Science fiction has always been used to explore the morals and customs of the contemporary world. It is the ultimate Rube-Goldberg device where the starting conditions can be altered and the outcome contrasted with what the reader is used to. What if there are no consequences to the murder of thousands of innocents? What happens when I can buy and sell slaves but am arrested if I smuggle drugs. How would society split if a tiny minority wields ultimate power and drags the majority gets dragged into one bloody war after the other? What happens when the science of engineering and the science of biology finally merge and create humans who can leave their body any time they wish and chose a new one somewhere else? Where a few people concentrate all the wealth and gain true immortality? What role will family and loyalty play? What defines honor?
These are all old themes. Creating parallel worlds with characters seeded that we associate with but that are more powerful than we are makes us wonder about our strength to use these powers wisely. Starwars of course, but this is much older. The author of Emergent Patroller for example recently found the association with the demi-gods (and gods!) of ancient Greece. Demi-gods by en large abused their powers or at least their motivation was morally questionable. They may have served as warning to ensure moral behavior amongst the mortals but I also believe that they represented the what-if-scenarios of the time, exploring the ancient question, “what would I do if I had superpowers?”.
EVE Online is massive multiplayer online game MMOG with the possibility of including Role-playing (RP) where players take the background of the game and develop their own stories within it. Some players chose to act out their role play, others focus primarily on writing fiction in that context. Either way, the player has crossed the threshold from being a passive consumer to a creator. This is not unique to EVE Online, of course. Fan fiction has been written (so I hear) for pretty much every game out there but EVE is slightly different. Players truly own the game in that they generate content, stories and much of the forces that impede or stimulate game play. Time spent in the game is rarely predicable as other players have changed the conditions in which a character operates.
And lastly, EVE Online players have a perceived notion of superiority over the poor peasants playing World of Warcraft or other minor games. EVE is complicated, hard, brutal and with little mercy but the disdain from the players towards other games comes from being the underdog. While few start the game, even fewer “get” it and persist. This promotes the general attitude of being the elite of online players and whilst I personally believe that EVE Online is the best game to-date in this genre, I do not share this opinion. These games are what the player makes of it.
One word of warning. EVE “Lore” is spotty compared to some other games but there are clear conventions and guidelines. So they say. This is important when writing fiction designed to gel back into the game world and of course with stories written by others. I decided not to follow this convention with my first foray into fiction. I find it limiting to constantly check background “facts” for my story and spend hours to check if I missed one detail. So, my stories may not always connect with the canon of the game world but I hope they are entertaining none-the-less.