In EVE Online, pretty much everything runs on ISK. Some people even evaluate the amount of ISK per hour they can earn to decide whether to do an activity. If everyone did that, some things wouldn't get done, which indicates some people play a little differently. Brave Newbies, for instance, famously looks at fun per hour as a metric for doing something. I don't know how that mindset is working for them in player-owned null sec, but their number one goal is to have fun.
As EVE is, despite some of the marketing hype, a game, many players play just to relax and get away from the cares of the real world. For some, that just means going to a high sec belt and turning on the mining lasers. For me, I turn to running courier missions. Courier missions, for those who don't know, involve moving packages from one station to another. Talk to agent, put package in the cargohold, travel to not-to-distant station, and talk to the agent again. Collect ISK and loyalty points. Pretty mindless, except for the watching the grid for hostile ships, especially Broadswords. Which, considering I run all my courier missions in low sec, basically means any other ship.
I think the important part of relaxing is controlling the pace at which one plays a game. That's why I find the challenges in Wildstar are so startling and irritating. Here I am, wandering around, sightseeing, gathering ore and Settler materials, killing mobs and completing quests at a leisurely pace, and some over-the-top announcer type proclaims a challenge. A challenge, while giving out rewards, demands that I race to do a task that often keeps me from progressing in the other five tasks the game has set for me. Challenges are involuntary and I have no alternative to just waiting for the timer to run out. What gets really irritating is when I'm told I failed the challenge. How can I fail to do something I didn't even try to accomplish? Aargh!
At this point, some EVE players may find the thought of a game smack-talking players a pretty cool feature. Of course, to get the full effect requires voice acting, and I don't think CCP is going to spring for that. I should add that the comments I hear when I rez after another stupid death are sometimes pretty funny, which helps with the whole relaxation effect I'm usually going for when playing games. And the announcer's descriptions of a new zone I've found are always entertaining. But sometimes I just want the game to stay out of my way and let me play the way I want. I find setting my own pace much more relaxing.