I’m Matterall, and I’ll be serving as the new EVE Bureau Chief for TMC. The following article will cover an introduction to myself as well as where TMC is going from this point forward.
Long after ship wreckage vanishes, stations fall abandoned, and frozen pod pilot corpses drift through space, the life they had is combined and stored in the living memory of players. Like papers stored in a briefcase, those memories get carried away as players go about the business of growing up and moving on, and in doing so our collective memory fragments. Fortunately, there are reporters that chase down those stories as they unfold, collecting all those scattered papers, shuffling them together, and assembling them in order so that future generations can look back at their ancestors.
EVE reporters are the “librarians” and guardians of knowledge that echos from one generation to another. For all the investment players put in EVE they really only get to keep the memories. If they are fortunate, their stories live on past their involvement.
Some reporters go it alone with all the benefits and troubles that go along with a solo project. Others form teams that publish together, reducing the pressure on any single writer. It’s part of a larger tradition of players building things together — usually war machines to destroy things other players built together, but in this case, they gather to build news outlets. TMC is part of that tradition, storing writing and media dating back years that any new player can search through.
Historians and Reporters
Author of “Empires of EVE,” Andrew Groen, and I both presented at EVE Vegas this year, and we corresponded before the event. I sought him out to ask about research methods. He was gracious and humble in his replies, as you will read. The initial complement from this great EVE historian is shared with all EVE reporters:
“…As far as modern research/journalism goes the best advice I can give you is to trust yourself. You probably know more about this than anybody else. Certainly more than me. I work in a very specific niche in EVE and it doesn’t extend to the modern day.
Every few years EVE reporting changes. Several times over the course of my research it became clear that times had changed in EVE and I needed to adapt the ways in which I found information. Either because people stopped using certain forums or because people stopped posting their alliance info online. Whatever. And you operate in an era of EVE in which I have no experience. So be confident in your authority on this subject.
I would add that I think you and others should take seriously the job of being the saviors of knowledge, and be proud of that role in the community. I’m probably the only person who really understands how much of the community’s history has been lost over time, and it kind of breaks my heart. This stuff matters, and you and other modern reporters have an opportunity to preserve knowledge for future generations. People will want to know what happened in EVE ten years from now. They’ll want to know even more 50 years from now. Humanity is only delving further into virtual worlds, and I believe firmly that future generations will want to know what it was like when humanity began to take its first steps into virtual realms. You’re here now and you have an opportunity to make sure they’ll be able to hear these stories.
I have to apologize for getting all weepy-techno-philosophical about this, haha but I just think it’s a really important job. The preservation of knowledge and human history is a subject to take seriously.”
This excerpt was quoted in its entirety in order to convey his earnest plea for reporters to continue their work.
News reporting does change over time as news outlets thrive and die, much like corporations and alliances. Bigger news sites (CZ, EN24, TMC) are more likely to survive, but even those occasionally come down to a handful of active writers, if they do not disappear altogether. As a new player, I enjoyed reading EVE-Tribune and was amazed at the knowledge and connections each writer had. I also collected EON Magazine, a remarkably high-quality magazine that was far beyong anything seen for a single video game. Yet both publications, along with many others, disappeared. Consider, after 12 years of EVE, how many departed writers or podcasters have pulled their material off the shelf, with only a 404-dead link left behind. Those silos of EVE knowledge are gone.
Keeping EVE stories whole and secure is a good investment of effort. Personally, I invest in EVE because it can live without me, thanks to all of you. It is bigger than me and will go on without me after I am gone, but my impact in small or large ways will always remain as long as they are remembered by someone. TMC is a part of that same investment philosophy. Working for TMC is a personal investment of free time. It’s a bet that this publication will outlive my involvement and keep what I contributed stored for future players to read. The 404-dead link is the grim reaper to cyber life, and I fear death. So, here I am.
Please pardon this self-referential section, but it is necessary.
Matterall is a nom de plume used to disguise my main’s identity, a double wrapped package. The idea was to write and not get primaried everytime I was in fleet, but also to jettison the name when I ran out of things to say. The reality of the single shard universe is that identity has value, and after EVE Vegas (as described in EVE Odyssey), I opted to bring that value to TMC as a writer and now as the EVE Bureau Chief for TMC. This position allows me to help other writers build an even better publisher that it already is.
