“It helps people develop leadership and social skills,” Fair says. “Whether you’re leadership for a thousand-person alliance, or the CEO of a corporation of twenty people, or just a member of one of those corporations, it allows you to choose what you want to focus on and get good at, and follow that.”
Some players find the EVE experience so unique and engaging that sharing it with other people becomes a primary part of their gameplay loop. This is something that I personally experienced in my early days, trying to find my own place in the game. Everything I did in EVE felt so unique and different from what I’d seen in other games that I found myself constantly talking to my real-life friends about it, whether they wanted to hear it or not. I loved telling stories about my experiences in EVE so much that I decided to apply for a writing position at an EVE Online-focused news site.
Before this point, I had never really written anything that was intended for a wide audience. I had written papers for school and posted on online role-playing forums, but had never written anything that I thought tens of thousands of people would ever read. This part-time “job” I picked up to tell my stories paid out in in-game credits, which was helpful to my burgeoning career as a spaceship pilot, so it killed two birds with one stone. I was satisfied with my decision and didn’t think it would go any further than that.
Then the unexpected happened. My dedication to the game soon blossomed into a freelance writing career. I began contributing to several major video game news outlets, chronicling the grand EVE narrative from my perspective. My stories about EVE have now been read by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. I’ve even traveled to Reykjavik, Las Vegas, and Toronto, and other places in search of more stories to tell about the game. I’ve been able to hone my skills as a writer and I’ve gained more confidence, all thanks to my years playing EVE Online. As you might have guessed, I am a massive believer in the EVE Effect.
One of the most common sentiments shared among the player base, beyond the usual “spreadsheets in space” joke, is that EVE is a game that fascinates people outside that don’t even play it. If there was a list of people’s favorite games that they have never played, EVE would surely be near the top. The reason that people are drawn to EVE is, for the most part, the same reason that the EVE Effect exists. The stakes when playing EVE are very high, and because of that, the bonds that people share in the game, and the lengths that people will go to learn skills that give them an edge, are greater than in other games.