The two plus years I have worked as an Ocean Master have been incredibly fulfilling. Not only have I been able to engage myself in a wonderfully dynamic and active game, I have wonderful co-workers and have met many creative and enthusiastic players. Without a doubt, this is the best job I have ever had.
With that said, not everything we Ocean Masters do is all fun and games. At times, the work can be trying and even a bit annoying. The times I have had to try and patiently explain a concept to a player through a difficult language barrier are ones I do not look forward to. But they come part and parcel with the ability to run events and oversee the efforts of the GCPP.
Some of the least fun times come when we have to essentially tell a person that they are no longer welcome in our game. As much as it may seem otherwise, we do not look forward to banning players. Indeed, from a business perspective, it is an action that seems immediately wrong. Players are our customer base and our livelihood. While my job may be much easier if I never had to deal with players, it would also not exist as a job.
At its core, the decision to ban is one where we weigh the potential benefit from a player to continue playing against the potential detriment for the same. You can consider this as a balance between the positive and negative contributions the player has to the community and game as a whole. Some players do very well to encourage others to have fun with them. Other players are quite divisive and difficult to get along with.
Simply being controversial and argumentative is not enough. We do like to encourage competition between players. Preferably good-natured competition, but it is often difficult to control such a line. But even so, we have rules to provide guidelines for what is or is not acceptable. If you cross a line, we will issue a warning. Cross one too far or too often, and we must regretfully show the player the door.
Sometimes, after a ban, we will be questioned. This can be a question of the nature of the infraction that led to the ban. A few times, we get the question of the appropriateness of the ban. In the case of a rules interpretation, this is usually not difficult, but may lead to some lively debates on the forums.
The strangest, to me, response is one that brings in the character of the banned player. If I may create a fictional argument: "Why was Beardedpirate banned? He is just playing a character in a game who likes to start fights. If you knew him in real life you would know that he is not like that at all. He is really just a nice guy and would not harm a fly."
Whether an unfortunate accident of geography or not, we do not know most players in real life. As such, we really cannot consider their character as such because it has no bearing on the game. If you choose to play a character who breaks the rules, then we must only consider the rule breakage in our decision. How accurate or not that is to your actual demeanor is irrelevant.
Consider two hypothetical players. The first is Mahatma Gandhi. He was a wonderful person, but if he played Puzzle Pirates in a manner inappropriate for the game environment, we would have to ban him, even if he did so as a conscious decision to escape his every day life.
The second player is Attila the Hun, among the more notorious and despicable historical figures. Even if he were a war-loving player, he would be allowed to play as long as possible provided he followed the rules. This is true regardless of how he may conduct himself outside of the game.
Our decision to ban Ghandi would likely be quite controversial, especially if players knew that Attila was allowed to continue playing, but the first broke the rules despite warnings while the second followed the guidelines we have established. Within the context of Puzzle Pirates, that is all we can consider.