EVE is Real - But Not That Real

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Guessing at one particular subtext of this piece: people who argue for better CONCORD response or safer hisec in general by pointing out some fantasised example of western, first-world law enforcement are defying the spirit of the game and ignoring very real mechanics at work.Just to spell it out, those people are not very clever.
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Pretty good article, though I wish you had focused more on individual arguments that people make regarding Eve so that it would be easier to critically think about whether or not your argument is true in every case.
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Improved concord response... Well if they want to use first world fantasies lets give them reality. 15min before the concord shows up, they they do a put the ammo in the cargo hold dance, get out of the ship, warp your capsule away, then blow the ship up. Mind you there would also be a bail option, pay off the bail and run to null for a day or so. Man won't the people that wanted reality concord be pleased. Well, joking aside. Good day.
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Even better than the last one :).
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I would have to second this. Those people are just not smart enough to read between the lines. Like much prefer to read what's not there anyways. I would say delusion has a part in this.
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EVE is all about narrative.And the worst possible narrative is a boring, bland or uneventful one.Great article, Malcanis - as always.
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At least this site is real.
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sign.. another minute and a half wasted reading this drivel. Thought Mittani.com was going to have articles of interest and news about eve.. not some wanna be philosopher waxing pedantic with words he spent looking up in a thesaurus.
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I'm not trying to tell people what to think, I'm only asking them to think.
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I resent the implication that I would waste money on a thesaurus when it could be spent on good booze instead
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Great article and I couldn't agree more.
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"EVE's economy is comprised of multiple free agents substantially stage-managed by an unaccountable cabal of moon-bat theorising economists in the pay of people who have no higher goal than to milk it for their own gain, and if you want a more realistic economic simulation that that, I genuinely don't know where to point you to"This is one of the funniest, and probably truest, comments I've seen in a long time.
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I would be fine with faster CONCORD responses. Just make them hire lawyers first.
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I'm sorry this website is not producing content solely for your own personal consumption. Feel free to peruse the World Wide Web. I'm sure there's something out there for you.
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This is inherently about Eve. It's not a battle report, but it speaks to the whole underlying core of the game.
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Great article. I've always enjoyed the 'EVE is real' joke but hadn't really put it into coherent terms like you do here.A big point of gaming is to live out an alternative reality or a fantasy. The more a game lets you act as a free agent in a different reality, the more fulfilled that objective will be.EVE is probably one of the best games in the market for giving you free-will in a detailed but fantastical alternate-reality, and that should be always kept in mind while moving the game forward.
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Great article. The motards who think every article needs to be about mechanics or details sadly miss the point.
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This is a really great article, nice work.
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That is because some gamers use a game to escape reality (which we all do in some for or fashion) and therefore adopt their toon/pilot/avatar/whatever as their own persona, instead of playing a toon/etc as a digital version of themself.Gamers by nature need to adopt Stan Lee's methodology of creating his superheroes; using a strong aspect (be it negative or positive or both!) manifested into an entire being.For those unaware, Hulk was designed in regards to having extreme anger issues as a person, for example. But to have people who think they can walk around casting spells or the like because they get super engrossed in whatever fantasy game has their fancy... well, sometime speople need to just unplug and take life for what its worth.
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Realistic CONCORD response: Pod the Minmatar character regardless of who committed the crime.
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During the whole read of this article, which is nicely written and entertaining to read, I still had the feeling I would exactly knew what the end is about: it´s a whinethread against carebears. While I absolutley see your point and do agree to most of what you said, I´m a bit disappointed that it was so foreseeable. Instead of the old theme, only in a clever writing style, I would have loved to read a bit about some new ideas or points, too. This article feels like it needs a part 2.
