One of EVE Online’s prominent politicians, who also happens to be a political lobbyist in real life, has been banned from the game for engaging in corruption.
According to developer CCP Games, Brian Schoeneman – known in-game as Brisc Rubal – has been permanently banned for “sharing confidential information with a member of his alliance that was later used by another alliance member to conduct illicit in-game transactions.”
As reported by PC Gamer, Schoeneman was until the ban a member of EVE Online’s Council of Stellar Management (CSM). If you’re unfamiliar with EVE Online, the huge space-faring MMO has its own government made up of elected players, who help CCP Games design new features and updates.
Thanks to his real-life career as a maritime political lobbyist, Schoeneman was well equipped with the skills required to be part of the CSM. The Council represents the wishes of EVE’s players, much like how real-life lobbyists communicate the desires of their members to the United States government. Schoeneman even used his career experiences as a prominent part of his EVE Online election campaign.
Alongside Schoeneman’s permanent ban, two other players known as Dark Shines and Pandoralica have received year-long bans. All ISK (EVE’s currency) and goods associated with the scandal have been confiscated from their accounts. All parties involved claim to be innocent.
“As a licensed attorney for nearly a decade, I have never had a complaint filed against me,” says Schoeneman in a post on the EVE Online subreddit. “I have served in positions of public trust in the United States Government and have never had a complaint filed against me. The claims that I would risk my reputation by providing proprietary or otherwise confidential information to members of my own alliance for personal gain are false.”
“I will fight these false allegations, restore my reputation and seek all avenues for recourse available to me for these reckless actions,” he adds.
CCP’s statement says: “This misconduct was brought to us by the CSM themselves as an immediate threat to the integrity of the CSM as an institution. CCP’s stance on this is clear: regardless of the type of information shared, acts like this go against everything that the Council of Stellar Management stands for and will not be tolerated under any circumstances.”
Members of the Council of Stellar Management are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement, since their discussions with CCP can often reveal unannounced details about the future of EVE Online’s development. While details are still a little hazy, it appears that Schoeneman broke his NDA, sharing details that allowed for insider trading.
Part of the joy of EVE Online is the political back-stabbing and the wars between rival factions. But while CCP is often content to sit back and watch their community Game of Thrones themselves into the abyss, there are clearly laws that not even the CSM are above.
Matt Purslow is IGN UK’s News and Entertainment Writer, and fondly remembers when EVE players blew up a space station worth $10,000. You can follow him on Twitter.
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