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Six Days in Spaceland

One trip to Iceland later, Patrick comes to understand what drives 500,000 players to engage in the ongoing space opera that is EVE Online, and why being a game about spreadsheets is a good thing.

Reality becomes slightly blurry at EVE Online’s Fanfest, an annual gathering--nay, pilgrimage--for the online space game’s most dedicated schemers, dreamers, and astronauts.

Don’t play EVE Online and expect to succeed. Success is relative. Understanding failure and the cruel, unfair nature of humanity is lesson one. A consistent story I heard from its players was the day they lost their first ship. It happens early, but late enough that players have spent hours and hours with the game. In a moment, it’s all gone. There’s no checkpoint. Most games are designed to ensure the player, if found to be putting in a reasonable effort, will be victorious. Games are, largely, not about failure anymore. There is no winner in EVE Online, at least not a permanent one, and many players are happy to squash you under a virtual boot--the whole reason Something Awful’s GoonSwarm alliance exists is to ruin everyone's time. It’s an experience that asks you to totally forget the concept of a backlog and submit.

When you attend the Penny Arcade Expo, it feels like a big club. Everyone is kind of sort of into the same things, but we’ve come here for different reasons. You might not be into what I'm into. Fanfest is a brotherhood. No one spends hundreds of dollars to visit EVE Online’s home unless EVE Online is like home to them. It fashions a completely different kind of atmosphere, one that inspires an intimate camaraderie usually left to goofy chat room banter. Here, it’s safe to be obsessed. Here, you can cheer at new scanning options in the upcoming expansion, Odyssey, and get a stiff high-five in return.

When Drew and I showed up, we found a makeshift tattoo parlor where players could have logos, flags, and other treatments made permanent. Drew quickly filmed the first person we spotted, figuring it would be a rare occurrence. The whir of ink-on-skin was there all weekend.

The event is held in chilly Reykjavik, both the capital and largest city in Iceland. The tiny country is home to just 319,000 people, and more than 120,000 reside in Reykjavik itself. As an American whose handful of years learning a foreign language went out the window years ago, traveling to Iceland is a surreally familiar experience. Residents speak pitch-perfect English, and nearly every menu starts in English, not Icelandic. This is true of many tourist-centric locations around the world--tourism was 5.9% of Iceland’s GDP in 2010--but it’s even more prolific in Iceland. Residents told me there was an easy explanation for this: nothing is translated into Icelandic. If you want to experience games and movies, you learn quickly.

Roughly 1,400 cadets showed up for Fanfest this year, the biggest gathering yet. But that number surprised me. Doesn’t a convention mean thousands and thousands of people? If Fanfest was held in Los Angeles, it would probably attract more of its 500,000 active users, but it wouldn’t be Fanfest. Iceland feels magical, mysterious, and one isn’t surprised it birthed the band Sigur Ros. EVE Online is set in an alien part of space, and Iceland is appropriately alien to most of its players.

Being held in developer CCP Games’ backyard--it’s literally blocks away--has benefits. Many of the developers who build the worlds players spend their time in are right in front of them. There’s a keynote each night of Fanfest, where CCP gathers the troops and unveils what’s next. Behind the enormous screen are seats filled by developers. When fans hoot, holler, and applaud, they aren’t just hyping up each other--they’re thanking EVE’s creators. A senior developer announced he was moving to mobile development at CCP, and the house gave him a standing ovation for minutes. There were few dry eyes.

It’s enlightening to watch the interaction between players, too. The stories that bubble up from EVE Online involve conflict, backstabbing, and warfare. When one side succeeds, the other isn’t merely defeated, they’re buried, beaten, embarrassed, and immortalized. It wouldn't be surprising if people, then, hated one another in real-life, but it’s the opposite. Fanfest is all hugging, swapping stories, swilling beer, and taking shots (in Iceland, the preferred spirit is the native Brennivín, a not-so-bad liquor with the misleading name “Black Death”). Quiet meetings occur at Fanfest, including a nightly gathering of the leading members at high-level corporations and alliances that rotates bars to keep it all secret.

