Monday, March 21, 2011

Keep My Game Out Of The Real World

Sometimes my thought process is a little, to put it kindly, out of the box.  But I was taken aback when during the coverage of the Libya airstrikes yesterday that the vision of Eve Online's Tyrannis trailer flashed through my mind with President Obama's voice reading the lines.  And then I thought about things for a few minutes and then thought about how some of the more undesirable things in Eve are making their way to the front pages of the news.  A scary thought as New Eden is a dark and dangerous place.  Keeping these things out of the real world is what our politicians and leaders are supposed to do.  Here are some of the issues I wish I were not seeing:

A growing money supply and inflation - As players paying attention to the Eve economy can tell you, New Eden is facing inflationary pressures caused by the use of bots that make money through collecting bounties on pirates.  In the real world, the U.S. Federal Reserve is engaged in measures like QE2 which involves buying up U.S. Federal debt.  Many are concerned this growth in the money supply will lead to inflation, even possibly hyper-inflation.  Or, to but it another way, "I can't eat an iPad."

Pirates - Really?  Piracy is an accepted play-style in Eve Online, but something that was wiped out in the 1700s, right?  Maybe in the Caribbean, but not off the Horn of Africa.  Piracy is alive and well on the high seas in the 21st century.  When I start reading articles on how to avoid pirates that could apply to traveling in low-security space, I really start to wonder what is going on in the world.

Mercenaries - I love reading the stories about Mercenary Coalition's The North Reloaded campaign and the Noir. Mercenary Group's Declarations of War podcast, but that doesn't mean I like to see the proliferation of mercs in the real world.  But that is exactly what I see.  The latest instance is in Libya, where Moammar Gadhafi was on the verge of losing the country until mercenaries helped turn the tables on the rebels.  In New Eden, the Drone Russian Forces hired Pandemic Legion to stave off a Northern Coalition attack.  Are we witnessing the same sort of thing in North Africa today?

The trailer that started it all - Here is the trailer that inspired this post.  The words that brought our president to mind will follow beneath the window.

"I don't care for violence, but it is often a necessary evil.  I began this journey intending to create, not to destroy.  I looked to the stars and vowed that one day I would have a paradise to call my own.  To those who offered me their trust, I was a great benefactor.  Master of wealth and prosperity...

"But the spread of influence takes an iron will.  Your interests might align with some, and with others, collide with the force of suns.  You are much more powerful than you think.  Creation is so precious, and greed so destructive.  Your choice will make a difference."

Perhaps CCP, in its effort to make the ultimate science-fiction simulator, has created a world so like the real one that these types of comparisons are inevitable.  But the real world is not a video game, so forgive me if I expect our leaders to not allow some of the darkness that exists in New Eden to walk the face of the Earth.

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