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Rambling: Purple

[TL:DR: People.. part one of a two part color focused ramble for today...]

The original name of this blog was ‘the walrus bucket’. It was a random choice based off of the meme and my amusement at jet can mining. It had no long term thought behind it. Yet, when I moved to Low Sec and became involved in Low Sec I changed the name to something more Low Sec focused. At the time I wondered if I would regret the name change and if it would lock me into low sec by blog name. I figured, it didn't matter and I’d let things happen as they may.

Low Sec Lifestyle was the end of my stressed musings over a name. It focused on the area of the game I had decided to learn. I decided to not focus on any general term to define myself. I was far from a pirate when I chose the name. What I was, was a low sec resident. That was how I defined myself and where my viewpoint formed.

My viewpoint of Eve has grown out of my interactions with Eve. All of the good and all of the bad coalesce into a flow of words heavily interlaced with my personality and innate viewpoints. I am always interested in knowing what draws and drives other players in the game. I know that their view points, formed by their own experiences are going to be different from my own. Even in what I may say after will be a stark contrast to some, invalidated by others, and disagreed with elsewhere. It is expected.

Life in low sec, and the effects and consequences of that life, is normal for me. High Security space is abnormal to me. Not abnormal in the sense of wrong and it should be changed. Abnormal in that it is not my normal. My normal is Low Sec and the mechanics and game that goes on within that.

Because Low Sec is my normal it is my default. Until I experience otherwise, it is habit to believe that many people live in a similar manner to myself. I am not quite simple enough to believe that high security space is the same as low security space, but one argument often presented in my blog is doing something about a problem or situation.  The mechanics outside of High Sec lead to this type of mind set. The biggest situation one faces is the other player and avoidance only goes but so far.

But, Lifestyle is a broad word. I selected it because of all of the things that happened each day. My first social fleet op was with RANSM. We were under a war dec with them and I was terrified of them. I knew that I would die the moment they cast their hardened gaze upon my plump newbie naivety. I was very quiet. I asked all of my questions in corp chat and I did my best not to be noticed. And it was amusing. I don’t know why Sard had wardeced THC2. He had wardeced TEXN as well. I believe that it was simply from us clashing so much with TEXN back in the area that he was tired of dealing with gateguns. This was in a time when most of THC2 was above a -5 as was TEXN. I didn't understand the ramifications of gateguns and outlaw status then. I just knew a wardec was out and that was a terrible, terrible thing, and we were going to fleet with them and it was okay somehow.

“As long as we are purple we are good,” Diz and Lue consoled me as we warped into a fleet of RANSM members. Their icons flickered in space. Red starred war targets blinking to me. Ours did the same to them. But, we had all taken fleet members off of our overviews. Our overviews were calm, peaceful scenes. Our space images were blinking, flickering calls to battle. Everyone knew each other. They’d been living in the same area for years. They shared intel channels. They fleeted up when they had a need and the rest of the time they fought with each other. There was comradery in fleet and relaxation and when we left, we didn’t drop fleet until we were three systems away. Once the ‘leave fleet’ button was hit the gloves came back off and the shelter of purple vanished.

For the most part I barely poked my head outside of the shelter of THC2s wing. I flew with TEXN when we were in an alliance with them and I was comfortable because THC2 was green and TEXN was blue. These two colors were sacred. They meant, for the most part, safety. I had no other relationship with the community outside of my ticker. Yet when people became purple they, for that time frame, had the comfort level I felt when I was around people who were blue and green.

The colors of fleet, alliance, positive standings, and corporation have always been sacrosanct. AWOXing is horrific because it is a deep, intimate violation of trust. I know that purple fleet standings do not mean much for everyone. They are used to trick and fool people as are blue and green standings. I accept that. Those around me do as well. When someone unknown is invited there is still caution under the shield of purple but it is rarely casually violated. Casual violation of purple, green and blue will excise someone from the community faster than almost anything else and for many of us, the community is our draw.

