I Want a Shot at Redemption

2020-09-24

Header art by Quendan Comari.

I need a photo-opportunity

I want a shot at redemption

Don’t want to end up a cartoon

In a cartoon graveyard – from “Call Me Al” by Paul Simon

On September 16 CCP announced changes to its permaban policy. INN covered the breaking news, but the story was framed in a particularly interesting way.

The typical phrasing for a news hit can be characterized as intentionally mundane:

  • Upcoming Abyssal Proving Grounds Events
  • Rolling Thunder – New Update on 22 Sep
  • Depths of the Abyss – Now Live

These headlines typify CCP’s style: quick, informative, rather dull. “Capsuleer Redemption” strikes a completely different tone. “Redemption” is a religious term, one that comes with the idea of having fallen into a state of sin. To be “redeemed” is to be forgiven and to once again enter a state of grace. 

Other elements of the article reinforce the religious nature of the second chance: “Our goal is to provide those pilots [one permabanned] with a shot at redemption and an opportunity to return to New Eden.” Again referencing “redemption” and “Eden” brings to mind the original fall from grace presented in the story of Adam and Eve being permabanned from the first Eden. Many great masters painted this scene, including Benjamin West, whose “The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise” is displayed below. 

The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise, Benjamin West, 1791.

The expulsion from heaven, in Christian myth, was the event that triggered the original need for redemption. It constitutes, then, the first and most egregious sin. When God discovers Adam and Eve’s sin, they are driven out of the Garden of Eden, forced to find a new home. CCP has played on this mythology already with the name of the game’s universe: New Eden. It’s a new universe, a place where the fallen will be welcomed.

Even the new hit’s accompanying art signals a religious overtone. The image shows a darkened, backlit capsuleer, head bowed as if in prayer. Behind him, a light shines like the dawn of a new era. While the capsuleer inhabits the darkened space of the tomb or womb, the light behind him represents the redemption that can awaken the capsuleer and provide an answer to his prayers.

CCP’s header art for the Redemption program has some religious overtones of its own.

But why embed such religious language and symbolic imagery into what is ultimately just a policy change? The first paragraph of the news release suggests the answer: “After two years of this zero-tolerance policy, there have been instances whose outcomes did not reflect the good intentions we envisaged when we first implemented this policy.” While the phrases are vague (“instances whose outcomes” for example), they suggest that CCP itself felt the need for a dose of redemption for some of the things it had done. 

Needing a second chance to make things right may have prompted the developers to think in terms of punishment vs. rehabilitation. To further establish the religious connection, the announcement concludes with a quote from Thomas Aquinas, the noted Christian theologian of the 13th century: “Justice without mercy is cruelty.” 

Throughout the article, then, CCP reinforces the Christian symbolism. Perhaps they also had in mind some Biblical passages:

  • John 8:7: “He that is without sin among you, let him cast a stone. . .” 
  • Mathew 6: 11-12: “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”

Regardless, New Eden may see formerly-banned players flying among the stars again, no longer cartoons in the cartoon graveyard.

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Comments

  • Marus

    Just in time for gigX to kick some goony goon asses 🙂

    September 24, 2020 at 4:43 PM
    • Guilford Australis Marus

      GigX no longer has an alliance. Co2 disbanded two years ago. And after the eviction in 2018, the attempt to return as “the gigX,” the new ban, “it was my wife playing, not me,” and all the pointless BS line members had to endure because of this person’s vanity and incompetence, I doubt many former members will run back into his arms even if he tries to reform the alliance.

      I guess he can go be an F1 monkey for Horde.

      September 24, 2020 at 5:01 PM
    • Moomin Amatin Marus

      Nice to see a member of the Gigx hit squad that was going to cause harm to The Judge at the next CSM meeting at CCP offices in Iceland. Given your support of Gigx I take it I am correct?

      Before anyone comments on “the heat of the moment” you should know that Gigx has history with such behaviour. If you are fine with this behaviour then you are likely already fighting on the side of PAPI, so see you in 1DQ.

      September 25, 2020 at 8:21 AM
    • Fuck gigX.

      September 26, 2020 at 4:15 PM
  • Garreth Vlox

    CCP must really be worried about subscriber numbers

    September 24, 2020 at 10:57 PM
  • Alaric Faelen

    Wait, they were so bad they got not just banned but perma-banned….but Eve Online really needs those people back? The game just isn’t as good without racists, internet tough guys making threats, and botters? Is that what CCP is telling us?
    This stinks of being about a couple very specific players. Players with connections in CCP to overturn punishments dealt and forgotten about by everyone else. Who, EXACTLY, asked for this? Where are the forum and Reddit megathreads with massive player support for this move? There aren’t any. This is just another ‘totally random and not at all suspicious’ move by the same company that had to create a CSM due to their cheating.
    CCP expects a flood of returning banned players? No…they are doing this on behalf of someone specific– watch who comes back and starts throwing lots of RL money around and you’ll see who this change was made for.

    September 24, 2020 at 11:57 PM