Swindle: To use deception to deprive (someone) of money or possessions

A few weeks back, TheMittani.com reported the story of Pooki Bear (now Doomheimed) duping YourDread43 into a Titan loss. Swindle specifics can be found here: https://www.themittani.com/news/imperium-drops-ex-pl-avatar-cloud-ring

What captivated me was not the swindle itself, but rather the top rated comment from a fellow named Bill:
One of the things that I am proud of about my Eve career (started playing in July, 2003) is that I’ve managed that entire time without abusing someone’s trust for advantage in a video game. When you “convince him that it’s safer to travel as a neutral”, you’re not lying to a character. You’re lying to a human being, and you’re using whatever trust you’ve managed to build with him against him. So, it netted you a Titan kill. Go you.

I’m probably just old, but I think that someone who would do that to you for a Titan kill would do it for a promotion too, or whatever advantage they could get, as long as their cowardly soul felt safe from repercussions. It’s been fun playing Eve while not being like that, or being accepting of it in those with whom I’ve chosen to associate. If I tell you that you can join my corp, and I’ll help you get your Titan safe, you can take that to the bank, because it’s me, a man, telling you that, not a character in a video game.

Bill’s comment strikes me as both stunningly accurate and terribly confused at the same time.

Moral Posturing:
Unlike the cowardly souls criticized, Bill informs us that he’s trustworthy because he talks Man to Man. Well thank you Bill, how noble of you.  Though . . . the last time someone approached me ‘Man to Man’ it ended up being little but prelude to suggestion we skirt petty real life law for ‘unquestionably honorable’ purpose. Such is often the problem with Moral Posturing. While the posturer believes they’re shoring up their position, observers of the labor see not strengthened position but rather self serving peacock strut.

Accurate but Incomplete:
“you’re not lying to a character. You’re lying to a human being” True, though I would add that you’re deceiving a human being playing a video game. A video game that incorporates deception. I appreciate that Bill shuns deception while playing Eve. Having the room to approach the game on one’s own terms is one of Eve’s most appealing aspects. That said, I’m often puzzled what leads people like Bill to obscure that, despite such room, Eve still remains a space pixel game. Some thoughts come to mind . . .

Vehicle to the Real:
Perhaps Bill believes how one acts in Eve is indicative of one’s True Soul. Offhandedly going from a player swindling another player in game to that same player proceeding similarly in real life profession promotion situations certainly indicates such belief. Unlike Bill, I’m a little dubious about how well a video game reveals how one will act outside the video game. The situations seem importantly different to me.

Vehicle to the Real – Two:
Still, Bill is on to something since time spent remains time spent. If someone devotes lavish time each week setting up space pixel swindles, it would be bizarre to claim that doesn’t tell us something important about them.

Vehicle to the Real – Three:
When examining puzzlements, I sometimes find it helpful to switch things around and look from the other side. If spending a great deal of in game time engaged in what would be real life ethically questionable activities yields important results, one would think spending similar amounts of in game time engaged in what would be real life ethically honorable activities yields equally important results. Once again, I have my doubts. If I may be a little trollish . . .

At the moment of judgment, when you stand before Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates do you genuinely believe the keeper of the keys to the kingdom is going to give “I played the good guy in Eve Online” any serious weight? I don’t suspect “I spent years fighting the depredations of the Imperium via glorious space pixel combat” will budge St. Peter one iota.

Vehicle to the Real – Four:
If, like me, you’re one to meditate on why they spend a great deal of time playing a game like Eve Online, you’ll probably be tempted to draw some conclusions about what it all means. For someone of my psychological peculiarities, one conclusion drawn is that Eve Online provides a wonderfully delicate dance. While the game itself is not real, what people do around the game is very real. Friendships generated around the game are genuine friendships. In this sense, Eve *can* be a truly valuable vehicle to the real. Not because of what it reveals, but rather because of what it enables.

A Closing of Sorts:

People like Bill quote Frederick William Faber, “Every moment of resistance to temptation is a victory.”

People like me quote Roald Dahl, “Life is more fun if you play games.”

I leave you to decide which approach you prefer.