Header Art by Major Sniper
I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word and deed
We all make mistakes; no one is perfect. Has not everyone reading this article not admitted to someone else “I fucked up. I’m going to try and do better; please forgive me?” It’s a natural thing to do, as humans, to recognize our failures and to try and do better. It’s natural to apologize to those we’ve hurt, to keep our relationships strong. We also crave absolution and forgiveness, to know that it’s going to be okay, that our mistake hasn’t caused irreparable harm. Why then can CCP not manage to do any of these?
Now, stay with me, I’ll get us there, but first we need to go back to October 31st, 1517. Martin Luther, rather upset with certain practices of the Roman Catholic Church, specifically indulgences, decided to—unbeknownst to him—kick off the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther also, unwittingly, provided a convenient excuse to a multitude of nobles and monarchs who were chafing under the power of the Catholic Church. Additionally, these nobles and monarchs realized if they could kick out the church, they could take the church’s stuff. The lure of power and wealth together was just too good to pass up. Some of them might have even believed in the reformation
So, in Denmark, King Christian III took over the religion of the country from the Holy See. More importantly, King Christian III was also the ruler of Iceland, a territory of Denmark. And King Christian III kicked the Catholics out of Iceland, including executing the bishop and his two sons. (Rome was a long way away from Reykjavik.)
Examination of Conscience
There are very few groups that do guilt like Catholics. The basic premise of the religion is that God became man and then died painfully to give the forgiveness of sins. I have never, ever been to a mass where this issue wasn’t highlighted multiple times. Yes, I am a Roman Catholic. I mentioned to my priest during my first Lent after conversion that “no one really does guilt like Catholics.” He was almost in tears when he replied, “That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.”
The order of mass, the sacrament of reconciliation (confession), the rosary, and other things all serve to remind a Catholic that ‘you are a sinner, don’t forget it. Be better.’
Funny story: I grew up protestant. Protestant guilt isn’t a thing.
Since King Christian purged Iceland of the Catholics in 1550, Iceland has enjoyed several centuries of guilt free living. Not only that, but Iceland, being such an isolated rock in the North Atlantic, has developed its own, very distinct culture. The Mittani even alluded to this on the Meta Show’s Winter of Discontent: Iceland is very non-confrontational. They are not only non-confrontational to each other, they are non confrontational to themselves.
Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned
In the late 2000s in America, the famous pizza company Dominos launched a new advertising campaign: We’re Sorry for Sucking. It was true; Dominos pizza sucked. The CEO of the company featured in video ads where he admitted that the customers were right. Their crust tasted like cardboard; their sauce was blander than ketchup; their cheese was one step above imitation cheese.
They admitted their faults, but more importantly, they corrected their course. Dominos introduced a new recipe for their crust, better quality of toppings, and a bolder, more flavorful sauce. Let me repeat that; it’s important. Dominos admitted they sucked, and then made pizza that didn’t suck. If someone had invested 1 million USD in Dominos right before their sorry campaign, that investment would have been worth 47 million USD a decade later.
It can be hard to admit one’s fault and ask for forgiveness. After not going to confession for well over a year due to covid, and being willing to cop to pretty much every sin except murder, I was very hesitant to go. So, when I, after confessing to everything short of murder, recieved only three Hail Marys as penance, I actually asked the priest, “That’s it?”
CCP hasn’t apologized since Hilmar had the fiction team write something after the Summer of Rage. Their modus operandi has been to double down, never admit fault, and attack their critics. In a way it reminds me of another notable figure, though the name escapes me right now.
Blackout, Chaos Era, everything ex-CCP Greyscale did, Incarna, Valkyrie, Dust 514, World of Darkness; the list of CCP’s mistakes is long. The number of times ex-CCP Falcon attacked and insulted players on reddit for daring to criticize CCP, is greater still. CCP Rattati apparently went to the same school of public relations that Falcon did.
We can, and do rightly blame CCP for their failings, but let’s also remember to blame Martin Luther. CCP needs to get some of that guilt Iceland purged hundreds of years ago. The first step to self improvement is humility.