When I started playing Minecraft I started to ask myself why things in Eve were bad. Why was it bad to lose a ship? Why was it bad to not be the winner at PvP? Why were so many game behaviors bad? Why did I cringe at things in Eve that I snickered in or sighed in frustration about in Minecraft? I played both games in a similar fashion. I even played the games with the same people. But one often left me feeling not so good about myself while the other made me willing to share the utterly stupid things I did now and then.
Eve has cultures. It has more cultures today then it did two years ago. It has many more then it did four years ago when I started to play. However, those cultures can easily define a person. Social pressure can be shrugged off and you can be told to ignore it but that does not negate its existence or its power.
How does one create a supportive environment? It was an interesting question that I was asked yesterday. The environment in question is one that would assist other players in dipping their feet into areas of Eve that they have considered to much of a challenge. It is a question I have asked myself many times over the last year and one that I do not have an answer for as of yet.
I did point out that one of the largest and more invisable of hurdles would be the fact that people are taught that losing things in Eve is bad. Even though several learning methods promote loss, dying is bad. In our game world with its killboards that track everything people use information as a weapon. They may not have the facts. That slows few down. Making up pieces that reasonably fit into the scenerio is acceptable.
A group can form its own culture and reject others. That is commonly done. However, it takes strong leadership and commitment by its members to do so. Rejecting societal norms is hard. It becomes harder in a game where there are already assumptions as to why we play.
One of Eve's greatest fascinations for me has always been its lack of normal paths. Sucess is defined by the individual. That sounds simple enough but it is more complex then that. Sucess is not just win or lose. It is not only defined in dominating another. It is often the simple task of finding ones own game.
Making a culture is a long term commitment that requires fierce, inner support. It also requires self confidence. It requires group confidence. It is a small word for a large goal.
There are plenty of groups in Eve who have done this. Some are big. Some are small. Some are well known. Others are quiet.
What does it take for these groups to find sucess in bringing others into their definition of Eve?