At the academic blog Terra Nova, commentator Nate Combs has a lengthy look at the inherent 'culture of mistrust' that exists in EVE Online. Due to the game's somewhat harsh environment (compared with most MMOGs), it's in the best interests of a given player to distrust others ... and yet most of the news out of the game is discussion of the well-organized groups acting in concert towards a common end. Combs explores why the hostile nature of the game combines with game mechanics (like alt characters) to create a 'common path' for the EVE Player.
Some professional PvPers may start out as foot soldiers in an alliance but along the way acquire a second hat. For example, some may develop an arrangement with their organization where they still work on its behalf but may also engage in activities for their own (and associate) profit and interest. Thus they may start to attack enemy shipping - or shipping of friends of enemies - far removed from their alliance areas of concern. They may do it for a cocktail of reasons: a desire for a lifestyle of "pew pew", for profit and distinction for uberness within their group under the guise of economic warfare. Unfortunately, there are cases where such far afield dalliances have lead to political trouble for the parent alliances. Birds do come home to roost.
This article is just the latest in a series, with others covering EVE's 'information game', the consequences of rare materials, and the 'problem' of neutral parties in-game.
Terra Nova discusses the 'culture of mistrust' in EVE Online
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