video games

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Eve Online (“spreadsheets in space”) is the infamously intricate massively multiplayer space trade/conquest game where in-game currency can be exchanged for real cash, making the battles fought there consequential in a way that sets it apart from other games.

Eve has seen many massive wars before, as well as daring acts of corporate espionage and a $50,000 Ponzi scheme, all of which are perfectly legit in the game’s context.

But now the game has been brought to the brink of a battle that beggars belief, as the notorious Clusterfuck Coalition (formerly the Goonsquad) has used a tribute system based on ancient Persian tithing to create a galactic empire they call “The Imperium,” whose leaders have waxed fat and arrogant (and have attempted to cash in on in the real world).

It’s got to be too much for the other players. Working with a war-chest supplied by one of the bankers behind I Want ISK, a virtual casino that allows players to gamble with in-game currency (which, remember, can be exchanged for real-world money). The looming battle looks to be the biggest in the game’s history.

This is the most surreal shit I’ve ever read. Members of The Imperium swore fealty to a cosplayer. The owner of I Want ISK is hiring mercenary troops to fight in absurdly gigantic battles. There may be a real dollar value to the damage done in game. It’s more like reading about a parallel universe where space war has broken out than an MMO.

What the fuck…

EVE is that game I want to hear everything about but don’t want to get personally involved with at all.

Always love reading about player-generated social and economic structures in MMOs. The BoingBoing article references a Polygon article which goes into more depth: