A work of fiction….

Eve is a fictional world but, from time to time, that nature seems to almost bleed out into reality as a recent blog from Ga’len exemplifies.  Ga’len appears to be the victim of a version of identity theft, with his avatar’s name being ascribed to a comment on the Eve News24 (http://www.evenews24.com) websight.  Ga’len denies posting a comment in response to the ‘TEST Alliance’ so called controversy.  I say ‘so called’ because it seems likely that every attempt has been made to whip up a controversy over the topic, a tactic that by and large seems to have failed.

Ga’len is obviously less than impressed but perhaps we should not be so surprised to see a ‘partisan press’ appear in EVE; after all they are all too commonplace in the ‘real world’. In many respects the dramas, tensions and political machinations that whirl in eddies around the EVE meta-game are perhaps even more compelling than the fictional back story created by its developers.  As a case in point you can probably name at least one and probably more Alliance leader or personality, naming the leaders of the NPC factions however…?

That said I have always had an enduring interest in the back story and the various fictional works that have spun off from that, such as the EVE Chronicles.  Recently I’ve given some thought to writing some fictional pieces myself although for some reason I have always held back from doing so.  Part of the reluctance to write EVE fiction is that with an existing IP there are always problems with what is ‘canon’ or recognised as such.  Id rather not write a fictional piece than get a ranting email from someone aggrieved that I’ve described a character brushing their teeth with a tooth brush when “chronicle 4, para 5 clearly states that Caldari’s use ‘chewydent’ nanobot teeth cleaner!!!111eleventyone!”.

You can see some of the problems even the ‘pro’s’ face in this respect with the two exisiting EVE Novels, “The Empyrean Age”, and “A Burning Life”.  If I’m resolutely honest I wasn’t wholly satisfied with either novel….oh hold on a second…

*SPOILER ALERT* – do not read further if knowing stuff about either novel before you’ve read them will cause you tears of hot rage…

….not least because they both feel somehow “forced” to the detriment of the plot and the characters.  Take “A Burning Life” for example.  In places it’s nicely written, flavoursome and evocative of the universe of New Eden -and then there is the dawning realisation that our two protagonists will now proceed to take a jaunt through each pirate faction and each race respectively. I could almost feel the heavy hand of “THE MARKETING DEPARTMENT” on the authors shoulder as I was reading.  I appreciate the need to make such a novel accessible to the non-EVE reader but in all honesty it was the equivalent of being spoon fed an EVE Wiki.

There is also a strange predilection amongst the CCP writing staff to write about ‘the common man’, as if sculpting a complex and 3 dimensional Capsuleer is committing some sort of heretical act.  Again I wonder if “THE MARKETING DEPARTMENT” has decreed that the life of the capsuleer is for the players of EVE to determine and, whilst the plebeians on a planets surface are fair game, the pod pilot is most certainly off limits.  Don’t misunderstand me, whilst I do find information about the life of the ordinary citizens of EVE of interest it often seems to be to the detriment of the aloof immortals we exist in game as.

Perhaps with the glacial approach of Incarna we can anticipate another CCP foray into the world of New Eden (it boosts subscription rates no doubt) although I hope that this time the authors are given rather more latitude and less direction to write in support of a new patch.

Will I write that fictional work? Perhaps. But not within this blog (it is a blog after all) and if I do find a decent muse I know I will have a significant challenge making any tale more entrancing than the ones playing out around us in that umbral world of the EVE meta-game.

C.

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3 Responses to “A work of fiction….”

  1. You should ask CCP Abraxas (Hjalti Danielsson, or @cloisterphobe on twitter) if he can shed any light on the contrivance of vising every race. You never know you might get an answer :)

  2. You say, “There is also a strange predilection amongst the CCP writing staff to write about ‘the common man’, as if sculpting a complex and 3 dimensional Capsuleer is committing some sort of heretical act.”

    My take on this is that the stories shy away from highlighting capsuleers simply because the players are the capsuleers — they write their own story by acting in-game. So, while I ever so rarely write fictional works, they are typically based on my character because I’m the one who has to write that stuff. CCP won’t. It is entirely the domain of players and that is a significant strength for people who would like to role-play.

    • Yes, I can see how that might be the case for CCP, but I still feel as though that is an opportunity missed. That’s a purely personal view of course and perhaps why I enjoy other players blogs/fiction on their exploits in EVE, I still wouldnt mind a CCP perspective though.

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