Why the CSM Matters -Reform Before Dissolution

There were a lot of people on the Brisc Rubal thread saying that the CSM should be disbanded. While I do agree with some of the criticisms, I adamantly assert that the institution is mutually beneficial for the players and the devs. Thus, I’d rather see the Brisc Rubal incident be a catalyst for positive change, than justification for it’s dissolution. Anyway, I made a video about it, so I won’t regurgitate my whole argument here.

Why the CSM Matters (YouTube)


Another thoughtful presentation. I kind of wish that most EVE players could be forced to watch this, if even only to stimulate more activity in the upcomming elections. Unfortunately, I can’t see CCP offering a better representative structure for the CSM, nor do I see the CSM itself advocating for changes into a system they currently use to their (nullsec) advantage.

I, too, wish that the CSM would be more responsive or communitive to the overall EVE community; I’m sure they’re quite responsive and willing to discuss (within the NDA,ofc) with all those of their alliance/corp, but Brisc has been the only one from CSM 13 to actively seek out input from all groups who play EVE.

Keep producing your vids; quite informative and thought provoking.


Close it for a year nothing wasted current system doesn’t represent player base
It is a PR mess null sec handout and a tool for CCP to ignore majority of problems and players.

No one should vote for continuation of current system except its benefactors mainly specific null sec groups and CCP them self’s.


The voting idea in the video definitely has merit however I would have concerns though that it would still be to open to gaming from certain blocs as they could and probably would, still send out how to vote to members to gain those positions by affiliation, which if it’s within the rules good for them, but it’s back to the status quo. Another option maybe CCP could bring in focus groups for a discussion similar to round tables when needed, and for someone to be on it they would have to demonstrate that that is specifically their area of play.

Will admit on one hand I want to see the CSM dissolved as currently it is not representative of all areas of the game, however on the other hand to an extent it is a way for players to bring ideas to the attention of CCP through official channels like the CSM section on the forums, however CSM members are rarely on the official forums so who knows. Whichever way it goes at the very least members should be more active on the forums and not solely on reddit, discord etc like a few of the them. If there was one positive thing to come from this saga, it’s that at least Brisc actively communicated with the players from all parts of the game here, on the official forums.

Good Vid and certainly gets you thinking about the topic which is a good thing to promote discussion.

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Democracy is a mistake. It would be better is CCP simply stuck to a vision for the game, made the only “opinion” that mattered was the one people make with the wallets, and showed leadership in the gaming industry by actually delivering a good game and showing the usual complainers and spergs the door.
But no, everybody had to worship at the altar of democracy.
And the worst kind: representative democracy. Something so easily weaponized that entire organizations spend billions on doing it to entire nations.
Either CCP should take an “our way or the highway” track, or go with direct democracy where everybody has to decide on the course and if there are not enough people making decisions, then no decision is made at all.

We do not elect anyone with any institutionalized power. The CSM is a body of player elected diplomats. They get to speak directly to people with real power, and sign an NDA so they can give their opinion on ideas CCP is not ready to go public with.

Even with the CSM, CCP is free to execute on any vision they have as they see fit. The CSM is a tool they exploit in order to gain information on how best to execute that vision.

The STV system they use to elect members is very fair, and it is hard to say at what point a body of people should be protected from their own choices.

People who are not socially motivated are not voting. Highsec is under-represented partly because many highsec dwellers are only interested in looking out for their own interests and wouldn’t trust a fellow hiseccer to do that for them.

Everyone has these social corps now. If they are being used to be social, then leverage that power to vote in CSM members that closely represent your collective ideals. I think the system works fine, but the people using it could do with a tune-up. I think people can change the makeup of the CSM under the current system if they put as much effort into it as they do into saying they can’t. I think they mean “won’t”.

If we can come up with an objectively better system that can’t be manipulated or abused, then I would be for that, but there is no substitute for a body of responsible, knowledgeable women and men with the motivation to act, and it is up to the individuals that make up a body to put in the effort to meet that standard if it is going to be met. Any system that tries to patch out that requirement lowers the standards of the body its made for by catering to laziness. Such would be my worry, at least.


space are not socially motivated?

above are under represented fully

It doesn’t have nothing to do with states of those areas?
Isk flow decided by CCP who to cater to?
High sec is fundamentally different than null you dont need to form armys of brainless F1 monkeys nor you need to tell them who to vote for…you know democracy is what i tell you it is…:roll_eyes:

…represent game as a whole for a betterment of the same gonna be a better one than playing democracy by telling ppl who to vote for gonna be more balanced focused on solutions not creating more problems and focusing on favorites.

