Currently the 37th installment of the Blog Banter! Sesmic Stans asks where the line is, if any; between mmo behavior and the real life version of your digital self.
“EVE Online sits on the frontier of social gaming, providing an entertainment environment like no other. The vibrant society of interacting and conflicting communities, both within the EVE client and without, is the driving force behind EVE’s success. However, the anonymity of internet culture combined with a competitive gaming environment encourages in-game behaviour to spread beyond the confines of the sandbox. Where is the line?”
Please read on as I dive into the topic…
Personal opinions aside, I think having a conduit for your evil self might be extremely healthy. While there is a line you don’t really cross in Real Life; in EVE we see pirates as the “evil persons” that roam the skies and make you (or me) suffer through their actions such as ganking, ransoms, extortion or simple theft.
In real life, real people do this as well – but for other reasons. Lets face it, we read about it every day and it is the foundation of the majority of our laws. Perhaps if people could rebuild their lives in a few hours after a fire or a family death, this wouldn’t be nessisary because we could just fool around with little to no consequenses. Every man for themselves and all that jazz.
However, we all suffer from small measures of mental disorders. This proves the need for a set of laws to protect the society around you. It is not for their individual safety but for the safety of the society, the stability required to develop a country or society and the stability of social interactions.
Being a megalomaniac in EVE Online won’t really affect anyone but your corp mates (and the potential gaining of assets on their behalf). In Real Life though; “Honey I’m heading over to kill our neighbour so we can take over his stuff” may not have the same effect. Laws and physics put a stop to that and help us maintain a stable society.
Outside of the exception of our female counterparts; if you bleed for a week it will eventually lead to your death. If you get caught commiting a crime, you go to jail. Stuff like that is the fabric that allows for you to get a job. For you to earn money by other methods than “enrichment crime” and then passing off the goods for money.
The stability of our economy revolves around people in real life adhering to certain rules. Property is a huge part of that, but we also go to great lenghts protecting the less tangible assets, such as our minds, sanity, ideas, concepts, family memorabilia and so on.
EVE does not have a network of people to treat mental deficiencies, which in EVE would propably amount to someone like Chribba being immediately hospitalized due to being fluffy and cuddly and not having the skills to survive in this harsh environment – or would he? I’d say that propably depends on the mentality of the country you live in.
Where I come from, you’ll have something called the Law of Jante. This would prevent people from claiming their well justified awesomeness and puts a dampener on social interactions such as backpadding, brownnosing and other terms that would lead to someone talented in the society being naturally elevated and recieve protection due to social status. Even though he may otherwise be unable to defend himself in a fight, he’ll enjoy the benefit of friends. Many, many friends. Some of those will claim unrivalled support in the form of forming a fan club, or sending awkward letters and gifts to appear to have a similary high social rank simply because it provides attention from many people and those kind of people measure their own social ranks by how much attention they get (it is for the same reason that reality television pulls in hapless fools). Look at reality television as it really is, entertainment by exposure and you’ll realize that it attracts two kinds of people; those that want to be famous and those that are amused because they perceive themselves as smarter in comparison.
People follow socially adept people and that is why certain people will gain powerfull positions. This is simply due to the change in society, “those people” are also the ones why get the hot women because they are in a position to chose over their bulky counterparts and will often say no to girls (because theyre dumb, obvious golddiggers or both). Look at CCP Soundwave, that guy even has other guys drooling over him but likely also has to do with the fact he’s got humour – another grade A social quality that you’d require if youre to be successfull in life, or EVE.
Its the 1%.
Here’s the thing though…
To be a leader you need display confidence, display social awareness, display empowering traits. You don’t actually need to enherit those traits right off the bat. As long as you can fake it. For many people, its an aquired skill as well. This is something you don’t really understand untill you sit down to learn it.
One of the places you can learn if though, is in EVE. If you fail, your alliance will fail. The question would then appear; how many of our alliance leaders are projecting confidence and leadership and how many are actually not faking it?
I say its definately healthy to have a training ground for socially inept people, because behind their perceived anonymity they can still learn about life and how to be awesome – in real life. I’d even go as far as to say that EVE is propably a more unforegiving environment for projects like that without endangering your psysical assets.
Take your fears and turn them real, in EVE. Then use those experiences to gain hot women in life. Becoming a leader isn’t done overnight; it takes practice to become extrovert and if given the opportunity people will often rise to the challenge and become a leader.
I don’t mind this spilling over to real life in the slightest. Outside of having other geeks compete for my potential future dates I think its quite healthy to have a developing platform for leaders. Its already a pretty known fact that almost 30% of all executives are suffering from signs of psychopathy. I’d rather have someone becoming a leader in EVE and taking over than listening to the same psycho boss for 3 more months.
How about you? Is your boss really that awesome?