Blog Banter 35: The Public Perception of EVE Online – They Know!

Blog Banter 35: The Public Perception of EVE Online

Welcome the the thirty-fifth EVE Blog Banter.

Now approaching its tenth year, the EVE Online player community has matured into an intricate and multi-faceted society viewed with envy by other game developers, but is frequently regarded with suspicion by the wider gaming community. 

Is this perception deserved? Should “The Nation of EVE” be concerned by its public identity and if so how might that be improved? What influence will the integration of the DUST 514 community have on this culture in the future?

[Unrelated and random bonus question sponsored by EVE News 24: What single button would you recommend be included on an EVE-specific keyboard?]

Yes.  The EvE community should be concerned about its perception.  We are seen as a misogynistic, elitist, socially exclusive, socially inept bunch and it hurts the growth of the game we love.  I’ve talked about rape culture in EvE.  Mittens and Goons leadership recently started a campaign to get rid of some of the misogyny, and verbal diarrhea that plagues Goonswarm (good luck!)
EvE needs to find its way to a system that can encourage new players, while at the same time exposing them to the hazards of the game.  A system where there are known and published communities that will help them, without prejudice as long as they are trying to progress themselves.  EvE will always drive some people away.  The game is hard, the stakes are high and the price of failure is steep.  However the community should strive to be more open and welcoming.  There will always be jerks, but we shouldn’t elevate them, we shouldn’t idolize them and we shouldn’t encourage them.  Instead we should encourage people to play more and show them how to do better.  When I stupidly lost two good ships to a retribution last night I didn’t shit up local, I congratulated the guy and flew off even after he got derisive and insulting.  Spaceships are the game, how we interact and communicate might be partly the game, but it’s also partly how we get perceived outside the game.  This applies doubly for forums and voice chat.
I think the integration of the “Dust Community” will be somewhat limited.  There will be an element of “us vs. them” especially if there is significant conflict between the two of them.  The first time a dread of faction BS gets tagged in orbit, or the first time an EvE player sets up mercs for some pain, things will get ugly REAL fast.  The F2P/FPS nature of Dust is far more casual than EvE.  Spreadsheets vs. FPS doesn’t seem like a good mix.  I also worry about how much Sony will try to influence CCP with regards to community interactions, and I see a lot of the backlash for this being aimed at Dusters.  EvE players don’t like being forced into things.  Forcing us to play with Dusters just doesn’t seem like something that will go over well.
Gamers who don’t play EvE “know” about EvE.  They’ve heard the horror stories.  They’ve seen the news coverage.  They “know” we’re a bunch of complete assholes who have moved beyond tea-bagging into corpse farming and giant dick monuments in space.  They likely know that SomethingAwful has a huge presence, ditto for reddit, and that Russian Bot Farmers have a huge influence.  We, as a community, need to celebrate others.  The innovators, the strategists, the creators, the people who bring something amazing to the game.  People like Mord Fiddle, whose brilliant blog brought to light ideas that sent minds on fire.  People like Lord Maldoror whose videos bring to light tactics that many of us hadn’t even thought of.  People like Rixx Javixx whose art and influence on the blog community brought new light to the creative side of EvE.  People like Chribba who show how it is possible to not only succeed, but thrive in this game without preying on each other.  Or the sadly defunct Sassy B whose banner graces every post?  Yes these people are well known within EvE.  I don’t have to tell the average reader of this blog who most of them are.  How many people reading Massively know about them?  How many know about Mittens sticking his foot in his mouth?  Which should we be encouraging?
Finally I want a button that posts a link to my “Don’t Talk in Local” post in local.

I'm using it every time I can

About Corelin

An Eve playing Fool who occasionally writes about the shenanigans he and his minions get up to.

Posted on April 12, 2012, in Blog Banter, Meta. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. And Hong WeiLoh who tries to apply RL psychological and sociological concepts to EVE, but is totally full of shit … because you know, EVE is NOT a game played by people in real life. And CCP doesn’t have a real-life economist on the payroll, because EVE isn’t real life and real life stuff won’t work right applied to EVE.
    We’re all just system artifacts anyways. 😉

    Wanna know the really ironic thing?
    I’ve played games since I was a kid. I don’t “follow” gaming as a religion or anything, but I have a “shitty gaming mag” subscription, and am subbed to a few newsletters from various entities. So while I’m not “all up in tha shiznat”, I’m modestly informed about games, the “news” with them, etc.

    I’d never heard of EVE Online, at all, EVER… until 1 day, a lil more than 2 yrs ago, I bought The Empyrean Age book. The “catcher” description on the dust jacket looked interesting, and I like good sci-fi, which is incredibly hard to find these days. I was reading the book in a local Starfucks, and some dude sees it, and comes over, “Dude you play EVE too?”
    “I’m sorry, play…???” [I generally skip the author’s forward, “I’d like to thank” etc, section]
    “You don’t know? This book is based on a game…an MMO, called EVE Online. It’s pretty cool, you should check it out if you like the book.”
    “Ok, I will….”
    That night I started my trial. About 5 days into it I bought a sub and started playing.

    Being previously ignorant of the game and its inherent “harshness”, yep, I was a carebear. I raeged and QQed and foamed at the mouth when I first ventured into a .4 system, not realizing that that one little tiny tenth of a number meant instant death to my little poor peaceable Navitas as soon as it landed in a belt… I didn’t even know to have local pulled up in a separate window.

    The difference is that after I learned what EVE really was, and what it was all about, I adopted. I changed my attitudes, I changed my thinking, and moved out first to lowsec, then sov null. I didn’t demand that the game change to accomodate me, I realized I had a choice to quit playing, continue playing just in hisec (and still face potential wardecs and suicide gankings), or, as people love to say, HTFU. I moved first to lowsec, and later to sov null.

    tl;dr: EVE doesn’t get ALL that bad of press. I think people overestimate how much it was known prior to the Mittani’s lil fuck-up at the Alliance Roundtable, and even then, I don’t think the mainstream was THAT in an uproar about it. I have yet to see any Mittani2012 videos by InvisibleCarebears on YouTube. 😉

    tl;dr pt2: I’m part of the HTFU crowd. But a big part of WHY I’m part of that crowd, and now so vehemently sperge about whiny entitled lil carebears, is because I used to BE one of those whiny entitled lil “just leave me n mah poor spaceship alonez” bears. It’s kind of like how a “recovered” alcoholic/druggie goes on a personal crusade to “cure” everyone in their lives who ever has been, is, or may be an alkie or druggie. Something like that.

    ^^ all this should’ve been a blog post of its own. Maybe I’ll copy-paste. lol

    • Once i hit 3 paras i cut the comment and paste it to a new blog.

      • lol true, but to me it seems kind of…dirty…? like “stumping” if I write a “comment” entry, go, “Hey here’s my reply to all this [linky],” in comments on your blog, and expect you or your readers to click over to see what I have to say.

        I guess that might be ok if you’re going to present some serious debate on the subject, but just sharing a lil personal experience… I dunno, just doesn’t seem right to me.

  1. Pingback: Blog Banter 35: The Public Perception of EVE Online | Crossing Zebras

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