My charming bride often looks askance at me as I fly my imaginary starship in an imaginary universe with my disembodied friends with silly made-up names, and she wonders aloud, "What is so great about this game?"
My devotion to EVE Online puzzles and baffles her. She has an uncanny ability to ask this question, or something similarly derisive, just as I'm about to jump into someplace like Rancer, so my response is typically along the lines of "NOT NOW!", or something similarly eloquent.
But she has a point. I do love this game. A lot.
I thought it would be useful to think about why EVE Online holds my fascination. There is no one summary answer. So, here is the first of a series of commentaries about why I love playing EVE so much.
I log into EVE Online and my hangar in the Pator Tech School station in Aldrat appears before me. My latest interest, a new Gnosis, awaits the next round of fitting exercises, its bronze Jovian glint winking at me suggestively once again. Just as I'm about to click on the fitting window, a convo window appears.
It's Bairfhionn Isu, Director of Education for EVE University and my boss, looking for me in UNI management chat. Obviously, it must be some important UNI business, so I respond immediately.
Neville Smit > o7
Bairfhionn Isu > I tried to make beer-soaked bratwurst last night. It wasn't very good.
Neville Smit > Really?
I am dumbfounded. We were chatting the day before about how the proud Germans, the people who invented and perfected both bratwurst sausages and lager beer, had never considered combining those awesome flavors together into one succulent and awe-inspiring culinary experience. I always assumed they had, until my good friend Bair, who lives in the heart of Germany, informed me politely that beer-soaked brats were an American aberration and therefore, probably terrible.
I therefore challenged him to acquire and prepare some beer brats, and thus become enlightened. And here he was, telling me that it was indeed terrible.
Neville Smit > How is this possible? Beer and bratwurst! It's incredible!
Bairfhionn Isu > Well, I bought this excellent fresh bratwurst from the butcher, and then I got some lager from the local brewer.
Neville Smit > Wait, you didn't just buy a package of beer-soaked brats at the grocery store?
Bairfhionn Isu > No, they don't have those here. Anyway, I soaked the bratwurst overnight in the beer, and it tasted awful when I cooked it. Waste of good beer.
We debate the issue a bit more, and ultimately come to the conclusion that German bratwurst and beer are both excellent individually, but ironically create something awful when brought together, whereas American bratwurst and beer are relatively bad separately, but are wonderful when combined. Confident that we have mutually discovered one of the great cultural paradoxes of the universe, we close our convo - me with a chuckle and a smile.
Every day that I log on, I chat with Germans, Brits, Scots, Icelanders, Belgians, Italians, Russians, South Africans, Aussies, Kiwis, Canadians and even a few Americans. Even my fellow EVEophile countrymen are spread widely, from Connecticut to California, and everything in between. Sure, we fleet and scheme and get blown up together in New Eden, and that is a lot of fun, but between fleet ops, we're in chat and on Mumble, sharing observations on life, usually resulting in some hilarity and a feeling that we're all more alike than different, no matter where we come from.
It's one of the things I like to explain to new members when they join our corp. "You're going to meet a lot of different people here - people from all over the world. Just remember that they are all here for the same reasons that you are - to learn more about EVE, and have more fun in the game."
Where else can I chat every day with people on the other side of the planet, debating the merits of meat products and beer, and discovering in the process an interesting truth of our shared world?Perhaps the UNI is a little different than other corps in EVE, since we attract so many new players from everywhere in the world. Regardless, it is a facet of our corporate culture that I have come to treasure.
This is one of the reasons I love EVE Online.
Fly safe! o7