That isn’t to say there isn’t some tension. EVE Online has villains, perhaps none more infamous than Alex “The Mittani” Gianturco, one of the game's most powerful entities. The outside world learned his name due to a drunken comment at last year’s Fanfest, in which he encouraged people to track down and harass a specific player who had aired suicidal thoughts. (The alcohol involved in the incident, Jagermeister, was jokingly banned during this year's equivalent panel, a roundtable presentation by popular and upcoming alliances in the game.) CCP was forced to respond. Gianturco was banned from EVE Online for 30 days, removed from the player-elected council, and issued a formal apology. But as the leader of GoonSwarm, EVE Online’s most notorious and troll-y group, Mittani is both celebrated and reviled. GoonSwarm is known for a number of passive aggressive harassment tactics, including spamming “local chat” (which allows players to talk with those immediately around them) with links to dick pictures. A group of us were walking from the convention center and discussing Mittani. Another set of attendees walked past, and yelled “Mittani is a faggot!”

Soon, Mittani and others will be memorialized outside the game itself. CCP is asking players to contribute their best stories from playing EVE Online, some of which will be included in an upcoming book celebrating EVE Online’s first decade of existence, while others may inform the storylines for an in-development television show based on the game. CCP is trying to bribe players into giving up their secrets, a task more difficult than you’d imagine. Time and time again, when I’d ask players for their craziest stories from playing EVE Online, each would play it close to the chest and keep some details secret, as those details still had an impact on the ongoing game. Furthermore, CCP is building a literal monument to EVE Online in Iceland, and players active in the game during May will have their names inscribed at the base. When this was announced at Fanfest, someone in the crowd shouted “Vile Rat!"

Vile Rat, known to friends and family as Sean Smith, was EVE Online’s chief diplomat, a trader of words and promises, and often at the center of EVE Online's biggest moments. He also worked for the U.S. State Department, and was killed during an attack in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. There was little mention of Vile Rat during Fanfest, but when someone shouted Smith’s virtual name, the room went quiet. CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar said the monument would remember those alive...and no longer with us.

The crowd applauded.

(There are excellent profiles of Vile Rat at Kotaku and, of all places, Playboy.)

I joked at the start of our travelogue video that coming to Fanfest was a lark, and it’s true. I’ve wanted to attend Fanfest since I joined up with Giant Bomb, and CCP provided an opportunity to do so this year. (Thanks!) Much of my work involves preparation, but I didn't do any here. We’d be immersed in the subculture of EVE Online for several days, and I wanted to trust my gut on what was interesting, and pass that on to you. After a day or two, you pick up the lingo, and it’s easy enough to have conversations about a game you actually know very little about. By the end, you’re itching to head home and start playing, and it generated lengthy reflections about my playing habits, and what I value out of my game time.

To be fair, EVE Online does look much cooler in screens. It looks REALLY cool, though.

The stories of EVE Online’s grand clashes are the envy of every game, online or not. There’s the player who doesn’t even play EVE Online but simply spends his time researching other players and selling that information to the highest bidder. There are alliances who fight one another based on time zones, and will attack the other’s most vulnerable locations, based on when those people sleep. There’s the player-elected council that’s issuing “no comments” on a recent scandal involving the leaking of Skype conversations between the council and the game’s developers. These stories are why so many players and journalists are fascinated by EVE Online, even as they give it the stink eye from a distance. It seems impossible to not be jealous of the adventures these fanatics are having in EVE Online. When I think about how I spend much of my time playing games, so many of them hollow experiences purely designed to “keep up with the conversation,” it prompts me to ask...why? These renegades have tossed the rest of gaming aside to roll the dice with the most important currency of all: time. Games try so hard to create impact and consequence, while EVE Online does so effortlessly by robbing you of your time investment when things go wrong, or another player fucks you over. The stories are so gut-wrenching because it can all be measured in time.

