13 years ago today I sat down and wrote the very first post in these pages. I had already played Eve for about a year and a half before I decided to start writing about it and sharing my adventures. I wanted a place where I could share the artwork that I was doing. Back then I was in Providence as part of the extended CVA family of Alliances and was creating propaganda pieces for their forums. I was also doing work for EON Magazine a lot back in those early days. Eve + Propaganda = Eveoganda.
If you weren't around back then it can be hard to imagine now, but blogs used to be everywhere. There were so many Eve blogs up and running that Crazykinux organized them into the Eve Blog Pack community. Something I ran for awhile after he retired from blogging. Thirteen years later there are very few of us remaining. The Ancient Gaming Noob by Wilhelm Arcturus has been running longer, but it isn't an exclusive Eve Online blog. (Still highly recommended though) And a few others will post every so often here and there. But the Eve blogging landscape is not what it used to be. And for good reason. Social Media, Reddit, Forums, Discord, Video, Twitch and other platforms have eroded the once noble art of the blog. Who wants to read when you can watch? And what idiot would keep doing this almost every day for thirteen years?
In January of 2010 I was the owner of a creative agency in downtown Pittsburgh. My office overlooked the river and I had nearly forty people working for me. I would write blog posts when I arrived at work in the morning. First the agency blog and then Eveoganda. Just nine days earlier I had married the love of my life. And I was working insane hours trying to survive the chaos of the 2008-09 recession that had devastated our client base. Back then I was a positive sec status soldier in a Null Sec army. Learning how to FC and PvP from some of the best players in the game. Lots of things were different thirteen years ago and a lot has changed since then. I was not a young player when I started playing Eve Online. I was 42 years old when my Son showed me Eve playing on his computer and I went downstairs to the studio and created Rixx Javix. This insane back-log of life experiences would often cause issues for me in the years to come in some corners of the community. But, more importantly I think, it would set the course for an incredible and amazing run. I had no inkling of any of this back when I started writing these words in 2010. All I knew was that it felt like a good idea. A place to share my passion for a game that was slowly starting to dig itself into my heart.
This is the year Eve Online will celebrate its twentieth anniversary. In March Stay Frosty will be ten years old, in May A Band Apart will be nine, Lucifer's Hammer will be twelve years old about ten days from now. And in September I will have been playing Eve for fifteen years. So many anniversaries. So many memories. It can be a bit overwhelming at times. I never imagined it would last so long, or that so much would happen. And yet, the years have flown by. As they do for us all.
In my first post back then I focused on this blog as being a place where I could share the work I was just starting to do for the game. Like so many things that idea has transformed itself over the last thirteen years. I've been extremely fortunate to be involved with this community of players, with CCP Games, with my friends around the world. From stupid propaganda pieces on the forums to signing my own posters at Harpa in Iceland. From creating team logos for CCP employees to every single employee getting an Eve calendar with my art in it for the holidays. From a test store on Zazzle, to RedBubble, to RixxJavix.com. From knowing nothing about this mysterious company in Reykjavik (Which I used to create my characters name) to being friends with them on Facebook and visiting Iceland so many times I have to stop and think about it when I want to remember how many it actually is. From writing weird feature requests as blog posts to actually influencing major changes in the game. From putting hats on avatars to actually having hats in-game. I could go on and on. It is a very long list. As it should be, it has been a long time. And a lot has happened.
And it is all there in the archives. Well, most of it. I've also made more than a few mistakes over the years. I've overshared some things and under-shared others. I've judged people I hadn't met or known in real life wrongly. And I've stood up against bullying and cancer in our community back when doing so was not a popular choice. I've been stalked. My personal information has been exposed for all to see. My accounts have been hacked. I've been grossly misunderstood. It hasn't all been roses and cream. And so some long-ago posts have been carefully edited or removed. In some cases I'm embarrassed at my own actions. Or I learned things later on that changed my opinion. Or I met the people involved in real life and went back and changed some words here and there. Or, in some very rare cases, deleted some posts that were no longer relevant.
Life is complicated. But I don't mention all of these things to dwell on the negative or to turn myself into a martyr for any sort of cause. I only mention them to express the entirety of those years that have faded into history. And to look forward into a brighter future. Every thing that happens to you, or because of you, is part of your own story. And it is important to learn from them all, to take lessons from each experience, and hope it can help you next time. This blog is a living breathing example of that journey for me and in so many ways, of the entire Eve community. At least from my own perspective. An unfolding and ever changing adventure that started one day back in January of 2010 and continues right now, as I write these words.
If you've made it this far, thank you. 4.7 million views later and I'm still here writing and sharing my artwork. My words. And my thoughts about a video game that I once only played on weekends with my Son. What an amazing journey it has been.
And I'm glad I was able to share it with you.
Thirteen more years? Why not.