A real-life American politician has been banned from Eve Online for alleged corruption.
Developer CCP said Republican Brian Schoeneman, who went by the name Brisc Rubal in the space MMO, was removed from his role as a member of the Council of Stellar Management (CSM), Eve Online's player advocacy group, for allegedly breaking a non-disclosure agreement and using insider information to make money in-game.
In a post on the Eve Online website, CCP said Brisc Rubal was found to be sharing confidential information with a member of his alliance that was later used by another alliance member to conduct "illicit in-game transactions". Brisc Rubal has denied any wrongdoing.
The CSM operates under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with CCP Games, which enables it to be privy to and offer feedback on future developments in Eve Online.
Rubal, who campaigned for membership of the CSM by leaning on his real-life experience as a politician and thus tied his personal life to his virtual life, was removed from his role as a CSM representative and is barred from running in any future CSM elections. He's also had his in-game accounts permanently banned from the game. Two other players involved in the incident have received a one-year ban, and all illicit assets and ISK (Eve Online's virtual currency) gained from the incident have been confiscated.
"To be fully transparent, this misconduct was brought to us by the CSM themselves as an immediate threat to the integrity of the CSM as an institution," CCP explained.
"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."
In a post on reddit, Brisc Rubal denied the accusations against him and promised to "fight these false accusations".
"I am innocent of these allegations," he said. "I have not, and would not, violate the NDA I signed after being elected to the CSM. I have not provided any proprietary information furnished by CCP to me as a CSM member to anyone.
"As an attorney and a public figure in the United States, my ethics and reputation are regulated by a code of professional responsibility and statutory law, unlike CCP's opaque community team. As a licensed attorney for nearly a decade, I have never had a complaint filed against me. 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.
"These baseless charges have had an immediate and negative impact on not only my in-game reputation but my out of game reputation.
"I will fight these false allegations, restore my reputation and seek all avenues for recourse available to me for these reckless actions."
In real life, Brian Schoeneman was the 2011 Republican candidate for District 37 of the Virginia House of Delegates and lobbied on transportation issues. He was uncontested in the August 2011 primary and was defeated by incumbent Democrat David Bulova in the November 2011 general election.
In his "Elect Brisc Rubal to CSM XIII" campaign video, Schoeneman says he's been playing Eve Online since 2006 and, "working together, I can bring the years of experience I have representing my constituents in Washington, to representing you the players in Reykjavik."
Eve Online is no stranger to political manoeuvring and corruption, of course - although such skulduggery is meant to remain in-game. While some players have wondered whether Brisc Rubal has fallen foul to a campaign to oust him by rival members of the CSM, others have said Schoeneman should never have associated his in-game persona with his real life in the first place. Either way, Brisc Rubal is banned from Eve Online and he'll play no part in the upcoming CSM elections.