Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hilarity

There are few words used in Eve that bother me quite as much as the word: Hilarious.
 hi·lar·i·ous 
1.arousing great merriment; extremely funny: a hilarious story; a hilarious old movie.
2.boisterously merry or cheerful: a hilarious celebration.
3.merry; cheerful.
Before I started playing Eve, I understood Hilarious as a way to express extreme amusement at something. Normally it was a result of a gag or prank. Hilarity rarely seems to enter into humor in a benign way. It is a large word that expresses large concepts of humor. It is a word that you know but rarely find a situation to use it in.

Until Eve.

Hilarious is often used in Eve to preface bad. That is the simplest way I can wrestle the concept of its use in the game. There are hilarious fits. Hilariously bad ideas. Hilariously bad assumptions. Hilarious bad posts. Hilarious mistakes. Hilarious kill mails. Hilarity is rarely ever attached to true humor in Eve. Perhaps, Evil humor.

“Go forth and die in a hilarious manner.” Is there really hilarity attached to the action or has hilarity simply been usurped and mutated into a slang term to preface amusement in bad decisions?

I was watching someone who has recently risen from level 4 mission grinding to incursions discuss how to waste ISK on an incursion fit. I do not mean what many outside the incursion community consider waste, such as the excessively pimped and blinged ships. I mean that they were creating a blinged out Sin which they expected to die in a hilarious manner.

A few months ago, this player spent their time complaining about making their next plex. Mission running was a job. Maintaining their account took up a lot of their time and energy. Once they entered incursions and turned that time from missioning to incursioning they began to have what they had not had the entire time I had known them. Extra ISK. And suddenly, they were so liquid with their ISK that burning ISK became a hilarious idea.

But, the use of hilarity bothered me. A Sin can be an amazing boat. But I have run incursions. Specifically, I have been logistic in incursions. I am quite familiar with it. While a good logistics team can keep a ship up there is a line where the ship selection and fit selection has a basic minimum intelligence bar to pass.

When I first started I watched a member of a particular null sec alliance officer fit a Rifter to lose it having ‘thunderdomes’ outside of their station. ‘It is hilarious to fit it this way’ and ‘it is hilarious to lose an officer fit Rifter’.

What I saw was not hilarity. Not at least in terms of humor and amusement. What I saw was bragging, posturing, and display. I saw someone say, “My alliance is so rich and cares so little about the opinion of others that we will make bad decisions and revel in it because we’re successful even while making these bad choices to defy what is right and correct.” It was rebelling against a perceived cause. In this case, "being good" or "serious" at Eve.

Is rebellion hilarious? If one enjoys watching the antics of another for their amusement, sure.

Eve is full of ‘the right way’ of doing things. It also has a healthy amount of ‘can be done this way’. There is a hard line in the sand of,  ‘wrong or bad’. Sometimes ‘wrong or bad’ overlaps with ‘can be done this way’ because ‘the right way is much more powerful’. Mix that in with opinions, experience, and personal taste and it creates a volatile mix when thrown into the churning waters of Eve Online Player discussions.

Or is it just fun in destruction?

"You've obviously never blown up a car for fun before," someone said to me when I questioned the why on buying and blinging and losing a Sin for the sake of hilarity. This is true. I hold a high value to the things that I earn in my life. In game, I may be fine with losing the things that I earn but losing them to what seems to be the defines of hilarity does not trigger 'fun' for me. Or, I should replace hilarity with, "wasting what I have worked to earn does not appeal to me," and I wind up at this point where the words used and the meaning created clash with each other.

I must admit, that I do have a terrible sense of humor. I see many comedic movies as more cruelty than comedy. I may possess a sense of humor too simple and dry to appreciate hilarity in Eve.

1 comment:

  1. “Go forth and die in a hilarious manner.”

    Of course there is fun in dieing in such a way. Not for the one dieing, but for everyone else. Or, to quote a video game character of mine: "Your death was not in vain... It amused me!"

    To be more detailed: You value ISK, as you are a trader. You ISK are your tool for earning more ISK. For an Incursion runner, he needs the ISK for his Incursion ship and maybe for one replacement and a PLEX a month. He probably doesnt know what to do with the rest. So he plays around, fits expensive ships, losses them and so one. Trader (and probably producers) have another perspective on ISK then Mission Runner etc.

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