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While the affirmation of ordinary life might make for a boring game, the affirmation of conflict makes for an unpleasant game for many. That is the central paradox of your thesis. The stories of EVE are "real" in that its actors are real. Its grand narratives of conflict require flesh and blood actors to play winners and losers. But while everyone wants to play the part of the winner, to consistently accomplish this is to force your opponents to constantly play the part of the loser. Remember the big lie? I agree, "no one is playing EVE to be your bitch." Yet just how many are playing this game to make you their bitch?Highsec pubbies cry for better CONCORD protection or sperg out about miner bumping for a reason. It's not entertaining to be constantly thrust into a state of horror or hate without cathartic release. Same goes for null. Small wonder the coalitions who have been steamrolled by the Badger Fuck Federation endlessly rail against NAPfests and megablobs. To them, the changing face of null marks the death of struggle. Its latest optimal strategies are the antithesis of conflict and the end of danger, precisely because they are too efficient and lead to foregone conclusions in every war. It has turned their gameplay narratives into tragedies of endless, futile struggle. In short, they are performing a role of persistent loser that is less and less worth their time.Just adapt, you might say. Anyone with a handful of brain cells to rub together can figure out highsec is plenty functional if you don't play a certain way, and the formula for the BFF's success isn't exactly a secret. And true enough. But to concede the cultural victory to someone else's grand narrative all too often means giving up any hopes of making your own. The long arm of the BFF have come and knocked down your little corner of the sandbox. It is no longer yours to shape as you wish. In defeat they made you their bitch, and in adopting the ways they want you to play, that fact hasn't really changed.EVE thrives on conflict, but a certain kind of conflict might in the long run be too much of a good thing.
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And you then decided to spend more time writing a post to complain about it? Brilliant.
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awesome article. thank you
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"Hitler has said to them "I offer you struggle, danger and death," and as a result a whole nation flings itself at his feet." the estimable George OrwellExcept he wasn't accurate at all in assessing what the mood of the German people actually was. Easy, pain-free annexations before 1939 were greeted well. Hitler thought the French and British were completely bluffing in the threat to go to war over Poland. News of war was met with great reservation by the German population.
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"Hitler has said to them "I offer you struggle, danger and death," and as a result a whole nation flings itself at his feet." the estimable George OrwellExcept he wasn't accurate at all in assessing what the mood of the German people actually was. Easy, pain-free annexations before 1939 were greeted well. Hitler thought the French and British were completely bluffing in the threat to go to war over Poland. News of war was met with great reservation by the German population.Don't mean to be pedantic, but I thought I'd just point a couple things out.
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Thank you for your valuable contribution, user Funky
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Actually, I disagree with part of that. it's not always the most competitive players who gripe about mechanics, nor even especially. The people who are more competitive figure out the rules of the game and use them to their advantage. Some competitive players might point out that certain aspects of the game are broken (eg Bounties, Supers), but bet your ass they'll still use them for themselves.
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Great read, Malcanis!
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The bit you're missing is that EVE isn't necessarily meant to be just fun, but entertaining.Note all the other things mentioned alongside "Conflict". Tragedy. Loss. Hubris. Drama. Hate. Jealousy. Struggle. Danger. Fear. Horror.That small time operator trying to make a go of nullsec will certainly experience struggle, will undoubtedly encounter drama and danger, and is highly likely to encounter tragedy, and loss.The thing is that there's more to EVE than holding Sov, and that just doesn't work for a lot of people, particularly those not interested in politics. NPC nullsec and wormholes are great for the small operators, with just the right amount of conflict and all the rest for pretty much any sized group of players/human beings.
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Yeah, fuck all these people who can read and/or think. High falutin bastards.
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Except that getting caught by police IRL brings most likely more consequences then that they destroy your car and leave.
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Gorgeous article, well written and strikes an important chord that needs to be seriously considered.
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You need to start a corp, whose purpose in life is to spam local with the obvious. We are in dire need of the restatement of the obvious.
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But look there you are conflating what people want in their life with what they want from a game.
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OK then let me cite another example"I would say to the House as I said to those who have joined this government: I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering."Widely acclaimed as one of the most inspiring speeches in history.