My other response was confusion over the general contempt for EVE Online from anybody who doesn’t play it. “It’s a spreadsheet game,” is far and away the most common way to describe the game. It’s true for a couple of reasons--much of the game can be controlled through an interface that looks like a page from Excel, players manage their resources and corporations through actual spreadsheets--but destructive and disingenuous for so many others. EVE Online largely succeeds is because it is a spreadsheet. EVE Online isn’t a twitch game, but requires just as much if not more skill than games that garner much more respect. If EVE Online were a twitch game, one in which the best pilots were the most successful, it would limit the time and interest the players had exploring the way crazier aspects of the game, which directly results in the drama and political intrigue we love to chat about after a well-written feature summing up a forum post about a past weekend’s crazy series of events. By removing the traditional skill barriers, an increasingly archaic way of defining a game, EVE Online invites so much more. The very thing people lodge against the game as a negative helps produce the moments everyone loves.

Fanfest reinforced a personal theme of 2013: don’t judge a book by its cover. Or, at least, judge that book once you’ve had a chance to actually judge it. Love and hate things on your own terms. I was wrong about Monster Hunter. I was wrong about EVE Online. Wrong is, perhaps, inaccurate. My preconceived notions of both were reinforcing ongoing narratives that both are inscrutable, only for crazy people. These crazy people are having way more fun with their games than I often am. Who’s really crazy?

Also, you should go to Iceland. It's really great.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Edited by Reisz

Really been looking forward to this. Thanks Patrick.

Edited by gelatinabomination

This is fascinating. Great job, Patrick!

Edited by J23

So wait, have you actually started playing EVE, @Patrick? I've always heard that it's more fun to hear about stories coming out of EVE than to play it, but it certainly seems like getting caught up in the web of lies and betrayal that seem to envelop most of these corps would be pretty fun.

Posted by patrickklepek

@j23 said:

So wait, have you actually started playing EVE, @Patrick? I've always heard that it's more fun to hear about stories coming out of EVE than to play it, but it certainly seems like getting caught up in the web of lies and betrayal that seem to envelop most of these corps would be pretty fun.

I played about five hours before we headed to Iceland, and am mulling a return...

Staff
Posted by PrintedCrayon

I would love to be able to dedicate some time to EVE but its mechanics seem so deep. Plus with a 9/5 job I just put that sort of time into a game anymore. Regardless, some of the stories that come out of EVE are some of the most fascinating in the entire industry which means I am quite happy to sit on the sidelines and read up on what happened!

@patrickklepek Does GB plan on doing more sort of travelogues? It's honestly great to see all these different stories from around the world.

Edited by TheMasterDS

Is it at all strange I would've preferred it if the Mattani bashing group of attendees called the guy a fucker rather than a faggot? Is it weird that motherfucker seems way less offensive and way more apt for a guy who is a great big asshole than faggot? No, right?

Edited by Rain_1

I wrote this on twitter, but I might as well write it here, because that's what the comments section is actually for:

Your final paragraph on "who's crazy?" is perfect. Nice compilation of your thoughs from bombcasts and live shows. Great read

Edited by SomberOwl

Man you know you got nothing to do when you read a whole article about a game I'm not even slightly interested in. Oh well. The culture of EVE Online players is interesting. I wish I was into a game this much and part of the sub culture. I miss being into a game that much. At the moment I'm just playing new releases to completion then putting it away forever.

Being part of a larger experience in games is much more enjoyable. Waking up and being like "Yep I'm playing this game and going to get a very enjoyable experience", instead of "This game comes out tomorrow and I'll pick it up and play it for a week".

Having read this and most of the other EVE Online coverage from @patrickklepek, I must say I really envy people who play EVE. I'm also jealous of the experiences there having.

Edited by Marokai

I hate raining on what is an otherwise well written piece, but I feel like I've heard every bit of this from Patrick before in the last couple weeks. I suppose this article was meant as a wrap-up sort of closure piece.

