I came to realize why I keep coming back to this game. It’s not the spaceships. It’s not the explosions. It’s not the tears in Local.
It’s the new guys in the Open University of Celestial Hardship who come to us honestly and wholeheartedly wanting to learn. I want to give them the tools to protect themselves from people who would offer a 1 day old pilot free stuff in a can in high sec, and justify blowing the same 1 day old pilot by telling themselves that they are teaching them a valuable lesson.
It’s the old guys I hang out with in Teamspeak that I log in for each day. The permanent members that we call the Operations Department of OUCH. Sometimes they are funny, sometimes they are jerks. But they log in and hang out with me and make me laugh. Then they laugh at my jokes, and listen to the same stories I tell over and over. They tell me I’m right when I am right and, boy, they tell me I’m wrong when I’m wrong.
It’s seeing the transition of the new guy to the old guy, from the newbie to the vet, from the rookie to the up-and-coming team leader. It’s being part of that process of personal and social growth.
These guys are my friends. Not Online friends, not Eve friends. My Friend friends. People when you haven’t logged in game for a while, they pick up the phone and they call to make sure everything is alright. Even when they are across country, or around the world. They’re here for me and I’m here for them. Let the entertainment begin!
They prove to me that while Eve Online is a role playing game where everyone is playing the same asshole, all the cool assholes are in my corp. In my alliance. Among my blues. On my contact list. In every game I play, it always comes down to the people.
I do so like the spaceships though. And the explosions. And the tears in Local.