my heartfelt apologies – here in public as well as a private apology. There’s no excuse for what I did – while some might try to use my inebriation as a mitigating factor, I put myself in that compromised mental state, and the guilt of that is entirely mine.
“If I could go back in time and not have included the slide mentioning the miner, I would do so. While the Eve Online character “The Mittani” would never apologize for any sort of villany in game, I myself, as Alex Gianturco, feel utterly ashamed and sickened by my behavior.”
While Gianturco failed to confirm his resignation within the post, he later revealed that he is currently “considering” the action while the other members of the Council have a chance to examine and comment on his actions. You can find the video of Gianturco’s controversial presentation in the video above, beginning around the one hour and twelve minute mark.