We mentioned that CCP Games plans to have a presence at the Game Developers Conference this year, but they've opted to give another presentation about EVE Online as well. CCP's Lead Economist Dr. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson and Researcher Petur Johannes Oskarsson will speak about player governance in the virtual space, as exemplified by EVE Online's "Council of Stellar Management" (CSM).
For those who haven't heard of it, the Council of Stellar Management is something unique to EVE Online. It exists to convey the sentiments of the playerbase to EVE's developer, CCP Games. The idea is that it will ensure that CCP Games is developing and balancing the game in ways that fit the interests of the subscribers. It also allows for concerns between the players and developers to be addressed in a direct way by CCP Games.
CSM representatives are not selected by the developers, who largely maintain a hands-off stance on how the CSM is run. The players themselves organize their own election campaigns and the playerbase votes for who the best women and men are for the role. Each CSM term lasts for six months, during which time regular meetings take place, one of which happens in Reykjavik, in 3-days (or more) of face-to-face sessions with CCP Games.
The GDC 09 session is titled: "The Council of Stellar Management: EVE Online Bridges Worlds for a Society".