Commercialism

Sometimes I get the impression that there are those who take the whole Eve is real thing too far. Eve can only be so real, as it hits the limit of its ability to be real when it reaches the boundary of its true nature; it’s a game.

The Mittani has created a real world income for himself around the Mittani website, and full kudos to him for achieving that. Recently, though, I got the distinct impression he’d gone just a wee bit too far. The idea of a kick-starter campaign to fund a book about the Fountain war was a clever one, and I congratulate him on instituting it. As a noob author myself, I agree that utilizing the services of a known and respected writer is critical in prosecuting such a project. Naturally, this isn’t cheap, but it is necessary.

Thus far, everything looks good. However, I think The Mittani may have tried to nudge Eve past that boundary of reality by mounting a campaign that was a little ill-conceived.

Here’s my reasoning on this, bear with me, if you would.

For many of us, myself included, Eve is an escape. I actually had this brought home to me yesterday when we visited my family for dinner. They like to watch television. They actually enjoy viewing commercial television. Now, I haven’t watched commercial television in a very long time. For me, the experience was…disturbing.

I was taken aback by the insulting and crass dictation to the viewer of what they should think. As I watched, I could almost see people sitting in their lounge rooms, staring open-mouthed and vacant-eyed, shoving in the occasional potato chip as they waited to be prodded into righteous anger over whatever was deemed to be the latest outrage. The agenda behind the programs, especially what they amusingly call news and current affairs, was so blatant and obvious that I couldn’t help but laugh on occasion, much to my relatives curiosity. However, this, I realized, is what the world has come to. People are being dumbed down into mindless cattle. There to be herded, goaded and prodded into purchasing and believing as per the scripted directives of the commercial world.

So, Eve Online has become, in part, a refuge for those who wish to avoid being insulted by such crass and tacky media. In our corp, conversations roam around world events, new technology, and a large amount of inane humor, and we all love it. News is garnered from websites, rather than from the goggle-box. The very nature of Eve tends to attract people with enough imagination to forge a direction for themselves in an open-ended environment. Indeed, one of my relatives we visited yesterday once had a brief try of Eve, but couldn’t cope with the fact that there was no story-line to guide him; no script to follow.

I find that most players I interact with in Eve have a certain penchant for finding their own way, to search for creative options and exploit whatever they can to gain an advantage.

Look at all the third-party software created to aid players. CCP guards its IP more ferociously than most, and yet players spend countless hours supporting its community with some of the most impressive tools around.

So, when the campaign for the Fountain war kick-starter fired up, I started hearing complaints all around me. I then began to get somewhat miffed myself. I usually run my eye over the Mittani website along with all the other sites I follow in the morning. Lately, though, I’ve been giving it no more than a cursory glance, as it has, to my way of thinking, sold out. Literally every second or third article is related directly to selling the kick-starter.

I also got spam mail in my email, soliciting funds for the project. I found all this uncomfortable, to say the least. I am far from the only one, it appears.

It is my understanding that this project has received quite a backlash from the community. There is a need for balance when reviewing this, of course, due to the large amount of hatred for Goons out there. Such is the price of success, I guess.

The folks over in The Mittani community may need to have a rethink on policy after this campaign, as I believe they may have got it wrong. Indeed, if they don’t get the funds through, there can be little doubt they got it wrong, can there? They’ve failed to identify the correct profile for their target market.

Some may argue that, “That’s the way it’s done.”. They may say that the project is being advertised in the same manner as every other. But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past few years, it’s that following the crowd just makes you part of the crowd; anonymous, and a mere number. Were CCP to sell out and theme park Eve, they might get a huge increase in player numbers, for a while. But, they would lose their games uniqueness, which is its selling point.

The Mittani was a website I went to for the latest Eve news, with fairly legible spelling and reasonably written articles.

Now, it’s just another gaming website.

I think that’s a shame.

 

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