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Though that would be a great speeding deterrant, instant car destruction.
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Amusingly, no one accuses you of Godwin's Law for this article, despite you leading off with a Hitler mention, proving that people do indeed know what Godwin's Law is, except for you.
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This article is pretty useless. It circularly includes its major conclusion as its major premise.The first 5 paragraphs are noncontroversial and fairly obviously true. Perhaps they could be trimmed down a bit, as they function merely as very basic background. Then, in the sixth paragraph, something finally happens:". People get lured in by the very immediacy and reality of those interactions and they fool themselves into thinking that because x is like this in "real life" -by which they almost invariably mean "in middle class American/Western European suburbs", which is about as surreal as life gets in my opinion, but let's stay on track here - then it should be like that in EVE too."This is pretty much the conclusion of the article. This is also the provided evidence for the conclusion of the article, i.e., itself. Anyone who disagrees with this statement, will then also disagree with the conclusion of the article, as the article provides absolutely zero evidence or argumentation to support this claim. The author does go so far as to restate the claim in the next paragraph: "And generally they advocate things that I would be delighted to see more of in my real life; less violent crime, a growing economy, lower youth unemployment, less income disparity, eliminating wars of aggression, stronger sanctions versus people who loot companies for short term profit and so on.", but then drops the issue to move on to more important issues.The remainder of the article is just some unfocused insults directed towards faceless shut-ins. I guess those aren't more important, after all.Aside from the fact that the article makes no attempt to convince anyone with any kind of logic or evidence, it also fundamentally oversimplifies the concept of realism. Realism is used to describe fictional works in multiple ways:1. Presenting the feel that one could expect on leaving one's house on an ordinary day.2. Presenting the feel of an unusual person on an extraordinary day, but obeying the laws of physics as we know them.3. Presenting the feel of an unusual person on an extraordinary day, and not obeying the laws of physics as we know them, but substituting an internally self-consistent set of principles for the fictional universe and obeying them.I believe that most occurrences of the term realism on the EVE-O forums are using definition 3. Malcanis asserts this is definition 1. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with writing an article from either viewpoint, as long as you disclose this assumption straightaway. Simply to pretend that the 3 definitions above don't all exist as existing uses of the term "realism" is ridiculous and dishonest.This is much worse than your previous article Malcanis, this is a logically incoherent and dishonest rant about carebears. We have quite a surfeit of those already, aim higher. When you get down to brass tacks, your assault on carebears ends up being fairly accurate and well-written. But the logical contortions you go through to connect that assault to something greater fail horribly. Why not just start with something greater...or wait until you think of something greater before submitting another article? This is themittani.com, so any assault on carebears will receive numerous plaudits from the masses, but that's not just going after low-hanging fruit, that's scooping up rotten fruit off the ground and trying to disguise it by making it into fruit schnapps. I can still taste the worms.
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Here's the thing, I'm coming across way too harsh there. Your third and fourth paragraphs, which function in a logical analysis of your argument as mere background material, are some of the best writing about EVE I've ever read. Then the next 2 paragraphs don't make any sense at all. When you get to a controversial point, and quickly paper over it by writing "the other side almost invariably claims this", you're almost invariably going to be wrong. Ask yourself the next day, does the other side actually almost invariably claim that, or am I oversimplifying and declaring the article finished without working through the critical section fully? I'm not seriously asking you to do a survey of what percent of people use each definition for realism, but merely to admit there are 3 or more, and address them individually. The article would still work, would work much better in fact. You'd end up crushing the carebears for using definition 1, when they should be using definition 3. Think about it.
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That's where the article fails, in articulating why the mistake is fundamental. Let's look at the fundamental sentence of your article again: "People get lured in by the very immediacy and reality of those interactions and they fool themselves into thinking that because x is like this in "real life" -by which they almost invariably mean "in middle class American/Western European suburbs", which is about as surreal as life gets in my opinion, but let's stay on track here - then it should be like that in EVE too."So, people are doing this thing, almost invariably. Are you doing this thing? No. Are any of your friends? No. You are claiming that people are, almost invariably, doing this wrong thing, but neither you, or your friends, or any reasonable person, are doing this thing. That's not what "almost invariably" means. You are articulating only one side, the wrong side. If you don't articulate the right side, the side you belong to, and describe how the words the other side is defining incorrectly are defined differently on your side, then you've failed to fully articulate the issue. I pretty much agreed with all of your basic points, but my reaction on reading your article was still huge frustration at an illogical question-begging structure. Upon rereading, I decided that the question-begging was just you leaving off the full explication of your own views, which makes it less offensive, but even if you included that, you're still oversimplifying the opposition a bit. I would also include a few examples of quotations of the opposition, so that you can point to those and say you're arguing against this school of thought, rather than just claiming out of the blue that 'everyone thinks this way and they're wrong.'
