Talking EVE

 

The hands behind the Dire enthusiastically partake in three hobbies: alpine skiing in the winter, motorcycle riding in the summer, EVE Online tucked around the other waking hours. I tend not to talk motorcycles with the skiers nor skiing with the motorcyclists – it’s the polite thing to do. Sadly, none of my face to face friends play EVE meaning, if I were invariably polite, I’d talk EVE with none of them.

Not being invariably polite, I’ve searched around for ways to talk EVE with people that don’t play and have uncovered a few simple rules that help. One, just like real life, gossip’s often the best stuff. People, being human, enjoy stories about people. Two, KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid), and three, it doesn’t need to be your story. The fact that it happened in your universe is often good enough.

Here’s a successful story I tossed out a few years back . . .


So, in EVE every player is born into civilized space. Some people stick around. Others wander off to less civilized ‘space Somalia’ areas. One group, the Goons, have been out in ‘space Somalia’ for years. Being masters of mass action, they thrive there. (Their leadership coordinates the actions of thousands and thousands of players – I’m serious, thousands and thousands). For murky reasons, a few weeks back they decided to “Burn Jita.” Now in EVE, Jita is space Manhattan; the very beating heart of our universe’s commerce. But the Goons are big and when they decide on mass action you can damn well bet they’ll find a way to organize it. So over the weekend Goons have been raining pain on space Manhattan: jacking armored cars on Wall Street, shooting little old ladies in front of The Met, kicking dogs and overturning vendor carts in Central Park. Space police are running around, sirens blaring but they just can’t keep up. Pandemonium!

At this point my brother interjects, “Look out! It’s the Goon Squad.”

“Pretty much”, I respond. But I have to tell you that for me the extravaganza has proven slightly disturbing. As I said, everybody’s born into civilized space but some, like the Goons, leave. Accordingly, when the Goons returned over the weekend I couldn’t help but think, “The children are returning home . . . with torch and pitchfork.”

Hearing this my sister-in-law raised the arms of the grandbaby sitting happily in her lap and declared in high, grandbaby voice, “Where’s my pitchfork!?”

I eye the grandbaby warily.



Finding Connection

Over the years the hands behind the Dire have dabbled in creative writing. These days the dabble’s well on the way certified hobby status. As chance would have it, one of my neighbors is a retired Broadway singer, published poet and creative writing instructor. Sooner or later we were going to get around to talking creative writing. When ‘later’ arrived, I mentioned I play a MMORPG (“Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game” I explained) and have written a few stories from within that world.

Being an old codger, he’d never heard of MMORPG’s nor the immense amounts of fan fiction they can generate all leaving him intrigued enough to request seeing some of my work. Unable to stuff the ‘I’ve written a little’ cat back in the bag, I delivered him a couple of pieces which he dutifully critiqued with excellent commentary. Pointing out that it hardly seemed fair he gets to see some of my work without me seeing any of his, he delivered me a few pieces of poetry he was working on which I dutifully critiqued and returned with commentary. Now I don’t want to pretend here, this dude’s exceedingly talented while I merely hobby. Still, he seemed to find my critique helpful, I most certainly have found his critique helpful, all meaning when we now meet we often talk writing and occasionally exchange recent work.

It’s proven delightfully interesting. You and I unthinkingly know what it means when an egger gets her pod popped but to someone outside our world it’s wonderfully inventive, astoundingly provocative language. What’s more, EVE’s centering of human social interaction means that when we write something about EVE it, as often as not, sorta really happened meaning, for a poet like my neighbor who’s motivated to get to a little genuine truth, EVE’s a revolutionary universe that complicates what counts as genuine truth. It feels like cheating. I didn’t invent the EVE universe, I just saw the train in station, bought a ticket and hopped on board. We gather our prefabricated worlds where we can.


Closing Connection

For real life career, the hands behind the Dire operate a condominium management business. Accordingly, I end up repeatedly interacting with many hundreds of people over any particular year: residents, owners, contractors, employees, real estate agents, fire marshals, etc . . . Successful navigation of such environment requires some social skill.

The other day, while I was idling away in the office, a resident entered to request an update on the Google Fiber broadband internet connection being installed in his building. Seeing a Crossing Zebra’s article with space ship header on my computer screen his eyes sparkled as he mentioned, “I’ve played EVE. Who do you fly with?” Being a primarily solish player, that’s not an easy question to answer so I replied “I write for Crossing Zebras.”.

