~~~~~~~~~~~~~~WARNING: WORDS BELOW~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(power of the tilde)
I made cupcakes a few days ago. I'd been craving cupcakes for a bit. So, after a week I decided to hell with it and made a batch. Part of the recipie for cupcakes called for butter and another part called for water.
Don't oil and water not go together? You can stir and stir and stir but they will still separate and reject each other.
But, when you add eggs and flower, sugar and seasoning and continue to mix, suddenly everything starts to come together and form the base batter for a cupcake.
Cupcakes are awesome.
My weekend wound up mostly being about talking. I fielded a lot of conversations, many of them good. A few were in the middle. Now and then they were just puzzling. A consistent theme cropped up, time and time again. I tried to mold it into a concept but I'm not sure how well I did.
The concept was culture. On one side is Eve University. It is an old, established culture in the game. Along with that, it supports the weight of Eve Uni's culture is high sec and what can be defined as carebearisem (without meaning it in a nasty way).
Across from it you have the low sec pirate side of things. They to have a culture. It is a fluid and flexible one that expands and contracts, flexes and twists at need, but it is still a culture. Most of the inhabitants are as deeply ingrained into it.
(I'm not saying that these are the only two cultures in the game by any means)
I was having a conversation with someone about it and while we both understood each others side we still both had many disagreements on points. I said, "We can not experience the same thing the same way because we have different things affecting us as the experience happens."
Some people have been surprised to hear the pirate side. It made me realizes that part of the cultural differences was how the groups defined each other. Having left high sec so early in my game, I had forgotten that pirates were stereotyped by many people who had never known anything but the autocannon fire of one. Due to rumors and the endless stories of jumping a gate to wind up in your clone station, many people who had never entered low sec or beyond had a preexisting concept of what the pirates were.
Then, I remembered when I first met a few members of my pirate corp. I was extremely nervous around them. After all, I was a noob who flew a catalyst poorly. I was nothing more then prey. If they looked at me too hard I might pop. These were some of Eve's PvPrs and they were not the ones defending their land they were the ones that found shit to blow up just cuz.
During my reading about the game before I started playing and as I was playing, I kind of expected to be turned on or killed. Yet, I hung out with them for a bit and they seemed like very cool people. I made the decision to trust them.
It's a decision I have had no reason to regret on any level. In fact, as stated before, I was drawn to them. I had some offers in high sec at the time. None of those offers tempted me. What the pirates offered me was everything they could teach me and teaching me to do what they did. They were the only ones that I knew who offered to just teach me without asking me to do anything other then learn.
So my perspective is skewed. If I had stayed in high sec I might have still considered the pirates to be 'bad'. Instead, I joined them and considered pirates to be 'normal'. My game life is normal, with normal people who are fantastic and loyal folks that I'd do whatever I could to help with at any time. These people make my game better.
So, my perspective is skewed towards what I know and find familiar, safe, and productive. I don't think anything is wrong with that. I like dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate as well.
Eve is full of cultures. Cultures that are different from each other are not bad or wrong, they are different. Sometimes we do not understand them. Sometimes we can not comprehend them. That does not make them wrong.
I find myself talking with a friend and we can not reach and agreement although we could clearly see each others side. To a point, we can not reach an agreement over some things. We can come to an understanding and acceptance but not an agreement.
Our game worlds are different and that difference molds us. But even if our personal game cultures are oil and water, the rest of the game is all the other parts of the batter. Stir it to bake the delicious game coated in butter cream frosting...
Wait... wandered off for a moment...
The image above is not a fight. It is a fleet ops with RANSM and THC2. They were going to pewpew at some folks and expected a fight to come that was about 3 times bigger then their fleet. We were able to add a glorious three people to the battle that never came. That corp was very angry that RANSM got 'help' and refused to fight.
RANSM had wardeced Cap Punishment a bit after TEXN moved back into the area. THC2 had not yet rejoined Cap Punishment so they wardeced us both because we flew together and acted as one unit. Unlike almost every other pirate corp in the area, TEXN and THC2 were blue to each other and had been close friends for years. We were also two groups that did not fly -5 as a majority. So RANSM leveled the field and Wardeced us.
At first I was angry and I did not understand. War seemed so personnel. Yet, nothing in our interaction with each other changed. Well... we did get to giggle about the flashing war targets in fleet. In short, I got over it. Their reasons made sense to me after I spent a bit more time learning about the game itself. Also, it wasn't personal. I found that the entire 'declares war' aspect made it seem as if they wanted me and would hunt me down for it. It was a misconception that was alleviated with time and experience.
It was not personal. It was two groups coming to a balance inside of their games. Mixed in to combine the differences are layers of mutual respect, friendship, interest, communication, dislike, harassment, interests, lack of interests, and everything else that happens when many people deal with other groups of many people.
None of that was evil. I do not worry that RANSM will turn on me if I fleet with them. I can fleet with them even after they have caused me to explode. The earlier explosion, it was the game, not a personal attack. The next explosions we will cause together working together. The ones after that, who knows... we may each have explosion experiences away from the other that the other never knows about.
Because we are all experiencing the same game in different ways. Differences do not make it wrong. it is our game as much as it is anyone elses. That is not to be confused with agreement. One does not have to agree with the way another group plays. However, an automatic assumption of the 'evil' of another group is saddening.
The loyalty and brotherhood where I play is so strong that it is tangible and interacts with everything we do. The only thing faceless is the ships that are exploded. It is not 'a person' it is a ship being exploded. That is all.
I was told by someone... "Now that everyone knows who you are you will be primary." That made be blink and I said okay. If someone wants to have a terrible fleet plan and spend all of their time making me the primary just because they recognize my name... okay. It seems silly and wasteful to me but okay. I'll take whatever tactical advantage I can get.
And I won't take it personally.
I know I should have used sand, and sandcastles, and sandboxes for my ideas... but cupcakes are awesome.