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There are some limits when you're writing an article like this. Firstly and most practically, there's a limit on how much people are willing to read in a single article. The level of detail and rigor you're effectively asking for would make my articles 10,000 words or more. That's more work than you can reasonably expect the average reader to put in and honestly, it's more than the subject deserves.Secondly, given that I'm doing this for free, it's also rather a lot of work to expect a fully researched thesis from my contributions to an interwebs spaceships game site, wouldn't you agree? I'm observing aspects of player interaction that are of interest to me, and commenting on them as well as I can in under a thousand or so words and in an evening's work, not working for a PhD in Internet Spaceships Sociology. Frankly, you're expecting too much.Thirdly, its an effective technique to leave some gaps for the readers to notice and comment upon, since that promotes worthwhile discussion, which not only engages the readership (look at how much *you've* put into the discussion), but is good because it increases the chance of outside viewpoints I hadn't considered being brought up so it helps me too. If you think I should have left different gaps, then by all means lets discuss that.Fourthly, it's a good rule that a comment that goes into a fourth paragraph should be written up and submitted as an article. (If it doesn't work as an article, then trim it down to under 4 paragraphs). I very much look forward to reading and commenting upon your articles on this site. You've clearly put more effort into the comments than I have into this article.
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Take it up with Orwell, not me. I just used his quote to illustrate my point and get Rammstein to make another 17 comments.
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"your conclusion is that people thrive on unpleasantness and violence."My conclusion is that people enjoy drama, tension and conflict in their entertainment
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Failure on both counts, then.
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There's a bit of a middle ground left between a fully researched thesis, and an article which doesn't deign to support the crux of its argument with anything whatsoever. I don't think it's expecting too much to expect something in that middle ground. What I'm asking for would probably increase the length by 3-5 paragraphs, since I'm not asking for academic rigor or a fully researched thesis, but merely for honest straightforward presentation of both sides. I know, honesty is so old-fashioned. Realistically, instead of baldly claiming that everyone on this earth thinks in such and such an incorrect way, you find a few quotes of people that do think that way, and argue against that position honestly. How long does that take? 20 minutes? Another 10 minutes to fully present your position in opposition, and now you have a complete article.These comments took me much less than an evening to write, but apparently I "clearly" used more :effort: in writing them than you did? I guess I'm just overflowing with :effort:. Thanks for the encouragement re: writing my own articles.
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I hate to have to be the pedant (I really don't), but Malcanis was never "baldly claiming that everyone on this earth thinks". His set of people who think that way was limited to people who "get lured in by the very immediacy and reality of those interactions and ... fool themselves into thinking ...".Sure, "people think" is using weasel words and isn't backed by citation, but we've all seen the threads on EVE-O right?
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I stand by my deduction of the argument presented then :) Curiosity is the reason drama, tension, and conflict are so intriguing to many people, not because they are ultimate forms of entertainment.There are different ways to be entertained. Reading a story about a person with a nice life, even a perfect life, is one of them. It's called fantasy. I don't think it necessary to have conflict, tension, and drama elements in a story for the story to intrigue the reader or the player. But I'll leave room for unique tastes, of course. There are such things a sadists and masochists (and no, I'm not directing those descriptions at anyone relevant to the discussion, just citing an example of unique people). You conclude those 3 things are necessary to an enjoyable story. I disagree. I still found the article enjoyable, even if a bit one-sided in it's conclusion.To quote myself:"I'd argue you have so much of this in your novels of choice because of genuine human curiosity, but certainly not because you celebrate and revel in tragedy and violence. Therefore, you'd be just as curious about more pleasant things than those if only EVE (or any other MMO) could manage to spread the fun out to more than just players who enjoy carnage and terror."

