Friday, May 14, 2010

Vid's PermaBan and Other Banning Perplexities...

~~Alrighty...I know I'm guilty of looooong posts, and this is no different, but please bear with me for a bit -- I'm sorry for the lack of LOLcat pics and sparkly gif images, but please give me a moment:~~

OK. So by now we pretty much all know about Vid's permaban. Most of us like and respect Vid and feel really shitty about the whole thing. But no matter what you may personally think of her or the situation that CAUSED the perma, it should be glaringly obvious that something is seriously rotten with the terms of this ban.

Does anyone else find issue with the fact that EA forbids any further contact regarding a permaban, none whatsoever?
On the TS3 Forum, how many documented cases are there of simmers being wrongfully/unfairly banned? One need only sift through a couple months worth of posts over there (and posts all over the simming blogosphere) for proof. It's happened to many (or most) of us. And some of us (me included, and apparently Vid too) have received emails DIRECTLY FROM EA apologizing for the mistake and correcting it in some way. In my own case, the EA rep assured me that the mistake would be NOTED on my EA account as a mistake.

So let's say a person receives a ban and ends up disputing it, and in turn EA reps discover an error and acknowledge it. The ban is lifted, or at least note it as a mistake. Ban #2 rolls around for this same simmer, but this time it is a PERMA. Same stupid type of mistake, same circumstances, on NOW the simmer can't dispute AT ALL, and no further contact regarding the matter will be acknowledged.

In the name of eff burning hell, WHAT SENSE DOES THAT HONESTLY MAKE? How is it at ALL beneficial to the corporation from an economic standpoint? From a PR standpoint? Strategically? Ethically? Anything...?

Mistakes happen. People make them, and corporations make them. The Gurus who oversee all the banning-related issues on the forum are FLAWED HUMAN BEINGS just like the rest of us, and of course are prone to making.........say it with me.....MISTAAAAAAKES. So it is utterly and COMPLETELY within the realm of possibility that an inflicted permaban COULD BE ERRONEOUS, AND COULD BE UNFAIR/UNJUST.

If that is the case, a person should have the right to appeal. Period. These are paying customers we're talking about here, the lifeblood of the Sims franchise. It is OUR dollars that keep EA's coffers full to bursting, hard economic downturn or not. They have turned more profit in the past than high-dollar escorts turn tricks.

The banning system on the TS3 Forum is fatally flawed. Nuff said. Flawed. The people in charge of the bannings are imperfect and not at ALL impartial, and have CONSISTENTLY been proven to overreact and misjudge. GuruHydra has made posts about the situation, and most simmers are well aware that the banning system is little more than an anomoly -- there are NO CLEAR CUT GUIDELINES as to what will constitute a warning, a ban, or a perma. NONE. There is no reliable structure, no system of points or demerits or anything similar. You just cross your fingers and hold on to your ass, hoping like hell that you won't get banned for something as asinine as saying the word "hack" (like with my own ban earlier this year).

So these fatally flawed 'Gurus' who are in charge of the banning system have the power to permaban a person. And the effects of a perma are fairly far reaching -- if you have an EA account linked to another game, say Dragon Age or Mass Effect -- you are also banned on THOSE servers. In theory, a permaban on the TS3 site could affect dozens of your games, if they are EA games and if you have online accounts associated with them. Nauseating much?

Can we say "Monopoly"? Because that's what we're looking at here. A ban on the TS3 forum will have negative consequences with any other EA sanctioned game you play online. Why should it, particularly considering how ridiculously flawed and haphazard the current banning system is??? Go to jail, do not pass go, do not collect your fucking $200 (in sim points) and moronic little badge.

So what do they have to gain by all of this? We could say that they're clearing up space on the forum (by getting rid of as many simmers as possible) to save bandwidth or something, but that makes no sense. We could say that they're just mean little assholes with an axe to grind...that seems a little more accurate. But truthfully, I'm not sure we'll EVER know that answer to that question, other than declaring that there IS no benefit and there ARE no gains.

All they succeed in doing is alienating a huge section of their fanbase, those of us who are more than willing to shell out the big bucks for legitimate copies of these bogus, glitchy games. Is that good business practice? They surely must think so.  Their investors surely HOPE so.

The banning system needs a serious and thorough overhaul. Whoever is in charge of that segment of the forum needs to be moved to a different department (to fuck up somewhere else), fired, or at least tarred & feathered. For all we know the cleanup crew could be running the bans (and that is no disrespect to the hardworking people who have to clean up after those EA bastards everyday, just an example).

I understand that the TS3 forum is supposed to be rated E and is a family-friendly environment. Sunshine, sparkles, unicorns, and all that fluffy jazz. But people aren't exactly being banned for talking about how they got showered on at the bukkake party last night or how the buzz is better with White Widow than Purple Power or Bubblegum. People are just posting funny (safe) pics or smileys and making silly suggestions. And others are just being attacked because some low life has his finger on The Button and apparently has NOTHING better to do with his time than ban and perma innocent people. Annoying much?

I don't know what else to say about all of this other than it is one of THE MOST asinine, unbelievably ridiculous, almost laughable (if it wasn't so damn sad) situations I have heard of in a long time (and that's saying A LOT). To terminate someone's account with such FINALITY under such unstable, UNRELIABLE, unjust circumstances is just too far. Say what you will about how much or how little any of this really matters (that's not lost on me either), but it's MUCH too flawed to be even remotely fair.

We need to do something about this. I don't know what and I don't know how...but it's waaaaay past time to do SOMETHING.


  1. I enjoy reading this Cel and so agree of course.

  2. You go Cel! Great post.

    But damn your critters on the side of the page. I'm so OCD, I can't leave without feeding them. XD

  3. LOL! I'm sorry for my irresistible critters Evie ^_^ I tend to feed them whenever I'm hungry myself...which is quite a bit!

    I'm glad you enjoyed it Vid :D I'm sad to say that your perma doesn't SURPRISE me because I also thought you'd end up perma'd over something silly. But it does frustrate the hell outta me. The system stinks.

  4. yay go cel! woot woot! EA srsly needs to do a "cleansing" before any more innocent simmers get banned.

  5. cleansing of their staff that is.... xD or trolls lol

  6. You keep doing what you are doing Cel! Posting, telling people, making them aware of the wrongs going on with EA the forums the game...all of it!! If we sit quietly on our arse's it will never get fixed. That's why I implore every owner of every blog, forum and website to make mention of the injustice that continues to follow on the butt of EA and is directly aimed at it's consumers, us, the customers!