What is the CSM

Please note: This document was originally created by Pétur Jóhannes Óskarsson on behalf of CCP. The original pdf format can be found here

Since the opening of Tranquility, EVE players have had an indirect say in how their virtual society is run. While player feedback has been central to the game’s evolution, this enabler relied upon the discretion of CCP to derive generalizations about society issues and player concerns. With the population of EVE exceeding 390.000 individuals, the time has come to empower players with a formal communications channel to directly impact the development of their society. The means of accomplishing this goal will be through the implementation of a modified version of “deliberative representative democracy” in EVE.

Contents

The Scope of the CSM

The purpose of the CSM is to represent society interests to CCP. This requires active engagement with the player community to master EVE issue awareness, understanding, and evaluation in the context of the “greatest good for the greater player base”. The scope of issues is restricted only to EVE, its ongoing development, and limited meta (out-of-game) issues which have direct relevance to the EVE universe. It is important to keep in mind that the CSM will not have formal powers within CCP, they will have a voice inside CCP.

Community Elections for Player Representatives

A council of fourteen player Representatives will be democratically elected by EVE players. The CSM will be headed by Officers; a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman, Secretary, and Vice-Secretary. This group is responsible for managing the operations of the council.

Each Officer will be elected by the council with an internal vote. If there are two candidates for a position, the winner is determined by a simple majority vote; if there are multiple candidates, then multiple ballots are cast, with each ballot eliminating the candidate with the least number of votes. In the event of a tie between any two candidates, the representative who was elected to the CSM with the highest ranking from the election will cast the tie-breaking vote.

Summary of Representative Responsibilities

The CSM is a “flat” organization, and Officers do not have special powers, only additional responsibilities. The responsibilities of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman are to handle official communications between the CSM and CCP, and they are expected to be particularly active in interacting with the community. The responsibilities of the Secretary and Vice-Secretary are related to the production of official CSM publications such as the CSM Summit Minutes. Thus, CSM Officers are expected to be the most active members of the CSM. Alternates are not part of the council structure; fourteen members are elected to the council and if a member, for whatever reason, is unable to serve on the council, it will carry on without a replacement member.

Candidate Eligibility

Anyone who has held an EVE Online account for more than sixty (60) days is eligible to campaign for a representative seat on the CSM, with the following exceptions: employees, volunteers, interns, affiliates, strategic partners, employees of other gaming companies/games and family members of CCP are all ineligible. Elected members of the CSM must maintain their eligibility during their term in order to remain on the council.

Also, players with a serious warning or ban on any account in their possession can be excluded from candidate eligibility. However, in-game behavior or public opinions, regardless of play style, will never be a criterion for candidacy unless the rules of the EULA and/or TOS are violated.

All candidates must verify their identity to CCP before they can officially be acknowledged as a candidate. All candidates must to be 21 years old or older in order to qualify as a candidate and have to hold a valid passport at the date of the candidacy evaluation that allows for international travel and admission to Iceland and participation on the CSM. Because election winners will ultimately make appearances on EVE-TV, EON or other media, candidates must run under their real-life names, and may either create a new character or use an existing account name to give themselves an in-game identity.

Please note: Icelandic citizens are only required to submit a driver’s license or other valid photo ID. All candidates have to be able to travel to Iceland; CCP will not arrange any permits to enter the country should visa or similar be required.

Warnings for serious EVE-related misconduct might bar the person from running for candidacy.

Candidates are expected to be active on the CSM forums and participate in the discussion of topics. They are also expected to adhere to the EULA/TOS and carry themselves in a manner that sets an example for other players to follow. In addition, they must be willing and able to travel to Iceland once during their term for a direct meeting with CCP developers. Transportation to and from Iceland, plus lodging, lunch, and dinner will be provided by CCP. Candidates are responsible for all other expenses incurred during the trip. Elected Representatives are required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before commencing their term.

The Election Process

When an election is officially announced, candidates have two full weeks to campaign for player votes using any means at their disposal, provided that they comply with the EULA and TOS.

A player may cast one vote for each personal account with a current “active” status and having been active at least thirty consecutive days in the past. This includes reactivated accounts. All votes are strictly anonymous.

After the polls have closed, an automated system will count the votes and provide a list of the fourteen candidates with the greatest total number of votes received. The nine highest tallies of this group will be elected as Representatives, while the next five highest tallies will be elected as Alternates. Candidate tally placement does not grant any special privileges, as all Representatives — and Alternates when serving in the place of Representatives — have equal power on the CSM.

Term Length and Duration of the CSM

Each player council of Representatives and Alternates lasts for twelve months, beginning one week after the declaration of election winners. Campaigning and open voting for the next Council will begin four or more weeks prior to the expiration of the current CSM’s term. Election winners will be determined before the sitting Council’s term expires.

Topic Presentation and Management by the CSM

Anyone with the right to vote can bring a topic to the attention of the CSM, and comment on any number of existing topics. Moderation rules for posting in the CSM section of the forums are the same as all other boards operated by CCP.

A topic can be anything that a player considers important.