Friday, February 13, 2009

EVE in the Blogosphere

Raph Koster is a well known game developer and MMO enthusiast. He commented recently on the whole DBoB affair.

I posted a comment as well that I want to repost here. This just repeats how strongly I feel about the great value of EVE in this gaming market.

""I’m a EVE player. I’ve also played most of the other MMOs on the market, starting with Island of Kesmai, Gemstone, UO and on and on to present.

I think Raph’s in depth analysis of the social dynamics of EVE is compelling. But I take some issue with his opening comments that suggest “another EVE Scam…ho hum”.
EVE, as many will tell you, is probably the most complex simulation/MMO on the market today. Even if you don’t care for the harsh PVP or the Sci-Fi genre you have to be impressed with the intricacy of the game itself.

But the true value, the real driver of what keeps players sticking around EVE for years and years is the humanity of it all. Yukon Sam seems to suggest, eloquently, that the MMO market would benefit from a game that pursues a more utopian interaction from players. I personally find some aspect of that kind of play in ATITD. But what keeps me coming back to EVE is that the game has found that blend of qualities that endear it to the true human spirit. Conflict is part of humanity. Tribes (clans, corporations, alliances) are what we, as humans, do. Exploring the good, bad and ugly of human interaction is one of the best parts of multiplayer gaming.

The ability to ‘scam’, pirate, steal, etc. in EVE gets a lot of press. But, regardless of how often those things happen, there is a great deal more communication, trust, community development happening in this game. It’s just that the more morally ambiguous behavior garnishes the public response.

What happened to BoB is terrific. Not because it happened the way it did but because it is yet another step forward in the social sandbox of EVE. I disregard the notion about ‘in-game’ versus ‘out of game’ mechanics. EVE inspires ‘out of game behavior’. EVE TV, EVE Radio, Killboards, blogs, interaction at every level is what MMOs should be about. How GoonSwarm did this is not as important as is the fact that they DID THIS. Of course, BoB isn’t ‘gone’. The players are still there and the alliance will be reborn. But the anthill has overturned and the interactions generated are so great for the game.

Rome fell. Europe and the British Empire evolved because of it. Machiavellian politics and plots happened. We all should appreciate the wealth of human interaction that arises from our inherent xenophobic Tribal tendencies. It is our base urges toward conflict as well as our occasional insights into the value of cooperation and charity that make us human. The Jailor’s dilemma, isn’t it?

I love EVE because it embodies the best place in the current gaming market to explore all of this human content. ""

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