Edited by smokmnky

As a former player who still hangs around the jabber chat rooms I can confirm that the game is pretty great. I was there for the fall of BoB and the loss of Delve because we forgot to pay our bills, it was fun and the community is generally pretty great.

Edited by scaramoosh

It's the game that is all social as the actual gameplay isn't all that fun. I mean stuff like the player economy is all social and it's my favourite part about the game. I love how harsh it is, though I think high sec and the transition to low sec is a massive flaw and really needs to be revised. Either throw people in the deep end to start with by getting rid of high sec or make the transition less of a cliff so people are more willing to venture into PVP.

For me though the way CCP have run the game has been amazing. Every other company out there treats their MMO as a game, delivers content after content without any thought for the game world. CCP have always treated EVE as a virtual world where they have to be mindful of what they add or it could upset the balance. This doesn't happen in other MMOs like WoW for example, you just have a linear path from 1 - 60 or whatever it is now and it becomes so top heavy and the rest of the world becomes dead. Then they just add constant content for higher and higher levels and have to make the original world dead and useless in an effort to keep players together. WoW has become more about fan service now, like where you go to see all your favourite characters and not a game world.

Then you get all the other MMOs like SWG where they get dumbed down and ruined over time in an effort to get casual gamers in. Like no, people want depth, that isn't a problem, it keeps people around for longer. You don't need to dumb your game down in an effort to get the WoW crowd, besides people never got into it because it was easy, just because it was originally fun.

I haven't liked an MMO since 2005 though, ever since SWG got ruined and they added Battlegrounds to WoW, killing the world PVP and SOE rushed EQ2 to launch in 2004 and BFRs ruined Planetside and everyone quit. I'm still bitter about EQ as well and those dumb expansions that ruined it, Luclin and PoP. I used to like EVE but I got bored of the gameplay and now it feels rather dated in that area. The UI is shockingly bad, I think Capital Ships are really dumb and feel too big for the game, they've made big battles look a right mess. I also want twitch based combat like the OR showed off, it would be much better to have PVP about skill, rather than skills and numbers.

In fact fuck SOE, even Planetside 2 was shit, I dunno how they made a game 10 years later than was worse....

Anyways ever since 2005 it's been WoW clone after WoW clone, the one game I had hopes for (The Elder Scrolls Online) has been turned into a WoW clone as well. I mean when I look at any RPG, The Elder Scrolls basically played like an MMO but one with actual fun quests and freedom. So what do they do? Take away The Elder Scrolls part and make WoW.......

Don't anyone fucking dare say WoW is an EQ clone either, I played EQ back in the day and no, what EQ is today is a WoW clone, it was very different back then, go play Project 1999.

Edited by HS_Alpha_Wolf

@j23 said:

So wait, have you actually started playing EVE, @Patrick? I've always heard that it's more fun to hear about stories coming out of EVE than to play it, but it certainly seems like getting caught up in the web of lies and betrayal that seem to envelop most of these corps would be pretty fun.

I played about five hours before we headed to Iceland, and am mulling a return...

I am considering joining the GB corp if you make a return, although it probably means frustration since the faction they are aligned with really hates me.

Edited by fuzzypumpkin

@patrickklepek The video was amazing and this was a great read. I'm not interested in EVE Online in the slightest, but just reading about it and how much people are really into it is kind of heart warming. Hopefully Jeff is right when he says that if the video gets enough love then maybe we'll see you guys traveling a bit more. Over 1,000 comments so far. Keep it up!

Edit: Save for the whole "faggot" thing, it's heart warming.

Posted by SharpShotApollo

The Vile Rat tribute Kotaku did was so moving. The community loved him so much. I hadn't seen that before until now. Thanks @patrickklepek, for all of this. EVE has the most fascinating community I want to know everything about, yet have no interest in playing the game.

Edited by koolaid39

Great article!

For me, the barrier to entry is the time needed to play. I just don't have the time to commit to a game like this, unfortunately.