THC2 is a small corporation. It always has been and always will be. But outside of it there is a larger social group in Molden Heath. The various residents may actively battle each other but socially they are a tight knit, supportive community. Even that layers out. There are groups within the area. Most will work together if the need is great enough. There are larger challenges that we have the ability and skill but not the man power to face. At those times diplomacy, Eve’s richest currency, is enacted and under the shelter of purple focused fleets are formed.

It should not be of any surprise that this has become my normal. I have fought people, fleeted with them, and unfleeted and fought again in the same hour. I have developed personal friendships that are negated under the banner of purple and reenacted when I have left the fleet. I can shoot at some of the people I enjoy most in the game and there not be a moment of bitterness about it. It goes deeper than that to form the community that I enjoy enough to make a market hub. It is the times when I guard someone’s cyno ship or warp past it because they have guarded or ignored mine. There are people who can tap me for help and I them knowing each other well enough to function without green or blue but under the strength of purple.

But purple is strong. When 7-2 formed out of RANSM and was trimmed with Dragoons and various Anti-Pirates turned Pirates there was some mutters. People who had fought but not been part of the community and had, in fact been targets of the community, had not become a part of it. Yet, that strength of purple gave the time and interacted needed for people to look beyond employment history and at the people they were dealing with. For the youngest members, such as myself, I had no past history and only future. The anti-pirates were a fascinating group but it made complete sense for them to turn pirate and come try the part of the game that I enjoyed. After all, I liked it so much I figured that anyone else that gave it a try might too.

My acceptance of past anti-pirates into piracy is an assumption that they wished for change and wanted to try out this side of the environment. The life of shooting all the things is very normal to me. On the flip side, life in low sec as I know it is very free. There are very few rules anyone wishes to impose on anyone else and those rules are all about stupidity and being unwilling to learn. I know outside of my social group things may be different. There may be a world of quotas and rules, of restrictions and expectations. There may be a place where people care more for a kill mail than the value of the person that created it. We’re far from perfect but I stand on soap boxes and preach about the people that I play with because I believe that they are fantastic folks.

The community, as a whole, is open minded enough to try new things. Because it is so interwoven with each other and not all personalities will fit in, it is common for people to fly with groups who do not belong to them. I am comfortable inviting friends along on a fleet because of purple. They may never be invited back but I know that while purple is active they will be considered a member of the group and treated as such. And while silly things and sparing may happen and sometimes an explosion or two, those things are not the norm.

After all, we’re playing a game. A game of serious internet spaceships that we take serious. A game that becomes serious not just because of its serious internet spaceships but because of the social interactions that go into them. Friendships are born in this game. People become attached to each other and that attachment becomes deeper and stronger than other societal bounds. A core group of people who enjoy each other's company is a solid foundation for any corporation. A side effect is that people who do move often take other people with them. Attrition is natural in these cases and it is one of the reasons valuable people are worth more than themselves.

Red vs Blue are two corporations are war with each other. They have a fierce competition for their chosen color. Often, people have characters in both corporations. Yet, a group dedicated to shooting each other forms purple when they have an objective. That purple is not simple the side effect of the color as defined by ".. the visual effect that is caused by the spectral composition of thelight emitted, transmitted, or reflected by objects". I mean that they put aside everything else to spend that moment as purple.

Some people reject purple. Suspicion, caution, or standards may cause this. I've brushed across it a few times myself with locals who are not as friendly as I thought they might be. I do enjoy fleeting with people and meeting people in fleets. I never thought of myself as, "you people" but the deep, scorn drenched sneers I have seen over purple offers give voice to this concept that I am "people" such as one should not fleet with because of the pewpew of all the things.

Or at least, that is my view. Even in this I struggle with remembering that some people are in positions inside the game where they are not allowed to do things. Others will always be in eternal conflict between personal choices and the interpretation of others choices and the factual representation of them. I don't think that fleeting with someone turns everything magical. There are people I'd never trust inside of a fleet or out. 

It is a choice each person must make in the end. Who they fleet with. Why they fleet with them. There is a certain amount of trust given. There can be an edge and plenty of caution. But purple is a fun time. A good moment. A chance to experience something new and different. To meet people you have only fought. Maybe, "those people" one has been shooting at for so many years might be worth knowing after all. 

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