Blog Banter 37: The Line in the Sand

“EVE Online sits on the frontier of social gaming, providing an entertainment environment like no other. The vibrant society of interacting and conflicting communities, both within the EVE client and without, is the driving force behind EVE’s success. However, the anonymity of internet culture combined with a competitive gaming environment encourages in-game behaviour to spread beyond the confines of the sandbox. Where is the line?

Oh the famous line between the real world and the online world – this is what my blog is all about and hence it should be dead easy to drop a few lines with references to my older posts and be done with it.  Yes?

Maybe.

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Split personality?

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).

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With great power….

.. 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.

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How do you motivate gamers?

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.

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A rough day in EVE Online

I described before that the MMORPG EVE Online has a very different dynamic from other games when it comes to social interaction.  The risks are higher and consequently, when something goes bad it can ruin the fun in the game.

We had such a day yesterday when a group of us decided to take on another group of players, was badly outgunned, out-maneuvered and out-thought.  We were not neccessarily outmanned since our team had 3 people with 4 characters on the deck and the opposition about that many but the fight did not go well.  We lost 3 ships, the others none and what started as a solid charge turned into a cluster****.

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About Friendship….

Society is currently undergoing rather substantial transformations, the one I mean to think about today is “friendship” and what it means nowadays.  Maybe there are many blogs and scientific papers written about it but I never looked at those.  Not because of arrogance but because I abhor channel flipping.   I’d like to stay with my topic for a while and not have it “contaminated” by the wisdom and insights of others.

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