Iceland is home to the most attractive women in the world but the food is also succulent and thoroughly enjoyable. After I landed I was in dire need of nourishment and at 7am only one place was open, Sandholt. I ordered a sandwich with bacon and a cinnamon bun, quite possibly the single best sandwich and cinnamon bun I have ever tasted in my life. Downtown Reykjavik is full of places where you can consume intoxicants, food of superior quality and engage in riveting conversation with locals and fanfest goers alike. As with every year prior, having the fanfest badge entitles you to discounts at participating establishments. The highest discount comes from Lebowski’s at 20% off; you might assume the food here is of lower caliber because of the steep discount. Oh contraire my good human, the burgers and shakes offered at Lebowski’s are many orders of magnitudes higher quality than anywhere in the states. A humble dance floor and occasional reruns of Charlie Chaplin add a very anachronistic mood to an already surreal eatery.
Putting aside the already comedic level of irony inherent in Xenuria as a character visiting a place built mostly out of glass, there is another layer to the meta of HARPA as a venue. EVE Online is dystopic and machiavellian, the plots and socio-political intrigue of its community would give even French aristocracy pause. Added to the already rich and multilayered experience is the fact that CCP has completely changed the way they engage players at events. This year saw a more player-centric narrative with loads of player presentations and opportunities to participate with the community in very hands on ways. A giant wall for players to leave their mark on was one of the smaller ways in which CCP aimed at strengthening the social and emotional investment of the EVE community. A react system though short lived was a step in the right direction in terms of gauging player enjoyment of the events. After each participation in any of the playtesting booths, players were invited to fill out a survey and offered to sit and share their views with a developer who works on the product. During the closing ceremony all the images and videos taken during fanfest of devs with players and people generally having fun were showcased. CCP also showed some very important graph porn that indicated feedback given by players on all the different playtesting booths. Even as a massive war of uncertain moniker raged, players felt connected and part of something larger than themselves.
Triumph and Change
The Amarr championships were in many ways one of the most exciting events this year. The brutal and suspenseful conflict between house Tash Murkon and Kor-Azor was a small taste of how eve players help write the living story of new eden. Aside from the rather amusing technical difficulties, the entire event was invigorating and indicative of the profound skill possessed by the pilots involved. On the subject of heads of state, the president of iceland visited harpa to give a speech at the closing ceremonies. The president expressed his joy and thanks in what he describes as a shift in the way people tell stories. The speech was somewhat long winded but ultimately an experience most people wouldn’t get to have otherwise.
A night to remember
Depending on the quantity and rate of consumption, many players probably do not remember the party at the top of the world. I remember because that is what I do, and I have some minor gripes with the way the party was managed. For starters, the music was 98db loud and the room was not properly air conditioned. I had attended with the desire to dance and shake my ass but that simply wasn’t happening this year. The baring of local women from attending the event was also a really poor choice on part of CCP. The argument given to me by a ccp dev was “can you prove that any eve players get laid at fanfest” to which I chuckled and said “yeah I can”. With or without local flavors mingling with spaceship nerds, the evening was still enjoyable and full of interesting conversations. I would without a doubt attend fanfest next year.
This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by Xenuria.