There won’t be any voting system, which can’t be utilized by big organized blocs. Also you never will have a vote by democratic standards with unlimited number of accounts per real person and bribing/dictatorship being the norm. There is absolutely nothing democratic about the CSM election!

Brisc was active in the public and pretending to take feedback, but in fact rejected any arguments against his goon agenda. His platform was on changes to ensure safety of money generation in nullsec blocs (and no, I don’t believe this is only because of self-fulfilling). Wonder why he got executed by his fellow goons …

CCP may think they can use the CSM as a tool for early feedback, but what I see is, that the blocs use the CSM as a tool to ensure their own safety by giving biased feedback. Every change made to the game of the last years was in favor of the big blocs. Except the anomaly respawn timers, which apparently was a CCP decision not talked to the CSM before.

CCP needs to step up and take their own decisions, make focus groups if necessary. The CSM has to go, or make it a non-NDA permanent focus group. Nothing will prevent corruption of the CSM. I can’t even imagine how somebody can be in the CSM and play the game without using the knowledge he has in his brain. Asking people to do decisions against better knowledge just to follow the NDA is unrealistic.


Yep a sham there isn’t really much more to say.

You all have thoughtful points here.

I would consider abolishing of CSM as a step back. Feedback platform towards CCP is beneficial for us players and it is also understandable that CCP wants some form of qualified feedback to help with running EVE efficiently as a business.

But current implementation of the so called democratic CSM is suboptimal and it is also a good example of how democracy works in a banana republic.

Somebody in other thread mentioned to organize better and vote. It seems logical, but unfortunately it’s not realistic expectation, because this is a computer game, not a real life. Good luck in doing so in High-sec. Present system favors status quo which we have.

At the end, my favorite topic democracy and computer game. Because I saw several posts claiming how bad democracy is. One of the fundamental principles necessary for democracy to survive is that all people respect it and strive to preserve it. It actually needs a lot of work from everybody. There is no functional democracy without civil society. Free competition of parties struggling for power is not enough. That only leads to non-informed decisions.

That is where feasibility of democracy in an internet computer game is highly questionable if not impossible (sadly not only in computer games).

Democracy is very vulnerable, and can easily swing into something else if people do not preserve it (not necessarily declaring outside that it is not democracy any more; not necessarily people are aware or care that they don’t live in democracy any more).

Interpretation of Democracy that one party who gets the most votes can steamroll minority is misleading. Minorities shall be respected in democracy, too (no, this doesn’t mean that minority steamrolls majority). There shall be broad discussion before any fundamental changing decisions in order to reach consent as much as possible. That all is incredibly difficult, takes time and is not really definition of effective. Yet, we shall not condemn democracy. It is imperfect for sure, but it is also the best what was introduced so far.

Joseph de Maistre once said that every nation gets the government it deserves. It is chilling after all the years how much true it still is.


Democracy will only ever yield the most popular or influential individuals, not the ones best qualified for a duty. If the most popular people are all imbeciles you will be led by very influential imbeciles. If it was up to me? I would hand pick from among the ISDs those who had helped the most people in-game and make them CSM. No voting or nominations or campaigns. Want to take part in that? You’d better hop in help and rookie chats and start beneficially guiding our noobs.

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Can we set a limit? I understand that the fact is, if you have more people you get more done, but with Goon having majority of the CSM, or any faction for that matter, is rather disheartening. There are plenty of small time groups, corps, alliances that would love to have their opinions heard. At least voiced to some degree even if it is shut down. However, an individual who wants to run for CSM can’t even compete with the voting power that Goon hold. This is why I, and this is just and idea I am bouncing around don’t lynch me for it, I suggest larger factions, or any faction actually, have only 1 member submitted to the CSM. I am leaving Coalitions out of this as it’s hard to track and keep up with who is with who. This means Goonswarm Alliance only has 1 entry, Test gets one entry, stuff like that. Looking at the history of the CSM it is prevalent that we make a change as most of the player base tends to ignore, or not even bother with CSM stuff. Mainly because a large number have the mentality of, “It’s just going to be mostly Goon, they get what they want and screw us.”

This is just something I have seen developing over time and it’s not entirely wrong. Goon do get a lot of what they want and it’s not always in favor of the majority of the players. Personally I haven’t had any negative on me from what they say, but again, this is just a suggestion/idea. Think of it as a way to get far more involved in the CSM matters and not just letting it float by the way side as just, “Another part of the game.”

