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The MMORPG Eve Online: “…a microcosm of human activity.”

[Image Credits: The Guardian]

‘Eve Online is one of Iceland’s biggest exports. Launched in 2003, it is a science-fiction project of unprecedented scale and ambition. It presents a cosmos of 7,500 interconnected star systems, known as New Eden, which can be travelled in spaceships built and flown by any individual. In-game professions vary. There are miners, traders, pirates, journalists and educators. You are free to work alone or in loose-knit corporations and alliances, the largest of which are comprised of tens of thousands of members.As a microcosm of human activity, the game has been studied by academics interested in creating political models, and by economists interested in testing financial ones. In a universe where every bullet, trade, offer of friendship and betrayal can be tracked and its impact logged and measured, Eve offers a new way to understand our species and the social systems of our world. “Within Eve we can see a political community that models hierarchy, authority, rule of law, power, violence and distribution of labour,” says Felix Ciuta, senior lecturer in international politics at UCL. “Players project onto this blank space their political and ideological principles. The way in which people act in the game might not reflect the way in which they act in the real world. But their virtual behaviour almost certainly is an expression of their ideas about how the world really works.”’

Source: Eve Online: how a virtual world went to the edge of apocalypse and back | Simon Parkin | Technology | The Guardian