Eve Life Lessons

TL;DR: Eve is a harsh mistress that has taught me many things about human nature, not all of them good.

(Thanks to @BlackArcturus for today's post theme!)

It is very tempting to take a humorous or sarcastic slant to today's post theme, but I'm going to go the serious route and see what comes of it.

The question was simple, what real life lessons has Eve taught you? This is challenging because of two factors, 1) I'm not young (not old either, but closer to old than to young) and 2) I am a professional student of human nature, it is an integral part of my daily work. So while I haven't been surprised by anything I've learned from Eve, I can tell you that it has been a very interesting ride.

And while mistaking a Toll Booth for a Jump Gate is one way Eve has impacted my real life, there are probably more important aspects.

Time Management

Adding Eve to my life has taught me extremely valuable lessons about time management. While I thought I had this under control previous to playing Eve, adding that commitment to the few hours in a day has been challenging. There have been many times during the last three years that I thought I couldn't do it.  Taking some time off, taking deep breaths, sleeping on it over night before sending that eve mail, these are all processes that you learn along the way. In the end, you find a proper place for Eve within your life, or you don't. Finding that balance is the key to ultimate success and survivability.

Power Corrupts

We don't often get to experience this aspect of human nature in our everyday lives. But the old axiom about absolute power corrupting is magnified in the confines of the virtual world of Eve. Within this universe we get to experience the worst parts of human nature in a "speeding bullet" time-frame that we cannot experience in the real world. I've been on the front-lines of this experience more often than I'd like. I've seen the power (as pretend as it really is) twist and warp personalities and affect decisions that impact thousands of other players. The examples are all around us, so no need to beat a dead dog.

Unchained People Choose Evil

Left to their own devices most of humanity chooses to do Evil. There are many great thinkers that have been debating this issue for centuries, at heart is man good or evil? While this debate rages I can tell you this much, when it comes to the mass of men within Eve, they tend towards bad choices. Is it the majority? I don't have any scientific research to back an opinion, but jump into Jita and let me know what you think. Watch the meta-game developments. The trickery, the lying, the back-stabbing, the stealing... and while these game play styles are often encouraged - they are not forced on anyone. Interesting don't you think?

(And before I get spammed in the comments, I'm not talking about people actually BEING evil. Goodness knows I'm the nicest guy I know and I'm a Pirate in-game. But I have also never stolen anything, back-stabbed anyone, or otherwise went out of my way to ruin the game experience for another player.)

Bigger World

One of the great things about Eve is the exposure to the world, to people from all over. While I have travelled a lot in my life in the Western Hemisphere I still haven't gotten across the pond. (Someday!) But I've talked with people and gotten to know players from Australia, Malta, Spain, France, Britain, Whales, Russia, Poland, Serbia, Israel, Kenya, Germany, Holland, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand and probably a dozen more. That is an amazing and wonderful thing. And while a few have been rotten bastards, the vast majority have been real people with real problems and real dreams. What an amazing universe we all share.

(And while that may seem to fly in the face of the previous point about Evil, it actually proves something that I've often observed. The masses act in one way, but when you get down to the individual we are all the same. Of course there are exceptions, but it is amazing how well we can get along 1 on 1, and how poorly we get along 5 million to 5 million.)

Eve is surprisingly like real life, because it is full of real people. It is however a compressed and accelerated version of real world behavior, it moves quickly and violently towards conclusions that wouldn't be expressed in the real world. In fact, much of Eve is anti-real world. Think about Null space politics, in the real world eventually borders would become relatively static to encourage trade, relations, and the stability of commerce. That is how the real world works. But in Eve it would be boring if things went that way.

There is much to learn by playing Eve. But mostly it is all about you and how you choose to live within the universe presented to you. And isn't that really what life is all about? Virtual or Real.