EVE Online is possibly the most polarising online game in existence. It has some of the genre's most loyal fans and spawns some of its biggest news stories, but most people just can't stand the user interface and gameplay. It's been called boring, overcomplicated, and a griefer's paradise, but even those who don't play it often still watch from the sidelines as each insane story of theft or corruption emerges from the sandbox. Most games can only keep my attention for a few months at a time, but somehow I've played EVE for over eight and a half years.
I've heard it said that EVE is a long-term commitment, a statement I find hard to argue with as at only 26 years old I've been playing EVE almost continuously for a third of my life. It's not just been a game to me; at times it's been a way of life, a refuge from stress, a way to stay in touch with friends, and even a place to learn skills that can apply to the real world. Thanks to Massively, my attachment to EVE has even grown from a hobby to a career in writing and games journalism. I've had numerous periods of low activity in EVE and even quit for months at a time, but something always brings me back to the world's biggest sci-fi sandbox.
In this article, I look back at what drew me to EVE initially, some of the unusual factors that have kept me playing EVE over the past eight years, and the reason I'm still motivated to subscribe to this day.