Facades (BB45)

In a socially-driven game environment such as EVE Online’s, everyone has an agenda. CCP promotes its products and has an army of volunteers to do the same; corporations and alliances deliver entertaining recruitment drives, CSM election candidates solicit for voter favour, bloggers and podcasters opine to their audiences.

 

In this intricate web of communication, influence and control; what part does propaganda play in your game?

 

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s advertising; actually, scratch that, if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s MARKETING.

I find the very idea that I need to be told what I need is farcical at least, downright insulting at the worst.

Prove it? OK.

On some very rare occasions, I reluctantly sit and watch a show on commercial television; usually during a patch time when I couldn’t be arsed logging on to the Minecraft server.

First off, it is a hard and fast rule in our house that ALL television commercials are muted, so we never have to listen to them.

Second, during every ad bombardment (they occur between program breaks on Australian commercial TV), I deliberately turn to my wife and talk to her.

Whilst driving, I have my phone plugged into my car stereo playing my insanely large music collection – the amassing of which is a direct result of working in the music industry for twenty-seven years.

This aids me greatly in avoiding having to subject myself to commercial radio (AKA Bogans On The Airwaves).

Unfortunately, my wife listens to these splendidly terrible shows on her way to and from work. This means I am occasionally exposed to the very “best” of the subject matter for daily discussion, which ranges from how to deal with a dog turd on your front lawn to Poly amorous relationships, are they for you?

When making a purchase of any item with any significant monetary value, the procedure is simple: Google the item type, read reviews and comparisons carefully, isolate the most suitable item for the available funds, compare prices and call the winning store with an order, arrange pick up, gag and blindfold the wife before entering the store and pick up said item whilst giving the “Customer Satisfaction Officer” the necessary look to convey the subtle message that yes, I WILL kneecap you if you try to sell me something else.

Have I successfully conveyed my feelings on marketing? Excellent! Let’s move on then …

As previously discussed, I have recently left Null Sec for an indeterminately long care-bear holiday in High Sec.

Whilst in the area of Eve fondly known by many as “The Big Blue Doughnut”, I was indeed bombarded by propaganda.

This originated from many sources, including, but not limited to, the following:

Eve News 24 – a sort of badly translated, spelled and formatted Eve version of Fox News.

TheMittani.com – a sort of much better spelled and formatted Eve version of Fox News.

Alliance and coalition fanboi’s – a sort of organic, semi literate, semi sapient Eve version of Fox News.

Alliance and coalition leadership forum posts – a sort of  Eve version of Women’s Weekly.

Alliance and coalition forums – a sort of Eve version of women’s monthlies.

Corporation forums – a sort of Eve version of a public toilet wall.

Oh yes, there is plenty of propaganda in Null Sec.

There is probably plenty of propaganda in Low Sec and wormhole space too; however, having never been in a corp in either of those delightful regions I am unable to enlighten anyone on that.

There is, however, a massive difference between my feelings for real world marketing and Eve Online marketing within the game; with the Eve version, I LOVE it all!

Whilst in ANZA, first stop of the day was the corp forums; do a bit of trolling, a bit of shit stirring, wind up the directors a bit and always be making sure to keep the laughs rolling along.

Second stop was the killboard, looking for the “Oh no!” KM’s, the “WTF???” KM’s, and the “Not again!” KM’s.

Then it was log in, check out Jabber, the corp chat and the alliance chat.

Every night was (still is, really) trawling the news sites, laughing at the awful spelling, the intense whining and bitching, the slap downs, the trolling and the E-peen stroking.

What part does propaganda play in MY game?

A massive part!

Why then, such a big difference in my view between real life marketing and the in game version?

Because the people doing the marketing in Eve aren’t killing the environment for profit, they aren’t attempting to coerce me to purchase shit I don’t need and they aren’t operating the real worlds politicians like a badly run Punch and Judy show.

Also, in Eve Online, nobody actually DIES for someone else’s profit.

It’s all in the mind, you know.

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Frustration

I don’t often acknowledge nor single other bloggers out for attention if I disagree with their opinions, because I really don’t enjoy verbal conflict of any kind and never have.

I also don’t get pleasure from being more than a passive observer of the various ongoing sometimes passionate stoushes that commonly occur in the blogging community.

I shall make an exception, though, just this once.

I am a regular reader of Poetic Discourse and have been for quite a while.

It’s always entertaining and amusing, often very informative and I never miss a post.

Poetics vitriolic assertions produce great debates most times; however, just lately he (she?) seems to be gaining an edge of strident desperation to his (her?) voice.

The problem is this; CCP is undoubtedly making high sec safer through all the various additions they’ve made to the game of late. The life of all the various ganker/ninja/griefer people in Eve is getting harder and harder.

I personally have never had a problem with these individuals, any more than I have problems with idiot drivers on the road.

They can be dealt with quite simply in nearly all instances:

Consider that a rabid tailgater can really frustrate a driver, sitting so far up your arse you’re tempted to open the ashtray to provide them a little more room.

Many people get infuriated having someone sitting dangerously close to the end of their exhaust pipe.

