During the past twenty-four hours, I had a very interesting interaction with a potential applicant to our corporation. This has gotten me to think a lot today about EVE the game, the people to are behind the pilots you interact with in this game.
The applicant (shall remain nameless) started out by explaining that he was looking for a brand new corp, the standard stuff we see on a daily basis. What was unique was the fact that he wanted to be up front and disclose that he has an issue, before we got too far down the path of an interview.
You see, he has a physical challenge which precludes him from being able to speak over voice communications. He wanted to make sure that this was not a problem, as if it was he felt that we should not go any further. I did not pay much attention at all to this last night, but started to reflect on that statement quite a bit this morning. What has happened to this individual over his past game time to make him disclose this challenge and state that he wanted to make sure it was not an issue?
I know that there are alliances and corporations in this game that require/mandate the use of voice communications. I have been in some of them over my life (Majesta Empire, Gentleman's Agreement, Waffles, Fatal Ascencion). Yet, unless you are a scout, the logistics anchor, or a skirmish fleet commander, the fleet commander usually does not want to hear your voice. They are way too busy processing channel command, the battle in front of them, and all of the other data coming in to make decisions on a second to second basis. So, honestly what are we speaking about here? Is the mandate that you be available to chat up with other members during the general grab ass that takes place at a gate camp? While you are ship spinning in station? I have been there enough to know that the need to SPEAK over voice communications is not a hard and fast rule.
I proceeded to mention to the applicant that speaking over comms was not a requirement. What was required was for him to be on Teamspeak, and to be able to listen to us. So, I confirmed he was only mute and not deaf. He stated yes, that was correct. I again stated that his inability to speak over communications would not be a problem.
Once we had proceeded past that, the story took an interesting turn which related to that original statement he had made regarding "whether this would be an issue". It seems that he previously was a member of ArK Alliance along with a good friend of his. It seems that ArK had an issue with his inability to speak over comms. Clearly ArK is an elite PVP alliance, as their 70% efficiency shows.
I realize that it would be spectacular if every member of your organization were able to speak and listen over voice communications. However, at the core of decent human behavior, to discriminate against someone due to a physical challenge that they have is horrible. Seeing as how there are alternative options available (Jabber, IRC, Slack) where members can communicate back and forth without the need for voice communications.
ArK and your leadership, you are doing it wrong. Sorry that you lost a member who has joined our merry band of explorers. If this is how you treat all of your elite PVPers, good luck with your training regime for life in Providence.