Posted by Daggith

I am considering joining the GB corp if you make a return, although it probably means frustration since the faction they are aligned with really hates me.

The GB Corp left FW btw. Although currently there are 3 war decs going on, so may be frustrating regardless..

Posted by Vexxan

Fantastic article, nice job Patrick(and Drew)!

Posted by Brendan

@marokai: Yeah, my enjoyment for the article was somewhat tempered by the fact that he didn't bring much of anything that he hasn't already aaid several times before.

Edited by ussbutte

Even though I haven't played for ages, I used to fly in Goonswarm, and I'm a little sad that the most notable thing about GSF is that they spam local chat, and not, say, Burn Jita or Hulkageddon. Goonswarm definitely has some of the craziest assholes in the world in it, but even the Mittani stopped when the Red Alliance asked for help to track down where an enemy Titan* pilot lived in real life so they could cut the power to his house in order to blow up the Titan in-game.

Oh, and I'm glad @patrickklepek and I agree that Iceland is great. It's pretty much the best country.

* The most powerful ship class in the game, and basically unkillable at the time.

Posted by VisariLoyalist

@patrickklepek said:

@j23 said:

So wait, have you actually started playing EVE, @Patrick? I've always heard that it's more fun to hear about stories coming out of EVE than to play it, but it certainly seems like getting caught up in the web of lies and betrayal that seem to envelop most of these corps would be pretty fun.

I played about five hours before we headed to Iceland, and am mulling a return...

I am considering joining the GB corp if you make a return, although it probably means frustration since the faction they are aligned with really hates me.

kite co just dropped factional warfare so that shouldn't be a problem. We do have active war declarations from a couple funny guys who like to pick on newbie miners though.

Posted by Seb

I really do admire the dedication to one game.

Edited by patrickklepek

@brendan said:

@marokai: Yeah, my enjoyment for the article was somewhat tempered by the fact that he didn't bring much of anything that he hasn't already aaid several times before.

This article treads some familiar ground, but remember text-based features appeal to different segments of the people who visit Giant Bomb, and allow content to spread in a way that attracts people who don't already visit the site. It's easier to get them to sit down and read this in a few minutes than to convince them to listen to a 3+ hour podcast.

Staff
Edited by brendanwins

@patrickklepek: just a minor typo Patrick - paragraph 11; it should be spelled Benghazi

Posted by Gaff

@koolaid39: @printedcrayon: From what little (the two week trial) I played a few years ago, the actual time investment is radically different from any other MMO: because skills are trained in real time (and continue leveling up even when you're not online), the actual time spent "playing" the game doesn't matter too much. Of course, you can still spend your time mining asteroids, but that's relatively less important than logging in for a few minutes and queuing up some skills to train.

Whether or not that seems compelling enough to slog your way through to the end game though is a matter of personal preference rather than having some time to burn.

Edited by zeekthegeek

@patrickklepek, you should really interview the Mittani if possible. He has started up his own gaming journalism with an EVE-focused slant and several staff editors - even dudes from other corps are on board with it. It's most fascinating as a newbie in Goonswarm that it has grown far beyond just an EVE club. These guys are all playing DOTA, Minecraft, DayZ, Planetwise 2, Mechwarrior, and World of Tanks together (to name a few I see come up in jabber and mumble often). First night I was in the industrially focused squad all anyone talked about was Candy Box.

Also for the best coverage on Vile Rat, http://themittani.com/news/rip-vile-rat

These are the people who knew him best as an entity in EVE and as a friend.

Edited by Evercaptor

I heard that the media outcry had this story banned for it's realistic depictions of actual events in Iceland. When asked, some militant Norwegian mothers said it "trivialized the act of playing games by having a piece glorifying the travelling these people go through to attend the event" others criticized the piece for simply being "too soon"

@patrickklepek IS THIS THE COMMENT YOU WANTED WITH THAT HEADLINE?!

Posted by sirdesmond

Awesome story.

