TL;DR: GO! As for the too long part, read on.
If you are like me you have people you call friends. Some of those are people you see every so often. The point is you see them and have what some people refer to a “normal” relationship with them. Your “RL” relationships. Then you have your EVE buddies. These are you “VL” buddies. You may never meet them. You may have no idea what they even look like. Yet, you often know more about their lives than you do your RL friends. You may have known these EVE folks for years. You probably talk to them more than you do your own mother (shame on you). But you have never met them. Some you may never meet.
That was me. I have been playing this game since 2006. In that time, I had met all of 1 person I played EVE. I only knew him because we went to college together. Then came 2017. I met Marconious Porkbutte. Somehow through INN, we figured out we lived and worked very close to each other. We met for lunch. It was cool. He brought me his favorite BBQ sauce back when he went home. Let me tell you: it was indeed fantastic sauce. He introduced me to J McClain when he came to town. We drank together. Even though he was PL I ended up having to admit I like the guy. He does need to stop wearing baseball caps with flat bills like that hoodlum golfer Rickie Fowler. JMcClain thought he was Don Johnson in Vegas. Unlike me, he can pull that off.
The Adventure Begins
Since my first ever EVE meetup was EVE Vegas I am going to use it as my example.
This summer after about the ninth vodka gimlet in 100+ degree sweltering heat at the beach, my good friend of more than one decade and our wives decided EVE Vegas was on the roadmap. I think my wife muttered something to the effect, “Sure, I go to your geekfest in Vegas.” Note to the readers: I think she might have actually just slurred something to that effect.
All the tickets were bought and the plans were made. As the date came near, one of our corp-mates and member of the Whiskey Gaming show team Scythe said he wanted to go to Vegas, too. Why not? We had a 3 bedroom and I had known Scythe for years. Well enough to be his job reference but I had never met him. Well, I was going to in Vegas now.
We’re in the air on our way. Discord chimes in. Another Corp mate wants to go to Vegas but he needs a place and a ticket. We have an extra ticket and lots of room. There we are. Now we are up to 4 Patriotic Tendencies [PEND.] guys in Vegas. Did I mention our two of us had wives going? Oh, the hilarity.
It didn’t end there. We had one more corp-mate come out and hang with us at Drai’s.
There we were; all going to Vegas and most of us had never met RL. This story isn’t about our corp. It’s about how things change when you meet people in RL that you may only know in Discord channels, Twitter, Jabber, Mumble or watch them on INN or read their article on Imperium News.
I Know You
I wasn’t prepared to have people walk up to me and say, “Hi Erick!” It was weird at first. I didn’t have a name tag on but people seemed to know me. It never crossed my mind that would happen. Don’t get me wrong, it was cool. I met a lot of really nice people that way. I think the first person to recognize me was Keyboard. What a nice guy.
My first Goon dinner I sat beside Fishbone. We chatted and ate charred meat, not to mention the best bacon we had ever had. I never did get a picture together. We need to fix that some EVE meetup in the future.
Speaking of that bacon, I will be roundly chastised by Scythe if I do not take a moment to say his bacon making skills for breakfast are second to none. Here is a picture of his work. It was delicious.
The second evening we had German food and a gent named Ingress lands at our table with his wife in tow. They were a nice couple. I think I have a video of Ingress rocking out hard at Drai’s.
During the drunken march down Fremont Street, Dodkalm just looked at me and said,”I thought you’d be taller.”
Shots with Dreydan were…well shots with Dreydan. I now know all his secrets. I’ll never tell. Not even for The Judge level ISK. Speaking of The Judge, we met The Judge. His first question as we came over was, “Are you happy or upset with what I did?” We just let him know he was with the good guys now.
I could go on and on about folks I met. If it doesn’t already it will just begin to sound like name dropping. That’s not the intent. EVE Vegas was a blast. It didn’t matter who you were. It only seemed to matter that you were a Goon. There was a common bond among our group.
The Party is Over
When it was all over, I didn’t realize the withdrawal that was going to set in. It was great to meet so many new people. The problem was I genuinely liked everyone I met. It’s unlikely I will see them again if they quit EVE or we don’t cross paths at another EVE event. I was genuinely excited when Juvenious Drakonius dropped by the Whiskey Gaming Show. It was nice to hear from him again.
In his presentation to EVE Down Under, several years ago now, Sion said EVE wasn’t about what most people thought it was. He said it was about relationships. It made sense. Life is about relationships. They enrich our lives. Sometimes they make us happy. Sometimes sad. Other times they are just a learning experience.
I thought I understood what Sion was saying in his presentation. EVE Vegas this year made me realize I didn’t. Nothing CCP said or did made me more excited about EVE. Meeting all the people I met; having the conversations and enjoying the company of my fellow EVE players did. Eve is about relationships.
I am not a young guy. I have played a lot of video games in my day. Never have I ever wanted to meet the people I gamed with. EVE is the exception. EVE is like golf to me. I love both golf and EVE. They intrigue me and I enjoy them. They are both diminished without the fellowship of the guys and gals you play them with.
If you have stayed to the end and you have never attended an EVE event I encourage you to do so. EVE Vegas was fun. I met so many people I just could never mention them all. Each and every one of you was awesome. Everyone should go to an EVE meetup event. Go have fun and make some new relationships. I can’t wait for next year!
To Ungaar and the team who made this year’s video, well done. If you have been under a rock since Vegas watch it here.