Here’s A Rubik’s Cube, Go Fuck Yourself

 

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?

 

fields

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.

Did you enjoy this article? Please consider supporting Crossing Zebras.

 

Tags: niden

About the author

Niden

11 year EVE veteran, Snuff Box lowsec scumbag, writer, graphic artist, producer, Editor-in-Chief of Crossing Zebras and the second most influential player in EVE, according to EVE Onion.

  • rixxjavix

    I wrote this comment after I read the headline. Neaner neaner.

  • Mr E Guest

    Deliberately structures article to try to provoke a reaction? Check.
    Clickbait tactics taken to a whole new meta? Check

    Congratulations on bringing Jita Local chat to life.

    • Fearlesslittletoaster

      WTS PLEX 800m.

    • Fearlesslittletoaster

      WTS PLEX 800m! Firesale, Need Isk now!

    • Fearlesslittletoaster

      Hangar Cleanout, check contract for details!

    • Fearlesslittletoaster

      I’m quitting Eve and giving all my Isk away, but there are rules! Send me 1m and I will double it. Send me 50m and I will triple it! Sent me 100m and get 500m back! But you have to do it right, see the rules in my bio to get rich today!

      • Not-an-Alt

        Oh shit guys, he’s legit. Thanks Fearless!

    • Fearlesslittletoaster

      100% legit 50% isk halve service or 100% of your isk back!

  • Asher

    Niden, stop making me want to man-handle you! <3

    • Niden

      You can “man-handle” me any day superstar

      • Asher

        oh you…

        • tasman_devil

          Get a room you two! 🙂

  • bardghost

    I will disagree on the fact there is no goal. (Not a huge disagreement though)

    Whilst you can step off the treadmill and realise there is no true goal, there will always be one and its the reason you are playing the game, To have fun.
    That’s my goal at least, enjoy myself playing the game and do what I feel like doing when logged in.

    • Niden

      I see what you’re saying. However, to me, the very definition of a goal is something in the future. The reason this is relevant in this case is because people will do all the things I talk about in the first half of the article in order to reach lofty goals, often making fools of themselves, enduring suffering, humiliation, submission and burning out along the way. People that set out playing EVE that way and never learn their lesson are doomed to ‘fight’ EVE instead of enjoy it, and will ultimately just be another one that bites the dust from my long-term perspective.

      • Fearlesslittletoaster

        I think the real trick is figuring out what counts as fun for an individual in Eve. Folks either find what tickles their fancy and stay, or burn out chasing dreams provided to them by others that never quite resonate.

        • Kamar Raimo

          Or they develop something similar to battered wife syndrome 😛

          • Fearlesslittletoaster

            Or that, yeah.

  • theseconddavid

    Eve is a life simulator, not a space simulator. Can you win at life? If you answer yes, then you can win at eve as well. If you answer no, then the only way to win at eve is to quit. I understand not wanting to be a part of the rat race, but this editorial was a little too nihilistic.

    • DireNecessity

      I think Niden’s sweeping florid language displayed far too much majesty to be dismissed as mere nihilism. When one looks up from fiddling with their specific cube, and most long term players eventually do, there’s often a ‘Holy Shit, what an extraordinary pageant!’ moment. There’s nothing nihilistic about experiences like that, instead they are gratifying reframings.

      • Niden

        Like I said, I thing you understood where I was going with this better than I did myself. Thanks Dire.

  • luobote kong

    You know if you replaced “Eve” with the word “Religion” this great article still makes perfect sense. Not sure that is a helpful contribution. But perhaps if Eve didn’t exist, then someone would have to invent it.

    • Niden

      Hey Luobote, you should come back and write some! 🙂

      • luobote kong

        Turning ideas into words. Always a problem. But I will throw something together when the two concepts align 🙂

  • hepty

    Great article, but need more eve art/pron, my desktop cycle is getting old 😀

    • Niden

      WTB time!

  • Erutor of Eve

    This.

    EVE is a process, not an event, and a journey, not a destination.

  • Joe Wagner

    I LIKE that there’s no goal. No stupid NPC’s telling me to gather 15 rotten orc spleens, or listening to NPC’s talk to one another (I had a bout of insomnia the other night, fired up another MMO and spent 15 minutes in a ‘quest’ where that happened. Cured my insomnia right away!).

    There’s no winning in EVE- and that makes me happy! I am an insignificant bit of space dust shooting little red boxes that always come back, and ripping apart rocks that reform a few minutes later– AND I THINK THATS JUST AWESOME!!!!!

    • Niden

      Being content is the greatest riddle there is.

  • Amberpaw

    *reads first half*
    ….*picks up baseball bat to knock you out of EVE*

    *reads 2nd half*
    …..i’m not gonna apologize for wanting to hit you… but i agree.

    …..however i’m not putting the bat down.

    • Niden

      Making someone else want to hit you is half the fun of EVE 😉

  • Really?

    EVE shall win itself, too. According to Bloomberg news CCP is looking to sell the company.

  • PhReaKin Stoner

    I don’t know what the fuck you just said lil homie. But your a special snowflake. You reached out, and touched a brothas heart. Lemme give you some direction. Show’em Dotlan Scott. SHOWEM DOTLAN.

  • kuroku

    this nihilistic article made me want to quit winning EVE … if only I had more […] everything would be allright

  • Erik Kalkoken

    Great article. Luckily I already found a way to enjoy Eve 😉