CCP isn’t EVERixx Javix
It is a common mistake that EVE players have been making since the beginning of EVE. A perspective that continues to infuse a large percentage of players with anger, frustration and often a sense of righteous indignation. It is an error in viewpoint, a mistake in perception, and a dangerous path that only leads to negativity. A refrain that places the well-being of EVE at the doorstep of the one place it truly doesn’t belong – at CCP.
thousands of players participating in a science-fiction simulation together
CCP is not EVE. EVE is thousands of players participating in a science-fiction simulation together on a shared server. EVE is a built world, a planned community inhabited by people, developed by developers, but largely empty. A park with some structures, but a place where most people end up throwing frisbees, or having picnics, or playing softball, or walking their dogs. EVE is a shell in many ways. A shell populated and driven by player activity. It is nothing without the life that we, as players, inject into it. Imagine taking the family to the local park for a picnic, setting everything up, looking around and asking, “I wonder who built this park?”
I came to this understanding on my own journey during the Summer of Incarna. Like many players that take an interest in the larger community I often found myself swept up in the crowd. I freely admit it. Why can’t CCP fix this? Why hasn’t this been done? Why isn’t this better? Why isn’t EVE more popular? There are a thousand such questions, you only have to spend a few minutes on the forums, or on Reddit, or anywhere else that players gather to come to the conclusion that EVE is perpetually broken. A dispassionate observer, seeing the EVE player base for the first time, might very well wonder – why are people playing this thing at all?
Before the tinfoil hats come out in force, let me be clear. I’m not an idiot. Of course CCP is responsible for EVE. They are the wizards behind the curtains. And that is where they belong. There are on-going issues with EVE that CCP needs to deal with, develop and grow. There is a limit to how much players can do to help that process along. We are not given the keys to the code for a reason. Only CCP has that key. Goodness knows I’ve fought my own battles with CCP over the years, made hundreds of suggestions, and tried to work with them on many issues. They are, after all, the developers of the park. But that does not make them EVE.
Because we are Eve. You and me.
Because we are EVE. You and me. Our friends in corp. Your wingman. The diplomat in alliance chat. The dude on Slack. The miner in the belt. We are EVE. Without us there is no EVE, but with us it is something special. They call it “the largest living work of science-fiction” and I like that description. That is a description that I am proud to be a part of. Because together we breathe life into an otherwise empty universe. Our actions. Our decisions. Our characters. And our character. This is what EVE is. And it has surprisingly little to do with a company in Iceland.
Imagine that CCP disappeared suddenly in a cloud of thought experiment magic. The servers continued to operate long into the heat death of our own universe. It’s a mind game, so go with me on this. The immediate reaction might well be a large number of players unsubbing in anger. “How dare CCP leave us hanging!!” (I agree that would suck, but again, mind game.) But an even larger group of players wouldn’t even notice that CCP was gone. And a slightly smaller group of players would realize that the future of the game was suddenly in their own hands. It would take some time for this new dynamic to fully sink in certainly. During this time many players would take it upon themselves to promote the game. Entire communities would spring up from the ashes. Eventually the process of keeping EVE alive would take on new meanings, new goals, and a new level of determination.
The point being that nothing inside of EVE would change. The real question, and the point of such a mind game is this – what would CCP disappearing have to do with YOUR game? How would it affect you personally as a player inside of EVE? Take a moment and give that a real good think. For me the realization was slow and took time to sink in, but eventually I realized that it wouldn’t change anything. I’d still log in, I’d still enjoy flying with my corp mates, still love making art for the community, still try to find good fights, and still believe that Eve is something special. Realizing this fact after the Summer of Incarna changed my own EVE experience significantly. And I think it might just change yours as well. If you let it.
it puts everything into the proper perspective
Don’t get me wrong here. This is not an anti-CCP article. This is not an anti-anything article. This is only about perception. Once you realize that EVE rests in your own hands and not those of CCP, it changes the way you approach the game. In my humble opinion, it puts everything into the proper perspective. This in no way removes CCPs responsibilities for shepherding Eve and keeping it on course. Or for promoting it. Or for fixing things that are wrong with it. Someone has to keep the park rides in order. Someone has to remove the trash, paint the rides, trim the trees, and keep out the unsavory criminal elements. But what goes on inside the park is all about us and the choices we make.
EVE is a sandbox. And CCP is our partner in making it a fun place to play. But what happens in that sandbox is in our hands. We are the ones that determine our fate, that reap the results of our decisions and that drive the content that make EVE… well, EVE.
CCP isn’t EVE. We are.