Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Safety is a Falsehood

Is this Eve ghosthood? A specter formed of thoughts and memories of times past? Are there chains for me to rattle and hearths to haunt? Should there be any perspectives and opinions from this outside opinion.

Upon closer inspection there is chainmail.


Rattling chainmail 200mm steel plates, the eerie blue haired specter of Sugar Kyle floats across the chat rooms of old. The discussions are a thousand whispers (after all she is docked at Jita 4.4) that flicker and flow. Are they memories or are they reality? So much has changed and at the same time, nothing has.

Over the years I spent a lot of time pondering safety and risk in Eve. I opined and write. In the end, when I no longer undocked and had given up PvP out of stubbornness, I came to the simple conclusion that safety and risk in Eve are defined by the players. In a game where there are no goal points, the player society has created dozens. These intangible, unenforceable, and subjective points are here because we as people seek to define the world around us.

It is not that Eve is not safe. It is that the player base decided that losing ships and items is bad.

Now, in a way it is bad. After all, I'd not log into other games and have things 'soul locked' to me and other such fun, sparkly terms if losing stuff wasn't an overall negative. I don't like losing things in life. It is rather stressful. The general loss of stuff isn't good. But it also shouldn't be bad.

Yet is is. In general, it is bad to lose ships in Eve. Undesirable. Unpleasant. It gets you laughed at. It can be the basis of scorn. And, it can become a thing of great pride when the proper person uses it as a tool and owns it.

Loss is fascinating in Eve. It doesn't play along the normal rule lines as one defines the word. Over the thousands of words that I wrote, they all danced around the simple core element. I did not fear loss. I feared the reactions when others knew of my loss.

"Safety is a falsehood," was something I read today. It made me sigh because the conversation was about someone that mined all night in null sec while asleep and didn't lose their ship.

"They always say some areas of null sec are safe," I said.

"Safety is a falsehood," was the response.

"That concept will consume you," was more or less my response. I don't feel like looking at logs.

"What?"

How do I explain that it is not about safety. It is not about risk. It is not about loss. It is about subjective goalposts and failing to meet them.

The thing that fascinates me about Eve has always been the social interactions and the strength of it while at the same time, independence and personal goals are touted. On the surface it is easy to see them as contradictions. But look past and it is a reflection of an interactive, complex gathering of people.

I doubt I'll ever stop finding this game fascinating.

5 comments:

  1. Sugar! It’s great to see you post again! Come get on POSPY comms sometime. Kes and I miss ya!

    -Ailee

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  2. Eve is a game, it's supposed to be fun.

    Some of the best fun I've had in the game came at a cost of losing a ship or two.

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  3. "I doubt I'll ever stop finding this game fascinating."

    Oh Sugar this is so true. I've more or less spent the last year exploring through occasional writing just what it is I find fascinating about this game and while I would say I've gotten a little clearer about how I happen to approach EVE I wouldn't say I've gotten much clearer about the game itself.

    EVE is so much bigger than the conglomeration of its individual pieces. Extraordinary.

    DireNecessity

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  4. Ailee holy crud small world eh? *waves

    I have found as I learn group PVP (from the good people of POSPY that took me in) much as you have described in many of your post that if I lose my ship helping my gang in a battle that I don't view it as a loss if my contribution helped and especially if I learned something new I rather view it as tuition at the university of PVP per say.

    Now if I derp a ship and lose it I can get irritated but I won't be irritated at losing the ship that is an inconvenience but not earth shattering I get irritated at myself for doing something stupid. I think everyone who wants to improve themselves in whatever way has probably felt similar feelings.

    And Ailee is completely correct its wonderful to see new post *tips hat thanks for making today better with new words and ideas/reflections to read about.
    Made my day :)

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  5. "I did not fear loss. I feared the reactions when others knew of my loss."

    And thus PVP continues after the battle, where your fight is with your friends.

    Its a strange game, tbh.

    I can easily understand why it is such a wonderful economic simulation for evaluating economic theories. I can only imagine it as being a phenomenal resource for social and behavioral theory development as well.

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