Well said!

CCP obviously values the CSM - it’s a fairly expensive institution to maintain and they are under no obligation to do so. The concept of the CSM as a gateway between the players and developers is sound but the CSM also acts as a filter and, if 9 of the 10 members represent sovereign Nullsec, the filtering is likely to have a bias toward ideas beneficial to that region.

The NDA is also problematic. While I believe most members are honorable and unlikely to exploit inside knowledge to profit from upcoming changes, I expect they will use the knowledge to avoid loss and sometimes what you don’t do can be just as informative as what you do - especially when several members of the CSM belong to the same organization.

While imperfect, I believe CSM performs a valuable function and I would like to see it continue with changes to insure more balanced representation. I agree that voter apathy is the reason empire space doesn’t dominate the council - but the constituency provides a lot of revenue for CCP and needs fair representation. An election where candidates declare who they will be representing and each constituency is guaranteed a seat on the council with the others chosen as members at large would be a step in the right direction.

As long as CSM after CSM have one ore more corrupt members the value of the CSM is zilc. It should be disbanded indeed for the simple reason they are in the end all in it for their own benefits only.

As designer/developers it is difficult for us to sit and read posts and idea’s all day. You forget, we have jobs to do which involve many aspects of work on games like eve, from graphics and animation, to coding and server management, to design and business, we have a very busy work schedule.

Its not practical for us to read all of the idea’s on the forums, and often the idea’s offered are ignorant of so many moving parts, or are just out right not in harmony with the design philosophy, or budget; things players often do not think about.

When it comes to making changes on games, most of the choices come from the top, from lead designers, or even up to corporate management (executives, and marketing).

Its for these reasons that the CSM provides a vital function to eve.

I do believe as an individual running for csm, there are some serious issues that need to be addressed. It would be interesting to see the null advocate for high sec changes, and high sec for null. I am curious if the “you scratch my back ill scratch yours” mentality will work to help create a less biest, more balanced approach.

I would Do the following changes to the csm had i had control over it.

  • Elect people for their knowledge, create major "plus"s to being a csm for people that have positions in the industry, or previously. This is something ccp is avoiding out of potential legal/sabotage for there is solutions to this problem, and the benefit of knowledge that would come from this is immense. Even if they deffer from this position, they could at least create a 4-6 week crash course on game design that would at least bring the ignorant up to a better level of understanding on how their opinions should be formed.

  • Pay csms a salary. I know it seems silly but giving them a paycheck and mandating some community interaction would help increase their exposure to the communities idea’s and feedback and as a result help tackle more pressing issues. ccp makes 500m a year, they can affording to pay 1-2k a month for a few people (in the bigger scope of things, even at 10 people this is around the pay rate of a single simi-experienced coder), its really not that big of a deal for them to do it.

  • Reduce the numbers to 5. One member for Each Section of Space (Null, Low Sec, High Sec, Wormholes) . Large numbers mix up the opinions and cloud conclusions to much.

    • With smaller numbers i’d focus more on intense feedback, and multiple option selection for csm members (here is option 1,2,3 for this problem, what are pro’s cons for each? which do you like more?). This would result in less predictability for the csms as opposed to "we’re doing this tell us how to make it better).
  • Prevent multiple people from the same organization from holding office. This is a political move for ccp, nothing else. This has no means of benefit for the over all population, just more potential abuse by one organization. Considering that the previous CSM was a goon-alt alliance member, this actually makes 4/13 places on the council goon-affiliated and its likely they were talking and benefiting each other in the background. I’d imagine that “CSM 14” who told on him was actually a member of the goon organization or coalition.

  • Look into removing feedback from area’s the csm lives in. this means if he is a null csm, he should provide feedback on all the locations but null. This way he does not have an invested interest in the changes, and the positions can be more objective.

With these types of systems, there is a large amount of abuse. This abuse happens because csm members have a direct link to feedback on the area of space they live in, In the case of one of the csm members, who is a null coalition leader, has a high chance of abuse with no potential security risk to it as he is a leader and can make chances with out mentioning why or to whom, or having conversations with others about it (@sort)

CCP needs to evaluate these potential forms of abuse and these positions and see if it is better structured to remove the opinion of people for the area of content they normally access.

