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EVE Community Spotlight: CrazyKinux

James Egan
James Egan|June 15, 2009 12:00 PM
CrazyKinux is one of the standout players in EVE Online who has contributed to the game in significant ways. He's known as Treenara Mazouk in New Eden, but most players simply call him 'CrazyKinux'. His site, CrazyKinux's Musing, is a popular destination for players curious about EVE Online or looking for info about how to get started, as well as a hub of activity for the EVE player community.

Beyond the four years and counting he's been a vocal member of the player community, CrazyKinux has provided commentary on EVE through The Drone Bay podcast and later on MicroWarpCast. The writers at Massively had the good fortune to work with CrazyKinux in the past, with his Have Clone, Will Travel column, but he's since gone on to have a bigger impact on the game. CrazyKinux turned his attention to the EVE community itself, where much of the out-of-game interaction between players had been on forums or on player blogs that often existed in their own microcosm. He linked them together into a cohesive community and the momentum has resulted in hundreds of EVE players writing about their experiences in New Eden, and the most active bloggers participate in regular, intelligent discussions about the game in "EVE Blog Banters".

CrazyKinux is one busy man, but Massively recently caught up with him to discuss the community of EVE players he's helped bring together and what it is about the game and its playerbase that motivated him to make this happen.

When did you start CrazyKinux's Musing, and was it the same kind of creative outlet for you back then as it is now?

I started blogging on CrazyKinux's Musing way back in February of 2005. Back in those days, gaming blogs were still in their infancy and I felt very much like a pioneer, especially when it came to blogging about EVE Online. At first I blogged about gaming in general, with a focus on MMOs and EVE in particular. Though I did write about other interests, as I still do today.

Those first few years of blogging were similar to roaming 0.0 space in New Eden. Other blogs and comments were very rare and the possibilities to interact with other bloggers were very limited. Nevertheless, I continued and slowly started posting on a more regular basis. Along the way I read voraciously about blogging, writing, building communities around blogs and everything else I could get my hands on to better myself as a blogger.

"Back in those days, gaming blogs were still in their infancy and I felt very much like a pioneer, especially when it came to blogging about EVE Online."

Things really started to come together in early 2008, when I got together with Crovan and Alsedrech to begin recording a new EVE podcast, The Drone Bay. Our idea was to produce a show different from Warp Drive Active, that would also complement it. At time, WDA was "the" EVE podcast, and still is a behemoth in the community.

Shortly after starting TDB, I found myself with a lot more free time, having parted ways with my employer. That's when I started putting a lot more energy into CrazyKinux's Musing, working on helping new players into EVE and making sure that the EVE Blogging Community was given the attention it deserves. And that's when things really took off! The blog became a way for me to help others get to know and enjoy the game we love.

In this way, CrazyKinux's Musing has always been a way for me to explore my abilities as a writer, and my passion to connect with other people. EVE Online and this blog have allowed me to reach out to new friends all over the world, friends I interact with on a daily basis. This to me is one of the major benefits of blogging.

What is it about EVE Online that drives you to put so much time into writing about it, and bringing together a blogging community centered around this particular game?

The first time I saw screenshots and videos of EVE Online, I was blown away! That must have been back in 1999 or 2000 and I believe the video was of a Tristan. Here was a game that looked nothing like I had seen before. It was being made by this unknown developer, based in Iceland of all places. The game looked alien, industrial, cold, and completely foreign. I was hooked.

But what really makes this game tick for me, what really pulls me in is the Community. Whereas most other MMOs have splintered worlds, EVE has one. One player-driven economy, one world, one community. What happens in one remote part of that universe can have, and has, a major impact on the rest of the world, and so on the rest of the Community.

And that translates to the Intertubes and to the EVE Blogging Community. We all share the same world, but we all share different experiences. This is basically what drives the EVE blogs out there. There's an endless list of conversation and matter to discuss surrounding EVE, and even more opinions out there. Your EVE Online might be very different different from mine. And so there's always something to discuss, to share, to disagree upon. It's a blogger's nirvana!

What is "The EVE Online Blog Pack" and what's the criteria you use to decide which blogs are included?

The idea behind the EVE Blog Pack was simple: get the most prolific, regular EVE bloggers together in one group, to share each others ideas, to comment and discuss on each others blogs. There are a few criteria to make it into the Blog Pack, one of which is to have a dedicated EVE Online blog that you update regularly. The other is in the quality of the content that's posted.

"Those first few years of blogging were similar to roaming 0.0 space in New Eden. Other blogs and comments were very rare and the possibilities to interact with other bloggers were very limited."

The original Pack had 20 members which I chose amongst the EVE blogs I was reading, but I eventually bumped-up to 30. Since I wanted the Pack to be the elite EVE Blogs, I decided some time ago to keep that cap. Over the last year or so since the Pack's creation, some members have been replaced by new ones. Every few months I check the list, see who's fallen off the wagon when it comes to posting new articles to their blogs. Pack members who haven't blogged in a while risk losing their spot to EVE bloggers who have showed interest in becoming part of the Pack. So there's always a chance for new members to join. I'm about to go through such an exercise in the next few weeks actually, so look for a post about that soon.

Was the EVE Blog Pack in any way a response to the negativity that tends to characterize the official EVE Online forums?

Not at all. That's never been the basis of the Pack. The EVE forums are what they are. Anyone who enters does so at their own peril. The Pack is a different outlet where conversations occur between capsuleers who share a common goal, a common interest in their game. I'll agree though many new players to the game will have learned about it through our network of blogs, including the Pack. I'd be curious to see how many decided to start playing the game after reading a 143-page thread!

Some of the EVE bloggers feel this wouldn't have happened without you. Is that sentiment accurate, and how do *you* see yourself in all of this?

That's a tough question to answer. I've been called the "Blog Father" of EVE blogging, and I'm very honored by that, but I'm a very modest individual, and always prefer to share the success with my blogger and podcaster counterparts. You could say I put the team first, ahead of the captain. Actually, that's a pretty good comparison. I can't deny that I've had influence on the EVE blogging community, and that my efforts have pushed a lot of players into blogging as well. But all that work wouldn't have paid off if no one would have jumped in. Add to that the immense talent out there, and you've got a recipe for success. I'm like the doorman who's trying to get people to come into the EVE Blog Club. I might be great at it, but if the music is not good, if the venue is sub-par, and if there's no atmosphere, no one will come in or stay long. It's a team effort in the end!