Posted by toots

Nice work Pat, really enjoyed the travelogue and all your dedicated coverage to this weird gaming subculture, it's been really interesting.

Edited by Maddman60620

I started playing eve a few months ago after seeing a bunch of youtube videos and hearing it talking about here, Its been a love hate with that game.... I love the passion and care the people of the game have, it seems soo relaxed and yet tence when roaming about... seems like it is more so up to you to make your own fun and learn the systems.... I can see how people get lost in this game....

Posted by zakn

Thanks for all of your Eve Coverage Patrick! Thanks for living in our world for a week :)

Online
Posted by DrDarkStryfe

A wonderful read to wrap up the adventure. I have always respected the EVE Online community for how invested they were in the sandbox that CCP Games built for them.

It is a game I will never get into, but I can appreciate from a distance what is going on.

Posted by VACkillers

A Good read, didn't think GB actually even cared about eve-online as a whole, and there are some stories to tell in EVE that you will never get with any other game, which is just one of the many things that make EVE-Online such a unique experience and basically still, 10 years on, a one-of-a-kind game...

Took a break myself after getting a little tired of stuff that was happening in eve and how CCP constantly change ever single detail once every couple of months that change the gameplay drasticly one way or another... It will be intersting to see how the new scanning system fairs up in the June expansion and will properly re-sub for a month see how the game is... For people that have never played eve-online before I urge you to at least try it, it is worth your time for sure.. but it has become a different game over the years with the introduction with the pay-to-win system which is known as "Plex" as you can basically buy any item or any ship in the game using plex cards, EVE-Online is targeted for a vastly different audience now then it was 3 years ago, but me personally, will always follow how eve progresses, a game like this just always stays with you no matter what..

"EVE is not just a game....... Its a lifestyle"

Posted by kroonberg

Awesome, you (Patrick) totally didn't get me to start playing EVE again or anything. :p

Edited by buemba

It seems impossible to not be jealous of the adventures these fanatics are having in EVE Online. When I think about how I spend much of my time playing games, so many of them hollow experiences purely designed to “keep up with the conversation,” it prompts me to ask...why?

Been feeling like that lately. I know Eve isn't the game for me (Tried it for 2 months), but I've been craving a meatier experience since the roller coaster 5-10 hour blockbusters that are actively designed to prevent failure and frustration on the player's part started leaving me pretty bored.

Maybe it's time to give some time to one of those hardcore flight sims Drew and Vinny play.

Online
Posted by JouselDelka

And I continue to wonder where these people get the time and peace of mind to indulge so much into such a complex virtual world

I bet they're all fat and smelly! /jealousy

Great read, Patrick, as long as the PC exists, the dark side of gaming will live on.

Edited by bgdiner

Great article, and great EVE content all around. Studying for finals in university was a big drain, so seeing some creative content about a world where anything is possible was immensely engaging. I'm still yearning for some more EVE Fanfest content, but you guys did put out an admirable amount, to be sure.
Thanks again mate.

Posted by dudeglove

@brendan said:

@marokai: Yeah, my enjoyment for the article was somewhat tempered by the fact that he didn't bring much of anything that he hasn't already aaid several times before.

This article treads some familiar ground, but remember text-based features appeal to different segments of the people who visit Giant Bomb, and allow content to spread in a way that attracts people who don't already visit the site. It's easier to get them to sit down and read this in a few minutes than to convince them to listen to a 3+ hour podcast.

On the other hand, I've yet to see Patrick write anything about getting a turkey baster full o' liquor up the butt.

Posted by kagato

Listening to Patrick talking about this on the past couple of bombcasts and the reading this made me try Eve out for myself. God this game has changed from when i last played, used to be you made a character and boom, you where out in space with no clue of where to go. The training stuff now present has given me a good grip of the basics and ive got a friend at work who plays a lot who is also helping me out with stuff, i can feel myself getting more and more into this game and i never really intended this to be the case, i just wanted to see what it was like. I wonder where i will be in this game this time next month...