After my previous article, I found that I rather enjoyed having accusations of "Godwins Law" flung at me by people who don't understand what it means. Try it yourself one day; it's like having a bath in 7-up: delightfully tingly, still legal, and once the froth has subsided you can still see what's important. And on that note, I will lead in this article with a quote from the estimable Eric Blair:

[Hitler] has grasped the falsity of the hedonistic attitude to life. Nearly all western thought since the last war, certainly all "progressive" thought, has assumed tacitly that human beings desire nothing beyond ease, security, and avoidance of pain... Whereas Socialism, and even Capitalism in a grudging way, have said to people "I offer you a good time," Hitler has said to them "I offer you struggle, danger and death," and as a result a whole nation flings itself at his feet.

Everyone's heard that famous phrase: "EVE is real". And we know what it really means. It doesn't mean that there's an actual physical reality out there where nanomachine-built spaceships travel at about the speed of a high-end chemically powered atmospheric jet aircraft in a weirdly Aristotelian physics based stellar cluster and shoot explosive-propelled shells at each other.  It means that everything that means anything that anyone cares about the game is made of real humans interacting in real ways; greed, generousity, jealousy, loyalty, betrayal, status, deception, dominance, and all the hundred other delightful primate habits that make life more interesting than a 24-bit colour 3D-rendered game of Solitaire.

EVE is pretty much alone amongst MMOs in bringing this basic interactive reality right to the core of the game, almost to the exclusion of anything that an independent observer would call a "game". Pretty much everything about EVE that isn't a tool for players to interact with each other with is dreadfully implemented in a way that wouldn't have passed muster as a game back in the era of PCs with 486 DX-66s and 2Mb of DRAM running DOS 6.1.

As a game developer, CCP have shown a singular genius in one aspect of MMO design, and it's the facet that really counts - facilitating our urge to get on with creating the game for each other. Unfortunately, they've also demonstrated a singularly cackhanded approach at implementing the aspects of what is collectively known as gameplay. The difference is telling. Compare the durable success of EVE with that of the offering by the acknowledged masters of RPG narrative, Bioware, after being given a couple of hundred million dolllars to create a "Sci Fi" MMO with the most compelling IP possible.

And so we continually hear that "EVE is real". EVE's politics are real, EVE's economy is real (EVE's economy is comprised of multiple free agents substantially stage-managed by an unaccountable cabal of moon-bat theorising economists in the pay of people who have no higher goal than to milk it for their own gain, and if you want a more realistic economic simulation that that, I genuinely don't know where to point you to), EVE's subcultures are real, EVE's warfare is dreadfully, terribly, seriously real, and EVE's metagame is even realler than that. It's all so powerfully real that even people who stopped actually logging in to the game years ago just can't let go and stop reading and posting about it. In fact they're often the most passionately prolix ones when it comes to discussing EVE: EVE is so real we even have our own space-undead who won't stop haunting us long after they should have passed away to the afterlife of Mechwarrior or WoT or even that final crypt: FHC gank nights. That's how real EVE is.

Only it's not.

Whilst EVE supports and encourages many highly realistic player interactions, it's all too easy to lose sight of the fact that this is supposed to be a game. Even if it's not always supposed to be fun, it's always supposed to be entertaining. That sounds like a rather banal observation, but it has some deeper implications which a lot of people unfortunately lose sight of (specifically including CCP). People get lured in by the very immediacy and reality of those interactions and they fool themselves into thinking that because x is like this in "real life" -by which they almost invariably mean "in middle class American/Western European suburbs", which is about as surreal as life gets in my opinion, but let's stay on track here - then it should be like that in EVE too. This game mechanic or that player activity is deprecated as "unrealistic", as though that's any kind of argument about what should or should not happen in a computer game.

And generally they advocate things that I would be delighted to see more of in my real life; less violent crime, a growing economy, lower youth unemployment, less income disparity, eliminating wars of aggression, stronger sanctions versus people who loot companies for short term profit and so on. I would gladly vote for each and every one of those policies to be enacted in my country, and they'd be really hard to argue against in any sincere way. And therein lies the insidious trap. What kind of inhuman sociopath wouldn't like to see violent crime reduced? Who wants more wars? Youth unemployment is social poison in about 10 different ways! What the hell is wrong with you?

Well, the answer is: a computer gamer. Not because gamers are all privileged, sheltered, shut-ins with so little knowledge of the real world that they claim to be Objectivists with a straight face (although a fair few are), but because although lots of things that work in real life need to work the same way in games to make them good game, lots of things that work in real life make for dull, horrible games.

Games, particularly RPGs, most especially MMORPGs, and most quintessentially of all, EVE, are about stories. And stories have different requirements than real life does. Things that are dreadful tragedies in real life are highly desirable in stories. Conflict. Tragedy. Loss. Hubris. Drama. Hate. Jealousy. Struggle. Danger. Fear. Horror. I have family and friends whom I love and I wouldn't want them to experience any of the things on that list. But I also have a stack of books on order at Amazon, and by God, all of them had better have some or most or ideally, all of those things in them. These are the blood and bones of a compelling, engaging narrative. No one wants to read a story about a guy who works at a good job, raises a nice family, retires, and eventually dies without anything really bad even threatening to ever happen to him. But curiously, quite a few people seem to have become seduced into thinking that story would make EVE a better game.

[name_1]