A Band Apart Voices is intended to be the home for members of ABA to guest-post any issues, stories, or adventures they'd like to see here in the pages of Eveoganda. The intention is to provide an even wider range of topics to our readers.
The Old Pirate
by Bold Podiene
In Eve, I’m one of the 5 percent.
You’ll see what I mean in this interesting time-lapse chart of the age of Eve participants:
The chart shows that 95 percent of Eve players in 2014 were 50 or younger, with the median age in 2014 at 30 years old (meaning basically that half the players were younger and half were older).
Consider that an alliance called The Older Gamers says in its description that most of its members are in their 30s (though many are older).
Me? I’m 59—I’ll be 60 this summer. In three-man gangs, I’m often older than the combined age of the two other players.
I can’t speak for all older players, but I can say for myself that my reactions aren’t as quick as they once were. I haven’t grown up in a computer/video gaming culture. I don’t have the same technical knowledge of computers and programs that often benefits other players, and frankly I don’t learn stuff as quickly as I once did. I have a demanding job and I desire to spend time with my family, so I probably get online less than many of the younger people I know in Eve.
However, Eve can be a terrific game for older players.
Among my Eve friends of a certain age, some are industrialists who find rewards in planning and executing manufacturing or Planetary Interaction. Some run missions. They all enjoy the social aspect of the game (which is how I know them).
I’ve enjoyed learning about things like wormholes and manufacturing and hauling—one of the pleasures of Eve is there is more to learn than one person can encompass.
But I have focused my efforts on solo and small gang PVP. And I find that even here, I can enjoy the game.
What I like most in Eve is winning a close solo fight—getting victory when I’m deep into structure!—or tackling a much bigger ship with an experienced friend, or helping a carebear friend learn about the adrenaline rush of PVP.
Because I don’t have as much time online or learn as fast as my younger friends, I find it works best to for me to focus on a PVP niche. I like flying frigates, in part because they are inexpensive and I don’t do lots of PVE to earn ISK, but also because I really enjoy them. Flying frigates limits how much I have to learn about other types of ships: It’s unlikely that I’m going to engage an Abbadon, so I don’t need to learn all about its strengths and vulnerabilities.
And I have also found it best to focus on one style of fighting and a few types of ships and weapons, so I am less likely to react the wrong way in the middle of a fight (For instance, a brawler needs to do very different things in a close fight than a kiter, and hybrid weapons must be handled differently than missiles).
Being an older player does enhance my Eve experience in a key way. Growing entails experiencing losses, disappointments and sadness, along with achievements and satisfactions. I think that’s why I have found my ability to feel gratitude has become more important as I’ve gotten older. And gratitude for the occasional good fight, new things to learn and, most of all, for friends made during Eve is deeply satisfying to me.
So I’m happy being a member of the 5 percent in Eve. I hope the game lasts long enough that many of you can join me in that club.