Conversely, this same idiot can have his life made miserable by you slowing down anywhere where there is no option to overtake, subsequently you can laugh hilariously when they spend ten bucks in fuel angrily blasting past you when you decide they’ve suffered enough and finally let them by (don’t forget to blow them a sloppy kiss if they should give you a rude gesture as they roar past).

In rainy weather, extra fun can be had by making sure to drive though the biggest puddles you can find, confident of the rage you are generating as they try to avoid getting their car covered in buckets of muddy water. Naturally, they are too stupid to simply back off, which gives added hilarity to the situation.

In this way, by using your advantages (you ARE in front of them, after all), you can simply grief the griefer.

In Eve, ninja salvagers have caused any number of angry carebears to quit the game. Killing off someones ship they have been ratting for six months to build is often more than enough to get them to throw in the space towel (you should always know where yours is, btw).

Not me, though. For me, they have always provided endless entertainment to a bored mission runner by:

a) running desperately from wreck to wreck while you shoot each wreck in turn just before they get there,

b) soiling themselves when they realise you were pre-aligned and at speed when they arrived (because you saw them coming on D-scan) and now they are alone in a room with an entire horde of rather nasty looking red crosses because you shot all the triggers just before leaving,

c) eventually leave you alone because for the last four missions you’ve simply ignored their desperate attempts to get you to shoot them and they finally realise you have been egging them on with fake rage in local.

I’ve done all these, they were great fun and made my day brighter every time. I’ve never been bothered by these individuals, any more than I’ve been bothered by hi sec war deccers.

Whenever I’ve been in high sec and had a war dec I simply drop corp to NPC for the duration, making sure to give them the finger in Jita local as I sail by in a hauler full of goodies (yes, I DO save all my loot for these occasions and no, Jita is not my local trade hub, but I consider their frustration worth the extra jumps).

As you can see, I actually spend hours of my game time making life harder for these people.

So, I can assure Poetic and his ilk that I really care about all the new things CCP is doing to high sec, it’s robbing me of some fun and content too.

Here, though, is where I think Poetic misses the point.

Unfortunately, people like Poetic, who derive pleasure from depriving others of theirs; and people like me, who get hours of entertainment finding and exploiting the weaknesses of people like Poetic, ARE BOTH IN THE MINORITY!

CCP is a business, their priority is making money, an increasing amount of money every year.

They simply cannot continue to do that by pandering to minorities.

That’s you and I, Poetic old mate (luv).

So, by all means, get on the CSM if you can. Hammer CCP with your frustration and anguish at the passing of what used to be a great game.

Just do yourself one favour.

Please don’t expect them to actually give a shit about what you think, okay?

It’s all in the mind, you know.

Introspective

I’ve been in null sec twice in my Eve lifetime.

The first time, I was in a corp which was part of a renter alliance.

It was run by a cabal of Russian gentlemen who made their native mafia look like amateurs, the greedy thieving bastards.

While the corp was a great place to be for a time, the alliance made life intolerable.

Not that long after I left, the alliance died in a horrible fire when all their deeds turned upon them.

It took me a long time to want to go back to null sec. I couldn’t shake the bitterness in my gut.

Second time round, I have done a lot better.

Anzac Alliance was and is, for me at least, the best Aussie/Kiwi corp in Eve. For an Aussie wanting the full null sec PVP corp experience, just go there and do it.

They have terrific training, heaps of active pilots, good support and logistical services, good infrastructure and, most importantly, a large TS channel presence in the AUTZ.

Now, don’t get me wrong, these boys (and girls) are Australian and Kiwi to the max; if you have a thin skin, don’t like a raucous pub like atmosphere and need to have your sensitive little skin catered for – this is not the corp for you.

If you are an “internet spaceships is srs bznz” type, or a “leet PVP wanker” and expect rigid corp comms and PVP discipline, don’t bother.

If you’re an Aussie or a Kiwi and you want to hang out with some funny (if somewhat deranged) individuals while you laugh and give each other a hard time; all the while learning all about null, join the ANZA APPS channel and tell them Blastie sent you.

So then, considering my obvious admiration for this collective of the southern hemisphere’s dodgiest individuals; why did I leave?

Yes, you read that right, I just left corp.

Null sec, that’s why.

Not the corp, not the alliance, just that beautiful bitch null sec.

Null sec for me is the drop dead gorgeous woman who you know is going to bleed you dry, steal your money, grab your car and run off with the pool cleaner. The relationship is doomed from the start, but while you’re with her you really don’t care.

It goes well for a while, until one day you suddenly realise that you used to have a life outside of Eve.

The trouble I have is that I just burn out on it. There’s not even anything I can put my finger on, it’s just that one day I’ll be going about my business and suddenly realise that the thrill is no longer there.

I find myself logging on not because I want to, but because I have to.

There’s PI to do, ships to be bought, moved or fitted; ops to try to attend, responsibilities toward corp-mates and the ever-present neutrals or reds to try to kill.

The game you played to relax is now the game you play because you have to.

So, I pulled the pin, dropped roles and by lunch time tomorrow I’ll be just another neut in high sec or low sec.

I wouldn’t be surprised if I even park up in high sec and log on to swap up skills for a while, I’m just so tired of it all.

Hope she’s happy with the pool cleaner.

It’s all in the mind, you know.