Right off the top, this commercial which Coca-Cola ran during Sunday's Super Bowl is ludicrous. I spilled Coke on a keyboard once and it freaking ruined it! Nothing magical happened, other than everything becoming extremely sticky and useless.
On the other hand, despite the lame commercialization aspect, this commercial is brilliant. It perfectly nails the two paradigms of polar opposite brain-thinks that exist within Eve Online. And I'd like to have a moment to explain what I mean by this. Because I believe it is rather illuminating.
No matter where you look within the Eve Community you will trip, fall, bump into or otherwise be smacked hard about the face and neck with a culture of anger, hatred, negativity and nastiness. It's there in-game, on forums, and in lots of other places. Every week someone else announces somewhere that they've had enough of it. Last week on Twitter, this weekend on Funky Bacon's blog, tomorrow somewhere else and almost every day on Reddit. Fed up. Can't take it no more. Had enough.
I've never lived on that side of the tracks. My Eve is not like that at all. Yesterday in Eve I had someone tell me in local that they went an extra five jumps just to find me and tell me how much they love this blog. Another person saw a tweet of mine and sent me a Golden Pod of my own, just because I've never had one. I've talked about this before, but I find Eve to be chock full of truly great, awesome, and inspiring people. The case studies for this go way beyond my own personal experience - to the crowd sourced fundraisers in the Goons, or on GoFundMe, or hundreds of other examples.
So what is your chosen Eve Paradigm?
Personally I am in the midst of a significant personal reformation when it comes to this issue. I am increasingly of the opinion that it is time to stand up and change the underlying culture that exists within Eve. That it is us - the players themselves - that are to blame for the failure of Eve to "catch on" in a larger context. That we are, in the larger sense, solely responsible for choosing poorly when it comes to managing our sandbox.
When I think back over my years in Eve and ponder the moments when I considered quitting (and I've had more than a few) they all share one common aspect - those moments are when the negative overwhelmed and pushed me down. When someone or something within Eve, or the community, exerted such negative force that it sucked the life out of the experience.
Those are hard moments to overcome. And while I am incredibly powerful and awesome, I worry that so many other players are not like me. That they simply walk away when this happens. Walk away to another experience that is far more positive. Far more empowering. Far more enjoyable. And there are thousands and thousands of options that don't involve Eve.
So yeah, that Coke commercial is stupid. We all know that. But, on the other hand, it does make a good point.
And look, I'm no Saint. I play a Pirate. I ruin a lot of people's day sometimes. But I try, even within that context, to extend a helping hand. To offer advice. To even pay for losses sometimes. And to create an environment, within Stay Frosty and ABA, that is empowering and positive.
Sometimes I wonder if we aren't seeing a paradigm shift within Eve already. One has to consider the efforts of people like myself, Brave, and others that have reached out to new players in the last year. A whole new crop of players have entered our game that seem much more open and positive, and less beholden to past aggressions, than the older veterans. Maybe, just maybe, that shift in thinking can take root and expand, grow, and change Eve from the inside out.
And maybe someday soon, despite its dark complexity, despite the various play-styles, PvP, Piracy, ganks, and whatnots - despite it all - Eve will be a vastly more positive place. Both inside and outside the virtual universe in which we all live and play.
What is your paradigm? What do you bring to the table?