Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Eve Online and the News

Some of the gaming websites covered the start of the Eve-O comic recently. I was reading some of the comments that gamers left on these news stories, and there were many people saying they'd like to play Eve Online but they are not "chaotic evil" so wouldn't try it.

Why would they think that? You need to be evil to play Eve Online? Why do they have that perception when they have never played?

Image if an alien ship landed on earth, found a tabloid newspaper blowing in the breeze and then left immediately to report their findings? What would they make of the planet Earth? Not a lot right. In fact they'd have a pretty warped picture of life on earth and the behaviour of humans.

Tabloid newspapers are obviously the worse. Lets look at the headlines of one from yesterday. The good old British Daily Star! The aliens would see...

Sportsman dad accused of head-butting person due to his skin colour
Comedian starts acting in soap opera
Woman kills herself
Soap actor gets parking ticket
Reality TV show winner talks about money
Gas prices fixed
Air transport with over 200 people vanishes.
Man accuses singers songs of turn you homosexual
People celebrate a saints day by dressing in green and getting intoxicated
Famous PR guru has allegedly 2.5 inches of 'equipment'

Serously. If that is what those aliens saw we'd be in trouble! They'd be taking action to ensure we don't 'infect' the galaxy if those are the most important news stories of the day?

But what about a reputable news agency? Take the BBC.

Transport with over 200 people vanishes.
Potential war brewing.
Woman kills herself.
Many women and children killed as person blows himself up in a market.
Air transport stops flying to a location because of trouble there.
Bombs found in cars
Armed forces seize transport
Land transport banned in city due to pollution they cause
Casino to open in country with strict anti-gambling laws
Singer sentenced for punching man

So that's what is happening on planet earth right now. Those aliens must think we are savages!

Is it the same for Eve Online?

What stories make the headlines in Eve. It is the big thefts, the betrayals and the huge loses. The stories that are reported about Eve Online give us the socio-path simulator label. If the headlines are only ever about who has cheated who and what betrayal led to an alliances downfall and the loss of their stuffz then we are going to be seen as these chaotic evil socio-paths that only play the game to ruin someone else's game.

Do we hear about the good in Eve Online? No, as with newspapers, these stories do not sell and people are not interested in them. We want death, destruction and dodgy dealings. We want to hear about how people were betrayed by their 'best friends' and have lost everything.

Eve is so close to real life in some respects, it is scary.

But what can we do about it? The fact is that the news that is interesting also tends to be the news that paints Eve Online players as the chaotic evil socio-paths. Which in turn will attract chaotic evil socio-paths to the game.

Can we break this cycle? Can we show the greater gaming public that Eve is not full of these people and there are plenty of friendly and nice players who will help you and not kill you for a laugh and steal all your stuff?

We are not that bad as the press paints us....

... are we?


  1. Brilliant post Drak. Mind blown.

  2. Within our own groups we probably are painted with a much nastier brush than we probably deserve. I have seen people give new guys hundreds of millions of isk just because they are new to eve and need some cash to fly in the fleets. I have seen people offer to haul ships and things with their own carriers/freighters out to deployments for others without asking for a penny.

    On the other hand I have seen people smash entire groups simply because they could. Gankings of freighters in high sec (burn Jita anyone?) are common just because we can.

    So eve has that dichotomy that if you are in “MY” group you are cool and I will help you, if you are one of “THOSE” guys you get greeted with missiles or drones or turret fire, and ah well "welcome to eve".

    1. "So eve has that dichotomy that if you are in “MY” group you are cool and I will help you, if you are one of “THOSE” guys you get greeted with missiles or drones or turret fire, and ah well "welcome to eve"."

      There's black & white in EVE and only a bit grey. This is the difference to the real world.

      Excellent blogpost!

  3. Soooo are you -10 or -9.9 at the moment mate? ]; )

    Oh and scooped any more corpses for me? Heh.

  4. There is no Eve in evil. You can't spell evil without Eve. Do two half truths make a whole?