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Will the real player please stand up?

I installed Eve on my Surface the other day. I then remembered why my last laptop, when I was playing Eve, was an Alienware gaming laptop. My Surface, wonderful creature that it is, runs Eve at such a tiny magnification that I squint to see it. I could change my settings and adjust for this. Instead, I'll stick to my desktop and try to remember to log in and see the latest round of changes.

Yet, here I am writing.

Deep in the muzzy field of my brain that has been working almost daily for the last six weeks, random thoughts bubble up. I may not log in and spend my time focusing on Eve as a world, but it hasn't slipped from me. I've picked up an amazing group of friends that I talk to daily and many of them still play enough that I skim the social edges. At times I'm angry that the same social problems exist. At others, I'm fascinating by the process.

Today is a fascinating day because I've been answering e-mails. I still get e-mails occasionally from people who have read the blog. I admit that I don't check my mail as I used to. The focus of two years the CSM took its toll in ways I am still discovering.

I've always loved getting e-mail about Eve. Many people are very open with me about their struggles in the game. It is a reflection of the openness I tried to create here. While on some level, I've often wanted to be perfect and amazing my rational mind knows that I am know. I've shared my flawed self because that is the self that played the game. That is the self that people eventually elected to represent them. In sharing those flaws I made myself safe to some who needed a place to share their struggles with the game or just ask me how I managed.

That is what led to this wandering introduction about Role-Play.

The eternal question in Eve is what is it missing. What will make people stay? What keeps some of us coming back and others running away? What burns us out?

As I answered this e-mail just a few minutes ago, I found myself commenting on role play. Eve doesn't have Role-Play. Not in a grand scheme that makes the game go. There is associative love to groups, ships, and organizations. People pick their team and fight for it with passion. But never was I the blue haired beautiful Minmatar woman that my avatar represented. I was always me, the player, and my character was my gameplay across all of my accounts with Sugar as its focus.

No, there wasn't roleplay in its basic sense. Yet, Eve is full of roleplay. From the corporate leaders to the fleet commanders. To those that spend hours constructing great ships and others that manages thousands of resource facilities. Few people in Eve are the person that plays Eve.

How did such an introverted person as I, someone that won't even go to friends cookouts, wind up where I did? While the person that I am was not fake, the Role that I played was something I never could have seen myself doing. And when I look around at the players I have known, so many of them are not who you think. The fleet, cold blooded pirate that manages accounting for a car dealership. The burger cook that leads specialty fleets. The day laborer that manages ten thousand highly skilled pilots. The quiet, reserved IT people that mange thousands of people, fight sweeping battles, and plot complex tactics that are beautiful enough to weep.

While we may not role play in its basic nature, we play roles in this game. They develop. Some are given. Some are taken. Most are gained. We become, we change, we grow into and fall from the heights that are created. It is in the success of the player that the role grows. But that success must be carved from almost nothing. Rarely does it work if it is handed over.

Eve has always fascinated me by what people become when given the chance and free of the hindrances that our physical reality is filled with. It may not be traditional, but little of the game is, despite the best efforts.

Absorbing. Exhausting. Fascinating. Heartbreaking. We create something from ourselves. For good or bad. It tends to follow us. To be something that we can look at and manipulate in the contemplation of self. It may be another reason why Eve sticks to its players with such intensity.


  1. Roles that we play
    There are differences in the shading of those roles also mostly reflected in scale. I found that often a person can like a particular role and be successful when growing that role into something larger. However as growth happens the role can change unexpectly.

    My personal experiance with this was starting a Contract Ship Market for my Corp.
    I enjoyed figuring out a plan and putting the pieces into place and launching the market to see if it would work. I had never been a marketeer before and this was something new to try that the corp needed.
    6 months later with over a 200% expansion with 5 people working under my administration/direction/management I found that my mom and pop shop had turned into a super walmart with all of the associated headaches.The role I was orginally playing when starting my project had vastly changed.
    Thankfully another corpmate stepped into those management shoes and I can again take time to stand aside and look at what was built from scratch and be proud it exist instead of being too worn out to have time to appreciate anything.

    1. But they must also build themselves into the role. How many corporations have fallen for those same reasons? There is that disappointment when someone you believe will be an amazing leader instead causes discord and depression. It is not a guaranty that a CEO will save the kingdom and become the hero of the land as there would be ein a more, structured roleplay game.

    2. I truly believe that the lack of gaurentee is something that makes EVE special for every organization that makes a success out of themselves is something that is unique.
      Even more unique is when individuals become famous (or infamous) through their leadership qualities creating a colorful history whether it be through their rise to success or fall from it or in fact both. Having ones name remembered in the annuals of history that EVE now has (Thank You Andrew Groen) is a form of immortality from a certain point of view. Such immortality is always won against the odds.
      ...Thankfully I have never wanted any form of immortality heh.

  2. Hey Sugar, been awhile. Glad to see you're still playing and writing. These comments are pretty crazy. I've been thinking about playing again. Actually subbing. Hiljah is logged out in space in unfriendly nul in a carrier with the old skills and drones. I'm not sure I can do it, I mean I know I could do it, I know what it would take, and I can't bring myself to do it. Roaming w-space again does sound fun. Can you sell a carrier while in space? Anyway I have a wow raid to heal. Hope I see you around.


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