I’ve played non-stop since 2008, have 3x 130m+SP characters, and spent most of my time in Null. I was turned off by Goons’ early antics and spent all my years climbing the food chain on the other side of them, until I finally graduated to DICE corp, in NC. DICE was in BOB, and Goons/Imperium are the mortal enemies of BOB/NC/PL.
It gets worse for Imperium loyalists: I was also a senior editor for EN24. I produced and hosted their podcast, wrote, and basically brought up the current crop of writers. Over the last year, I brought up the quality and credibility with the help of many other excellent writers. I’m still in close contact with everyone at EN24 and CZ , and I hope to foster good relations between all news sites.
Despite being an outsider to TMC, The Mittani and Sion are entrusting me to revamp the EVE content and even help redesign the site itself. They deseve great credit for seeing beyond any prejudices of non-Imperium staffers.
TMC and The Imperium: “Our People Deserve The Best”
After 10 years and tens of thousands of members, The Mittani (the person), along with others, have built something greater than a run-of-the-mill gaming club. That’s a story for him to tell, but as an outsider looking in, the Imperium is well-organized and committed to its members. Anyone that works in management knows how hard it is to find the balance between “the carrot and the stick”, and it can only be harder in a digital environment, where turnover and accountability are tough to deal with.
TMC is a reflection of the Imperium’s commitment to its players in and beyond EVE. Few people can play the same game for 10 years, so the site is a good place to keep in touch with EVE while on break from it. By extension, TMC also goes beyond the Imperium and serves players outside the community by providing timely and in depth coverage of news, game reviews, discounts and more.
There will be bias, and that is not in itself a bad thing; bias with disinformation is. TMC won’t become a propaganda news service for the Imperium. Members want broad-based, fair-handed, in-depth articles. To tell members how beautiful they are over and over would insult their intelligence. That is not the best thing for them, even if they asked for it.
Bureau Chief (BC)
This is a new position, and was created to mirror real-life news agencies. The BC will oversee the quality of the section, EVE in this case, and be responsible for the quantity and quality of articles. Our goal at TMC is to produce high-quality EVE articles for our readers, and to do so consistently.
We want to re-focus the majority of the stories on the news in-game: the fights, the campaigns, the space politics, and all the stories in between, including better coverage of lore and player-created fiction. Delivering in depth coverage opens EVE up to non-experts who want context, history, and learning moments. We’ll still have ALODs (Awful Loss of the Day), analytical pieces and so forth, but EVE news on TMC will be what CCP, YouTube, killboards and reddit cannot provide.
We are also committing to producing more articles, faster. Hot battle-reports cool by the hour, and lead stories get eclipsed quickly by other topics. Relevance of a story depends on timing as much as quality. However, just writing what happened is pointless too. Context and speed is a balance that we want to get right.
The only way to get speed and quality is to create an environment that supports the writers and editors. Internally, we’ll make changes to build TMC into a supportive environment without the pressure. Most people want to do good work, but face roadblocks of one kind or another. That’s what I’ll focus on removing.
Anyone who’s ever wanted to write should approach me or someone at TMC. I was intimidated out of writing for years before I finally got the courage to submit a sample. It is not hard to be a writer for EVE — you really just need to want to do it. We’ll show you the ropes, find you sources of information, and edit your work as needed. Over time, you will learn a lot about EVE itself, and something about writing too, including how to pick, develop and deliver a story. That is all teachable.
Editors are a writer’s best friend. TMC has great editors, who are very nice and helpful.
“Our people deserve the best” resonates as a claim to accept one’s high position and not feel bad about it, but the true meaning of it is the opposite, a workman’s guiding principle: “I need to do my best, because that is what our people deserve.” That ethic has built TMC, and in the process, a memory chamber for EVE players.
I’m excited to join this organization as its “librarian” of EVE-related news, and I hope to support TMC’s staff while they document EVE for everyone to read.
Thanks for reading.
One last thing… as a reader, you have a role to play too. The comment section is a great place to extend the article by adding your details or views. It’s also a great place for feedback. Every writer likes to know she or he is reaching the audience, so every once in a while, take a second to let a writer know you liked their article. Something this simple goes a long way.
This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by Matterall.