Here’s A Rubik’s Cube, Go Fuck YourselfNiden
You have been lied to. The dreams that lured you here are a mirage, bait. This is a hutch to trammel dreamers of adventure, power, conquest, recognition, love… playing your heartstrings like a fiddle. There is no red pill and monsters lie in wait to carelessly humiliate you and whimsically push you to the edge of sanity alongside thousands of others who do not matter, save for cruel entertainment.
EVE is an elaborate Three-card Monte hustle on the sodded street of the internet ghetto and you’re the mark. At best you will be a an insignificant statistic, a speck of dirt in the shadow of fleeting headlines, but more likely a smudge of unremarkable static, the birth, life, and death of which will pass through the hourglass unseen on its way to an unmarked grave as you log off for the final time.
Perhaps you will flock to a banner, filling that empty void inside you that yearns to belong and matter, swallowing down the obvious contradictions your leaders bassoon out into endless feedback loops as you spinelessly conform to the expected identity. Desperately, you’ll try to shield yourself from the harsh truth with a tattered cloak of spin and “metagame”, hiding in the throng of your herd when the wolves come baying, or eagerly trampling your peers into the mud if it means you’re one inch closer to the sunshine when “your people” have accomplished something, when in fact, you have accomplished nothing but obedience.
In a macabre farce of dignity you will do your best to fling shit the hardest and fastest at whomever raises a critical brow towards your leaders or lifestyle in EVE. As you throw yourself with utter stupidity on the spears towards Valhalla, yelling “Witness me!”, the world laughs at your back and points mockingly, perchance so that they, in turn, might grab a smidge of attention, as all of you roll like swine in the same fetid mud.
The stars above are faraway carrots in a world of sticks, downvotes, complicated mechanics and soul-crushing TiDi. Why are you still here?
At this point there’s a good chance you’re triggered, you’re getting ready to either white-knight EVE and the community, or fling shit at me in the comments. Judging by statistics, at least one of you will have already written a comment before reading the rest of the article. It’s fine, I get it. Who has time to read shit anyway, it’s all about showing others how you dramatically react to stuff, right?
Are you telling yourself that there’s another way? Perhaps you are convinced that the above does not apply to you, that things will be different, that you will matter. Maybe you’re still here out of stubbornness or perhaps none of it matters because you’re driven by vengeance.
Statistically speaking, for most of you, the above is the truth. You will burn out, or slowly fade away in obscurity.
The only way to survive in EVE in the long run is to stop trying to ‘solve’ it, but rather, to live in symbiosis with it. Yes, it’s a Rubik’s Cube, and you most certainly can go and fuck yourself – you probably will – ever more fervently trying to master its mechanics or social norms as if there is a goal, a meaning behind the complexity of the game itself or the rough nature of its community.
If only you had this much ISK, if only your group could achieve that thing, if only you could gain that much respect, then EVE would be what you always wanted, then you would enjoy it.
A small sliver of you might realise that you can put the stupid Cube in your pocket, step off the treadmill and have a look around. As you take that step to the side, patterns emerge in the chaos, as players come, repeat, and leave – like digital ants slowly eroding complex patterns in the fabric of meaningless narratives that are nothing more than bread and games for the plebeians. None of it matters, there is no goal, and accepting that is not something everyone can cope with. But when you do, you are elevated. And as you look to your left and right, there are others there beside you, watching the world churn below. Those who truly stay do so out of a love for EVE itself, and perhaps a hint of pride that they have been through the crucible and understood that the solution to the riddle is to set it aside. They are a part of EVE and EVE is part of them, but they are content and untethered.
And if I see you there I’ll tip my fedora and know, “That, is an EVE player.”
Note: “Welcome to Eve Online. Here’s a rubik’s cube, go fuck yourself.” – designer Kristoffer Touborg, discussing Eve’s UI.
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