Hey everyone! With the New Year approaching fact and everyone’s mind on resolutions to not eat or drink or smoke something, I thought I’d take a few minutes and talk about something that’s a bit more applicable to gamers: games you just can’t seem to quit.
Now I’m not talking about “game addiction” or any of that Dr. Oz bull… I’m talking about those games that, for one reason or another, you always seem to find yourself going back to and playing. It could have been months, or maybe even years since you last played it, but one day you’re cruising around the internet, you see an ad for it on some website or someone mentions it in a comment somewhere; and BOOM. You’re installing it again and pouring more time into it than you’d ever planned to again.
For me, EVE Online is one of those games. For those of you not familiar with EVE, it’s a Massively Multiplayer Online game (MMO) that puts the players in the role of starship captain and pretty much just dumps them into the MASSIVE galaxy that the game takes place in and pretty much let’s them have free rein. It is, quintessentially, a giant space sandbox that players are allowed to play in.
Want to work for one of the many corporations that exists among the stars and kill criminals? You can do that. Peacefully mine asteroids in space that can be refined or turned into goods to make a profit? Check. Explore the depths of space in search of lost wreckage or wormholes that lead to god knows where? Check. Hunt other players in the lawless regions of space where you and you alone make the law? Check. Found a colony on a planet and help turn natural resources into actual product? Check. Transport goods from one side of the galaxy to the other like a BA galactic trucker? You can do that too.
In EVE Online, only real limitation to what you can do is time, experience and having the balls to suck it up, get out there and take some risks.
See, that’s the real trick to how EVE Online works. Sure the game provides you with missions and goals to help you earn that every important dollar that you’ll need to do what you want. But at the end of the day it’s the players themselves who are creating their own goals in the game. Take me for example, I’ve been trying to work my way up to being an awesome deep space explorer for a while now (ever since I discovered that it was even a thing you could do in the game). There’s just something romantic and exciting about traversing the unknown in search of rare resources or artifacts that could net me a large sum of money.
Of course you don’t get very large pay-outs for the stuff you can find in the safer regions of space, so I have to venture farther and farther out of my “safe zone” if I want to really make a profit. Which, of course, comes with increased dangers and risks. So I find myself slowly investing and training my character to pilot bigger and better ships capable of taking these risky trips into the unknown. It’s no small task, let me assure you. Indeed I often find myself “bored” with the game as my goal seems so far away and the business of life eventually pushes out much of my free time. It’s for that reason that I find myself leaving EVE Online so often. It’s not that the game itself is boring or too hard, the goals I’ve set for myself just often seem so far out of reach that they aren’t “worth” it anymore. So I move on to other games.
Yet I always find myself yearning to go back… to brave the cold dangers of space and find things that no one else may ever see. And so I eventually start playing again. Pushing forward, slowly building my bank account… and inching ever closer to my goal.
EVE Online is, in many ways, a mirror of how we live our everyday lives. We set goals for ourselves, we work towards them, and sometimes to are forced to take some detours. But at the end of the day the most important thing is that you just keep pushing forward, deeper and deeper into the vast unknown before you. After all, how else are we ever going to know what’s out there?