What is that one thing, that when you possess, you have all other virtues? Compassion.
Definition of compassion – from “A fearless heart.”
Compassion is a sense of concern that arises when we are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to see that suffering relieved. Compassion is what connects the feeling of empathy to acts of kindness, generosity and other expressions of altruistic tendencies.
Eve Online is not known for its compassionate view. Eve Online is a game of blowing up ships, taking territory and has all of the aspects of “real life” that is lacking from most other online video games. A working economy, a “single shard” environment, a history that spans 15+ years, and more than anything… The ability to make an impact in the Eve universe through your actions and behavior.
Those outside the Eve Online game probably see it no differently than any other online MMO. Lots of people get together and play a game together, people spend hours and hours online in “camps”, “on roams” or “fitting my ship” and then that stuff gets blown up, or they get to blow someone else’s stuff up. Sometimes things even happen in Eve that jump from the Eve Online community into the “real world”. The big thefts, social engineering, and “take downs” that are sometimes worth tens of thousands of dollars and can spell the end of in-game and out-of-game organizations.
Those who play Eve see the gamut of humanity. All of it is there in all the different permutations. Eve attracts those players who are interested in a wide and varied type of gameplay AND social interaction. You see, while many video games attract a “certain type of person” (MOBA, FPS, Turn-based strategy, etc), Eve Online thrives because of the vast diversity of people and temperaments within its community. What other MMO do you know of that has a player-panel on scamming other players, alongside a panel on community support systems?
That brings me to the social aspect of Eve Online (and other MMOs as well). Eve Online is about connecting with other Eve Online players. Sometimes that connection is on the end of a gun, and sometimes it’s a snowball or a “space hug” but it’s about connecting with those people and experiencing as many aspects of the Eve Universe as you are interested in. Just think of how boring most online games would be without that connection with other people.
So this Holiday season please remember that as you are shooting at the newbros, as you spam the warp button in your capsule, as you corner the market, as you run that complex, as you mine that Veldspar, and even as you get your faction-fit T3 cruiser blown up, that it’s the players of Eve that make our community amazing. From those whom we love to hate, and those who we hate to love, it’s about the actual human beings that we are playing this wonderful game with.
We are all someone’s son or daughter. We are parents, spouses, geeks, nerds, gamers, and many other ways that we choose to define ourselves. We are all human beings who are suffering through this holiday season just like we have the previous years of our life. Some of us happy and surrounded by friends and family, and some of us are muddling through with far less than that. But all of are seeking a connection with another human being this holiday season. Some of us with space hugs, and some of us with lasers, artillery or missiles, but make no mistake about it, the connection that we have with our chosen tribe of Eve players is critically important to Eve, and to us as human beings.
I wish you the very best holiday season and hope that you find contentment and happiness in the things that you DO have, instead of yearning for what you don’t.