Posted Tue, Jul 26, 2011 by The Mittani
Yet for some reason, two years later, I’m not only leading Goonswarm itself but an entire coalition, and technically ‘leading’ the Council of Stellar Management, too. The somewhat bitter irony is that none of these accomplishments were among my goals for the game. My most sincere efforts in EVE were spent when I was a relative unknown, before the BoB disbanding. Where before I had a goal that was close to my heart - get in the espionage game and see what I can do - now that I actually have a spotlight on me, I’m just winging it. I don’t even particularly enjoy being in charge - the whole point of being a spymaster was to stay in the shadows behind a throne, controlling events, not being an Internet Spaceship Politician.
My first brief tenure as CEO of Goonfleet four years ago ended in a Threadnaught against CCP and a ragequit after Remedial, the founder of Goonfleet, thrust the position on me in a time of crisis and against my will. Remedial has gone on to quit EVE, broker mortgage modifications without a license and rack up almost half a million dollars worth of fines from his state government. Meanwhile, me - averse to sitting on thrones and completely lacking in any real purpose in EVE post-2009 - accidentally became the King of Space, running Remedial’s bastard child.
The election announcement at Fanfest was when I knew that my reality had gone completely off the rails, past “EVE is Real” into some kind of Fear and Loathing in Internet Space acid trip where people ask you for autographs with alarming sincerity over spaceships. The attention had been difficult to adjust to in the aftermath of the 2009 BoB disbanding - this column is a product of that, plus a few interviews and lecturing at the GDC. In hindsight, I should have realized that winning the CSM election would just accelerate the existing insanity into some kind of inadvertent attention-whoring overdrive.
I began in New Eden a Yulai-based trader in an Iteron V in 2005, just another gamer playing just another MMO. Now imagine trying to explain to people who know nothing about EVE that you’re going to Iceland because of a game about internet spaceships, or that you won a ‘space election’. That was my life in May. Imagine trying to explain to the same people a month later that you need to abruptly rush back to Reykjavik on two days of notice because of riots on the internet. About monocles.
And in Iceland, the sun doesn’t set, people eat rotten shark and sheep heads, and their belief in elves is so strong that they re-route their roads around the houses which said elves reside in; doing whatever it is that elves on a volcanic rock surrounded by fart-water happen to enjoy doing during the day. So, having explained this situation to people who probably think I should to be committed, off I went to Iceland, which as you can tell by now is an entirely normal place that absolutely does not call into question one’s sanity or ability to re-acclimate to normal society.
After returning from the Emergency Summit, I found my alliance’s home under attack in Deklein, and so launched into crisis mode; to repel a vast coalition of people who hate vast coalitions (were they able to somehow weaponize their own hypocrisy, we’d all be dead by now) I found myself staying up for 30-hour stretches and abusing comical amounts of coffee and other assorted chemicals to help manage the situation. It turns out that the fastest way to induce an artificial depression is to mess with your sleep schedule; if it wasn’t for yoga, I’d probably have lost my cool completely. An invasion is a normal part of the Great Game out in nullsec, but on the heels of the Reykjavik adventures it seemed like my life had become some kind of EVE blur, entirely beyond my control since March. EVE is Real released around this time, and I found a comic parody of it showing the star of the spot in a straight-jacket muttering about how ‘real’ the game was. I wondered if that was going to become me.