Thursday, January 13, 2011

EVE and Real Life (EVE Blog Banter #24)

Welcome to the twenty-fourth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week or so to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to Check for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month's Banter topic comes to us from the ever helpful Eelis Kiy, capsuleer behind the "Where the frack is my ship" blog. She asks: How does your real life personality compare to who you are as a character in EVE? Does a good leader of people in the real world make a good leader of pilots in game? Or vice-versa? Do your real-life skills help you with the roles you fulfill in your corporation or alliance? Or do you behave completely differently? Does the anonymity of the Internet allow you to thrive on the tears of others in New Eden whilst you work as a good Samaritan away from your keyboard? Or are you as mean outside of your pod as you are inside it? Have experiences in EVE Online affected your behavior, skills or attitudes outside of the game?

EVE is and always shall be a game. I have multiple "characters" in EVE, and each one represents a different style of play, but none of them represent me. The closest that comes is when my combat toon has a choice between mercy and murder, I don't take the time to think about what the RP/wizardhat solution is - I act. Hence the closest any character in EVE comes to the real me would be my combat toon when in a leadership role (after all, that's the only time a combat toon makes independent choices). As a really old-school gamer (I played the original Dungeons and Dragons (yes, the little brown pamphlets), when I play a game I am able to quickly transition into the game and separate that from reality. Regardless of that, I do not subscribe to the EVE = me arguement. A player may play a Pirate, or a Griefer, or a Can-Flipper, or a deep spy/mole in an opposing alliance, but that has nothing inherently to do with who they are. The challenge for some is that in their personal playstyle, they are the same as the character they play in EVE, so they cannot comprehend a different playstyle. This is the ultimate in role-playing in EVE - subsuming your personality into your spaceship-flying character, and making all decisions as if the pixels on the screen represent you, and choices you would make in real life. When I started playing EVE, this was the original path I followed, my character made choices that I would make, and did things the way I thought I would do them. Over time, I separated those two things, realizing that
  • I am not an immortal spaceman 
  • The tight integration of me and my character pushed EVE too deeply into my regular life.
So now that we understand my characters in EVE are not a "representation" of me, do my RL skills or abilities apply at all in EVE? Well, yes. Skills and behavior are two different things. I am a decent negotiator, and have some small skill at politics. I also research and study the various aspects of EVE politics for entertainment, so one of my characters is the diplomatic representative for his corp. That character uses my RL skills and knowledge to negotiate with others - but he does not represent me, as the character is an industrialist (and I am not). This isn't even my main (although he's logged in at least as much as my main). In my (perhaps not so humble) opinion, the challenges of leadership in EVE all tie to the fact that a large number of the folks in leadership positions aren't in those positions in real life, because they aren't qualified to be. They may be too young, too inexperienced, or just simply not good at the variety of skills required to be a truly good leader (I certainly don't have enough of those skills, but I know it).

In EVE, you can be whatever or whomever you want. But in reality, you can't be more than you know. You can be different - but not more. Being the chief diplomat or FC for does not make you a real-world diplomat or military commander. Nor does your desire to be an FC or diplomat or CEO or alliance dictator make you good at that job. You may be in that role in EVE, but that doesn't mean you are good at it, in EVE or in real life. It's not a two-way street - what you know (or are) in the real world can affect what you do (and who you play) in EVE, but it doesn't go the other way. Sorry, Leadership V does not make you effective as a real-world squad leader. But ROTC and/or bootcamp might make you a better soldier in EVE.

List of participants:
  1. EVE Blog Banter #24: Be, all that you can be, and so much more!
  2. BB24:RL + EVE = | A Mule In EvE
  3. Freebooted: BB 24: You Talking to Me?
  4. where the frack is my ship?: Blog Banter 24: Behind the keyboard
  5. (OOC) CK’s Blog Banter #24: I Am Prano. « Prano's Journey
  6. mikeazariah » Blog Archive » BB24 Who are you, who hoo woo hoo
  7. Drifting: The 24th EVE Blog Banter (January 2011 Edition) - Topic: EVE and Real Life
  8. Victoria Aut Mors » Blog Archive » Eve Blog Banter #24 – Where Eve Meets Real Life
  9. Who is more real?? « The Durzo Chronicles
  10. Captain Serenity: blog banter #24 - Personalities
  11. Confessions of a Closet Carebear: EVE and Real Life (EVE Blog Banter #24)
  12. The 24th EVE Blog Banter - EVE and Real Life - The Phoenix Diaries
  13. » EvE Blog Banter #24: EVE and Real Life EvE Blasphemy
  14. Blog Banter 24: In Real Life « Yarrbear Tales
  15. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Alt « the hydrostatic capsule
  16. Blog Banter #24 – Me « Roc's Ramblings
  17. Blog Banter: Personalities in game and out of game
  18. Fiddler's Edge: Game Face - Eve Blog Banter #24
  19. Progression's Horizon: Blog Banter 24- Synonymous or Anonymous?
  20. More to come....

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