Undeterred he waltzed through his biography, “I used to wormhole monkey but these days I fly with CVA down in Provi-bloc. Who did you say you fly with?” ::sigh:: “I’m a casual long term solish player,” I responded paraphrasing my CZ bio, “I used to prey on highseccers (ninja baiting mission runners, suicide ganking, wardeccing), but these day I mostly industry.” At that point he screwed his face up in utter disdain. A reaction that baffled me. Chancing across a fellow EVE player in real life is a pretty rare occurrence and this chap, for whatever reason, chose to cling to his space tribalism rather than engage in pleasant conversation with a possible new friend about an intriguing shared hobby. I don’t suspect he socials much; sure seemed that way.

What’s more, it was a rather unwise reaction to display. I manage the condo he owns. I collect and deposit his condo fee payments. I cut and mail the check for his water bill. I maintain the building he lives in and protect the value of his sizable investment. I’m not the guy you purposely want to real life annoy about playing a space pixel hobby wrong. Bemused, I inwardly rolled my eyes, shooed him out of the office and returned to my work day. He’ll continue to receive the professional services he pays for but I don’t suspect we’re destined to be real life friends. Such is condominium management. Such is EVE.

Tags: DireNecessity

About the author

DireNecessity

A soloish long-term casual player since 2009, sporting a troubling history of preying on the good people of highsec, these days DireNecessity enjoys the gentle pleasures like manufacturing, grandbabies and formal dining.


  • strovolos

    hire hk to evict him

  • Viince_Snetterton

    One group, the Goons, have been out in ‘space Somalia’ for years…..Now in EVE, Jita is space Manhattan.

    Wow. just wow….Yes, we witness massive resource mining and Nimitz class carriers being built in Somalia all the time.

    You could not have come up with a more ridiculous and utterly wrong analogy.

    Again sir, you are an idiot.

    • DireNecessity

      So you don’t social much do you Viince/Dinsdale? The point of the story was to enjoyably talk EVE with people who don’t play and that doesn’t require perfect analogy. “Somalia” was reference to lawlessness but you can cherry pick out imperfections if you wish.

      If I may ask, when did CCP befoul your EVE? As best I can tell you’ve hated the game and despised the people who enjoy the game for at least a couple of years prior to Crius.

      • Viince_Snetterton

        I have had an active sub since 2008. I say active sub, not play the game that entire time. I used to have more subs, but shut them down with Crius. When did I start to despise the people that have done their best to ruin the game? Sometime after the Apocrypha release, which was brilliant.

        Since then, the cartels have gained enough control of CCP, or at least had enough people hired in CCP that have a common vision, to destroy the game for the bulk of the players for the benefit of the select few. Sort of like the slow-moving coup that was completed in the united states of insanity recently.

        I was online, and watching the tourney, when the announcer asked people to log on and see how many people we could get logged on. (yes, I recognize the irony that the tourney is now the RMT machine of the cartels). That number was 63K plus. I remember every Sunday at 50K plus, and that was with paying subs, and the trend was increasing.

        Then the RMT machines got really really good at the meta-game, and the result has been high sec being wiped out and subs getting hammered, while the select few prospered.

        There is much more I want to say about you and the other sociopaths that thrive in the Eve community, but it would likely used to dox me, among other things.

        • DireNecessity

          So you started in 2008 and began despising the people that are ruining your game sometime after March 2009’s Apocrypha. For simplicity let’s stipulate things went foul with the December 1, 2009 Dominion release. That’s what, two possible years of enjoyable EVE followed by seven years of despicable EVE? It must be demoralizing to discover you’ve hated EVE over three times longer than you’ve loved it. What motivates you to hang around in this kind of situation. Surely by now you’ve come to realize your vociferous complaints go unheeded. Why dance in your own impotence?

          • Bill Bones

            “began despising the people that are ruining your game” is not the same as “you’ve hated EVE”…

          • DireNecessity

            At some point despising the people producing EVE and despising EVE itself grow to mean the same thing since, over time, those despised people continue to mold the game further and further away from Viince/Dinsdale’s 2008 glory days. Viince/Dinsdale certainly doesn’t love EVE as it exists now and hasn’t loved what’s actually existed for quite some time. We could quibble over exactly when hatred of the producers of the product extended to hatred of the product produced but I think it not a terribly important distinction in this particular case as that ship has long sailed.

          • Viince_Snetterton

            You have no idea when I recognized the game started going to shit, so your stipulation is garbage. And I have let myself yet again get dragged into a conversation with a troll. That ends now.

        • Eegadalot

          Tin foil doesn’t actually protect you from their mind control you know. It actually has the opposite effect!
          Also bat shit actually makes you more sane. I have proofs hidden in a briefcase buried in the ice.

    • Dr.P.A.esq

      I disagree. For the purposes of communicating with a non-eve online player, this analogy serves it purpose nicely.