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I’ll never understand how people are so unaware of how much power a member of the CSM can have. In the end, he has been elected by enough people that these people will listen to him and defend him, unless he breaks his NDA or something.

That’s still power. It’s the same power that gets assholes on twitter to shitstorm someone, no matter how stupid the reason actually is.

Goons are a great example of this kind of power. The troops are being rallied whenever need arises, making it look like a huge amount of people are in support of, or against something.

The fact that no CSM member outside of the goons ever uses this kind of power really doesn’t mean that the CSM is powerless. It just means that the goons are the only ones actually smart enough to use all the people they have … and that, they do. Always.

I figure it’s about time I try to post some replies. The first one turned into a beast, so I’ll try to do another one tomorrow.

TLDR: Those that accuse the entirety of the CSM of being corrupt are committing a broad generalization.

First up, I pointed out in my video that those who asserted that the entire CSM was corrupt were falling victim to the logical fallacy known as a broad generalization. No one tried to argue against this, yet I still received a few comments reiterating the assertion. So, yeah…

Anyway, CCP stated it was the CSM who brought Brisc to their attention, and that they did so because they were concerned with the integrity of the institution. Obviously, this statement contradicts the notion that all CSM’s abuse their power. Of course, I don’t think it’s all that tinfoil hatty to speculate that metagamers saw an opportunity to “assassinate” several powerful members of a rival organization, and that that was the true reason they brought it up. But, we have no evidence that that was their true motivation. In fact, with both the CSM and CCP, we are making judgement calls concerning their integrity and motivations. We are choosing what we believe and accept at face value, and what we attribute to metagaming, propaganda, spin, corporate speak, and/or boldfaced lies.

Unfortunately, Eve is a game that divides us into ingroups and outgroups, and then pits us in fierce competition with each other (see Robbers Cave Experiment). And if that wasn’t enough, spies, corp thieves, Awoxers, scams, and metagaming (in this context, I’m referring to actions taken outside of the game with the intent of affecting outcomes within the game) further erode our trust in outsiders. Thus, I completely understand why people are distrustful of outsiders. In fact, maintaining a healthy skepticism of the intentions of others is a pretty good survival strategy in this game.

However, that does not mean that everyone on the CSM will be a scumbag -especially, when there is the potential for serious ramifications, such as life-time bans and legal action. Moreover, some individuals are capable of thinking more broadly and more long-term. After all, this is not a single player game. I need you @ssh0les to keep playing so that I can keep playing. Thus, the health of the player base, as a whole, is very important to me. And I don’t seem to be alone. Before Brisc was banned, he was speaking out against plex prices because he was concerned that it would discourage people from plexing alts and subbing mains (especially in countries with lower average incomes). And that this, in turn, would damage the long term health of the player base. Moreover, I’ve heard various CSM members voice concerns over issues that could affect player retention (especially Jin’taan).

In short, this idea of inherent corruption ignores plenty of evidence to the contrary (see confirmation bias and schematic thinking), and relies on outgroup homogeneity and assuming the worst in people. And yes, you can point to instances of abuse, but until you can prove all (or even a simple majority of) CSM members are corrupt and/or self-serving, your accusation is nothing more than a logical fallacy.

P.S. I’m of the opinion that the only people who say, “everyone has a price” are the people who have a price. Those who can’t be bought, who would never compromise on their morals or values for any price, know it’s not true. They can’t say, “everyone has a price,” because, at the very least, they provide for an exception. Thus, when people say, “everyone has a price,” what they’re really saying is, “I have a price, and I can’t imagine that anyone else wouldn’t.” Anyway, this response is long enough, and you should be able to see where I’m going with this without me spelling it out. So I’ll leave it at that.

P.P.S. A more reasonable assertion is that the potential for abuse outweighs the benefit. Of course, I feel that the inverse is true, but it is at least an arguable position. So, I’ll probably try to get into that with next response.


The examples you gave of power are derived from the body of followers or organizers the candidates already had instead of the power they derive from being elected to the CSM.

The CSM is essentially a focus group that is not appointed by CCP. Anyone who tries to push a biased agenda has to pass that agenda through to the developers without them getting wise to what they’re doing.

What’s at stake is a unique institution of democratic representation for players in Eve, and I think that’s important. If the CSM is not truly representative, then CCP can step in to appoint those whom it feels are necessary to fairly represent the under-represented while preserving the purely democratic process that players enjoy to select their own representative.

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I want you on the CSM. You’re really smart!
Someone smart and considerate is what the CSM really needs more than anything.