Posted by ZombieSpace

Any chance you would go again in 2014?

Posted by SatelliteOfLove

It happens early, but late enough that players have spent hours and hours with the game. In a moment, it’s all gone. There’s no checkpoint. Most games are designed to ensure the player, if found to be putting in a reasonable effort, will be victorious. Games are, largely, not about failure anymore. There is no winner in EVE Online, at least not a permanent one, and many players are happy to squash you under a virtual boot--the whole reason Something Awful’s GoonSwarm alliance exists is to ruin everyone's time. It’s an experience that asks you to totally forget the concept of a backlog and submit.

There was a point around 2007/8 where the game design environs, especially in the MMO genre where the noble goal of ensuring no one is completely screwed and can be guarenteed to acquire a Success State deevolved into a guarentee of not seeing a Failure State.

From that point on, it has led to various things once reguarded as basic expectations: the risk of setback, the coming up short on a goal of doing/acquiring something while it's still fresh, or the upgrading of one's experience and prowess in-game, are now seen as anaethemas, horrible slights to the sanctity of the player.

No longer is it about "Equality of Opportunity" but "Equality of Outcome". In this viewpoint (both from developer and players who follow this creed) all gameplay and socialization leading to that Outcome is seen as a grind, boring and tedious, but inherently better than the Opportunity, as that carries a risk of Failure State. And since that gameplay and socializtion is a grind, when its lessoned and/or marginalized, it is inherently a Good Thing.

People complain about apathy, ennui, and boredom in MMOs, but few realize this is the main source of that emotional entropy, and fewer still that do realize are ready to take back the mantle of player agency, player responsibility, and player restriction necessary to curtail it. The genie is out of the bottle.

Thank god CCP makes an MMO that flips off this wasting disease of the genre, even if I don't find the gameplay or aesthetics to my liking. Keep up the good fight.

Edited by Garviell

@j23: If you start playing EVE and manage to really plunge into the rabbit hole. Every other MMO will seem like a silly time-sink by comparison. There is a reason why the game grows and grows. Most people who really start playing it never truly stop.

Also Eve isn't NEARLY as hard to get into as people think.. You don't need to run a 5000 man alliance to have fun, you just need the skills to fly a frigate and the brains to understand the mechanics of low security space. Then you can spend your entire time flying around trying to destroy other players rather than something mindbogglingly boring like mining. ^^

EDIT: Some degree of intelligence is required though. most of the succsessful pvp entities in the game have an average age over 25 and populated largely by computer scientists and engineers xD

Edited by Bollard

I like this paragraph:

Fanfest reinforced a personal theme of 2013: don’t judge a book by its cover. Or, at least, judge that book once you’ve had a chance to actually judge it. Love and hate things on your own terms. I was wrong aboutMonster Hunter. I was wrong about EVE Online. Wrong is, perhaps, inaccurate. My preconceived notions of both were reinforcing ongoing narratives that both are inscrutable, only for crazy people. These crazy people are having way more fun with their games than I often am. Who’s really crazy?

Also, you typo'd Mittani's name in the faggot line.

Edited by michaelfossbakk

Good read. @patrickklepek Your strive to play new and different things "out of your comfort zone" has inspired me to do the same. Thanks.

Posted by Residentrevil2

Great article Patrick. I'd want to see a Endurance run of 100 days in EVE. That would be neat.

Edited by umdesch4

I'll probably never have time to play Eve, nor go to Iceland...but at least I get to see Sigur Ros live in a couple weeks.

It's too bad I don't have any time to play Eve, 'cuz a huge part of my job every day involves creating and maintaining fairly complex spreadsheets.

Posted by biggiedubs

The Playboy piece was written David Kushner, the guy who wrote both the fantastic Masters of Doom and Jacked, books about the Doom and Grand Theft Auto series respectively. Which is why its a great piece.

That guy can fucking write.

Posted by Falconer

Great post Patrick! Can't wait for today's live stream.

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