Eve Online developers CCP are preparing to hold elections from the player base to the “Council Of Stellar Management” in a two-week long election period beginning May 5th and ending May 19th. The Council, designed to liase between the 200,000-strong playerbase and developers CCP, was proposed after the scandal in which CCP employees were accused of unfairly aiding the alliances that they were a part of. It’s hard to say exactly what kind of power or influence the organisation will have, but it’s interesting that CCP increasingly see themselves as janitors, or operators, rather than controllers or directors of the game world.
CCP’s PDF document explaining the whys and wherefores of the implementation of the player council can be found here. Essentially, as I’ve tried to point out in commentary elsewhere, this has come about because Eve is both a game, and therefore competitive, and also one of the few genuine persistent worlds – in that it’s a single space that everyone logs into, rather a sharded, exploded world like those found in other MMOs. The sheer numbers of human interactions, and the fact that it’s filtered through a deliberately “gamey” system that keeps things flowing. Rather than building up and dying off like in Second Life’s ghost towns, it means that these kinds of human events will inevitably arise in Eve’s gameworld. Betrayal, cross-world perfidy, etc.
What’s most interesting, I think, is that Eve most socially sophisticated online system, as well as one that has a gigantic working economy. And yet all the mainstream coverage is in Second Life. Eve is relegated by virtue of it being a science fiction combat game – its achievements in virtuality somehow devalued by its gaminess. That needs to be demolished.
The Council Of Stellar Management blog has gone up here.
Also, coming soon: Space Week on RPS. Ooh, that’s going to take some putting together. Sigh.