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Monday, September 12, 2011

Is CCP the victim of displacement?

I don't believe anyone can dispute that we are living in stressful times. The last several years have especially been hard on people all over the world. Let me recount some of the major issues, in no significant order, for those who may have been AFK:

  • Japan suffers a massively catastrophic natural disaster that creates the second worse nuclear accident in history.
  • The Arab Spring sees violence spread across the middle east resulting in civil disobedience, civil war and the toppling of some very long time governments.
  • Western economies continue to tack a shellacking. Austerity measures in England and Greece and the threat of austerity measures in Italy bring riots and chaos to the streets.
  • In the United States, fundamentalism sweeps into public office in 2010 in the guise of the Tea Party. The vulnerable economic recover falters as "no" becomes the new word for compromise.
  • Climate Change ramps up as the unprecedented melt-down of our planet continues.
  • Iceland votes to default on its debt obligations (I add this to show that CCP employees are also stressed by factors beyond their control.)
To say that tension levels are high is an understatement. None of us knows what's coming next. With all this turmoil and unhappiness in the world, I wonder how much of it gets shifted. We can't do anything about the uncertainty the envelopes us due to events beyond our control. However, we can shift our anxiety to more readily available targets that will actually respond to our need for acknowledgement.

Sigmund Freud called this Verschiebung. In English, psychologists call it displacement. Wikipedia defines it as,
In Freudian psychology, displacement (German Verschiebung, 'shift' or 'move') is an unconscious defense mechanism whereby the mind redirects affects from an object felt to be dangerous or unacceptable to an object felt to be safe or acceptable. The term originated with Sigmund Freud.
I think ranting at a dehumanized corporation would strike anyone as safe. In today's economic climate caused largely by corporate greed, it would also be very acceptable to to so. The article goes on to say,
Displacement operates in the mind unconsciously and involves emotions, ideas, or wishes being transferred from their original object to a more acceptable substitute.
Is it beyond belief that perhaps some, if not most, of the ire capsuleers are directing at CCP is misdirected? We are all unable to do anything about the calamities surrounding us. That is why we escape into EVE. But then, just when we thought we were safe from the tempests our daily lives have become, CCP seems to act like the very antagonists we are powerless to stop. They won't do as we want. They marginalize our desires and they mute our voices. And, since most of us won't riot in the streets, we riot in Jita.

If that doesn't take the term "sand box" to a new level, I don't know what does.

Next time you want to rage in the face of CCP, gauge your personal anxiety level before launching. It may not be CCP's behavior you are truly upset about. EVE is just a game. What does it really matter if we don't get a shiny new Internet spaceship every six months? Play the game for what it is, not what you think it should be. No one is cheating you out of anything besides make-believe ISK. Just chill. If you don't enjoy the game any more - leave. No one will forcibly stop you with tanks or bombs or freedom stealing "laws." And you'll be a lot happier for it. I guarantee.

Fly careful.

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