The interwebs are abuzz with chatter about candidates for the Council of Stellar Management (CSM). It is CCP’s institution to bridge the gap between the EVE Online players and CCP’s teams who have the responsibility to fatten investor wallets.
The candidates range from mostly straight up boring bloc votes with nothing interesting to say to a few balanced and knowledgeable players with actual insight into the game. These tend to live in the blogosphere with more or less regular appearance on each other’s posts and podcasts.
Carebears Unite! Gather your pitchforks, arm your Covetors, the enemy is upon thee.
Hulkageddon is one of those things in EVE I never understood. Basically it is community organized event that incentivizes players to charge armed combat ships into unarmed mining ships and blow them up. The combat ships are then targeted by the “police” (Concord, whatever) and themselves killed. So, its suicide missions. The idea is to kill as many as possible and receive prizes and “tears”. Its about as sporting as whacking a toddler, clubbing a baby seal or torturing a frog. It is straight bullying without cause, reason or – in EVE – online backstory. Mindless, destructive aggression. In other words, it is “terrorism” in its true form.
The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses. Vladimir Lenin
This site started in 2009 a more or less private site – the aim was to collect my scattered thoughts about online social interactions with specific views to gaming. I neglected it for over 2 years and only recently began writing a little for a genuine audience. The first round was fiction, not because it was easy but because it was hard(1). Honestly, I had never done it, had time over Christmas and was egged on by the great stories of my corp mate. It was hard work to knock the first three chapters out – 90% in the review and editing, 10% actually writing. Maybe in the future I do the Neal Stephenson thing and write longhand
انا على أخوي وأنا وأخوي على ابن عمي وأنا وابن عمي على الغريب
Me against my brothers, me and my brothers against my cousins, me and my brother and my cousins against the world
Disclaimer. I don’t speak Arabic – so if the above translation is incorrect, please kindly let me know. Much appreciated.
The above saying stems either from a Bedouin tribe or Egypt – sources vary. And since it is Arabic, I assume that every 3-letter agency in the US is now following this blog, reads all my mail, listen to my cell phone and uses my tax money to place a spy camera on my cat.
Ok, back to business. The meaning of the quote is pretty obvious: “I will fight with those close to me against those who are not as close”. In evolutionary terms, this makes perfect sense. My genetic material is more similar to my brother’s (well, if mother was honest) than to my cousin’s. And since I am programmed by my genes to make more copies of myself, protecting my brother’s genes is advantageous to me. The pattern is easily repeated in EVE Online where players form subcultures based on play-style and defend each other from other groups. And whilst there maybe fighting within a group, a fight with an outside enemy tends to bring the group together like no other force. So, in EVE Online, the PvP players may fight and scam each other but align against New Eden’s most harmless target (Ice-miners for god’s sake) with all the vengeance, venom and aggression they can possibly muster. This repeats itself in the constant struggle of PvP versus PvE players and their respective factions and corporations. The origin is the same as the caveman who protects his brother against his cousin and his cousin against a tiger or something.
In the real world, satellite offices for large companies often have the highest productivity, best morale and attitude. But in badly run companies they are allowed to develop a very distinct culture that – if left unchecked – drifts them away from the heaquarters. I have noticed this in all large companies I have worked for or with, most of the time with/in their international sales and marketing groups, which are – by definition – geographically very spread out. The companies who were good at managing it were excellent, the ones who were poor went out of business or should have been. The only difference between the failed and the great companies were the frequent in person visits by the leaders, technical experts and the occasional regional or even global piss-up (err, Strategic Goal Setting Roundtable Convention, something like that). I want to stress, no amount of internet connectivity, no amount of “team” motivational structure and teleconferences can compensate for an afternoon with the team in a pub.
People routinely confuse the medical terms Schizophrenia and Multiple Personality disorder. Both are very serious conditions with millions of sufferers and limited treatment options. So, one should hope that most people who use the internet do not suffer from these conditions. However, I have read and heard too many times online people state that they adopt a different personality when online. This is mostly used as an excuse when a perfectly nice person turns into a raving psychopath as soon as she hits the keyboard. Whether or not the split of online and physical persona is sustainable in the long run where more and more of our real life moves online is a different discussion (I think, anonymity is overrated, privacy is underrated).
My last post got a a little bit of attention in EVE Online community. Ender Black for example left a nice remark despite me being rather critical of his conduct. Very gracious but I think I owe him and myself a post on my attitude towards criminality, MMORPG and the real world.
.. comes great responsibility. A saying attributed to Voltaire and widely used as a caution to the opposite side of the insight that ““Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely” by Lord Acton. Both are written from the viewpoint of someone without power, of course and that is where the dichotomy lies. We are aware that power carries a burden but we seek it nonetheless.
I am not CEO of my Wormhole corp in EVE Online – thank god. It is about as much work as being a real CEO but it will never put real bread on the real table. As a pure hobby, it is an inordinate amount of work and often thankless. CEOs of MMORPG routinely burn out and quit the game or have other forms of personal events that are upsetting and unsavory.
So while I know little about leading a game corp, I know a fair amount about how real life (RL in gamer parlance) companies work.