Monday, October 1, 2012

The Need For A New Memorial In Eve Online

"We believe in making virtual worlds, and they don't have a shelf life. We want this game to be around in 10, 20, 30 years."

One of the distinguishing features of Eve Online is the physical mark the players make in the game world.  While game play features like POS and starbases dot the universe, New Eden contains objects that commemorate events that step partway out of the limiting constraints of the browser.  CCP has created monuments for events like alliance tournament victories and the riots that occurred in Jita that were the in-game manifestation of player discontent during the Summer of Rage.  Has the time come for a new type of memorial?

For noted artist and blogger Rixx Javix, the answer is yes.  Fresh off his successful campaign to return the trademark frill to the Vagabond, Rixx is now focused on establishing an in-game memorial for those players who die in real life.  Inspired by the tragic death of Sean "Vile Rat" Smith in the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi Rixx came up with a proposal that would not only honor those who have already died but those who will die in the future.
"What I'm driving at here is nothing short of a permanent massive memorial to the fallen in-game. Something that fits within the context of Eve, the universe, lore, and conventional mechanics.  If Capsuleers are the Gods of New Eden, then I think they deserve a God-like Memorial of significance. We humans, and I suspect Capsuleers as well, have historically erected large scale memorial systems to honor those that have passed away before us. I suspect that the future will not be all that different. Especially when it is an immortal Capsuleer that has passed into the great mystery.

"To my mind, nothing symbolizes the "great mystery" in New Eden more than the Eve Gate. It is where our ancestors came from and beyond which is nothing more than the great unknown.

"What I am suggesting is the creation of the opposite. A Great Ring of Fire on the opposite end of the universe from the Eve Gate. A dark hole that symbolizes the place where we go after death. The great beyond.

"A place where the mechanic exists to immortalize those Capsuleers of distinction that have left us forever. Not those that un-sub never to return, but those that have tied their lives in a significant way to our universe and that we know have left real life as well. A hall of heroes if you will, a Hall of Fame, a grand memorial to the fallen."
Given CCP's stated goal of the game running for decades, another tragic death to a player is inevitable.  As I thought about the situation, I remembered the current activity by the Council of Stellar Management.  As the CSM worries about the procedures to handle an event in which a CSM member cannot take office after an election I asked myself, "should the CSM and CCP prepare for the eventuality of a player who can no longer log into the game because of a real life death?"  While nothing can bring a player back from beyond the grave, such a memorial could help ease the pain of those left behind who play the game.

In support of his effort Rixx has created a forum thread on the official forums and has begun producing artwork and videos.  His latest video was a collaboration with Aiden Mourn that debuted yesterday on YouTube.  If we don't see a ring of fire, we should see something similar.  The game really could use some sort of memorial.

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