Futurity: This brutal online game could redefine 'fun'
It is the real sense of meaning that can be generated in otherwise frivolous virtual worlds that is key to EVE’s success and perhaps the wider applicability of gaming, says Marcus Carter, a researcher of human-computer interaction at the University of Melbourne.
Unlike most online games, EVE, launched in 2003, imposes serious consequences for failure, and creates a harsh and cold environment where there is no reset. Once a player takes an action, it can’t be taken back or replayed, and the impact can affect every other player in the game.
“EVE can generate an enormous amount of meaning because, as in the real world, every decision can only ever be made once,” says Carter, who has edited the first book to examine the EVE world, Internet Spaceships Are Serious Business (University of Minnesota Press, 2016).