PAX East: 'EVE Online' History Crazier Than You Think

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EVE Online isn't just space battles CCP

I may be going to CCP Fanfest in April, a celebration of all things EVE Online . I don’t really know much about the game, other then it has spaceships and spreadsheets and decided I needed a bit more knowledge on the subject. Thankfully, PAX East was there to help me out. Andrew Groen, author of Empires Of Eve, talked about the history of the spaceship warfare simulator’s biggest and bloodiest fight.

The panel at the Condor Theater was packed with people who had heard of EVE Online , but knew very little about the game. They’ve read the articles about thousand dollar warships getting demolished and tales of espionage so complicated, even Scientology couldn’t compete. When Groen asked who had heard of EVE , everyone raised their hand and then asked who knows the game well: three quarters of the hands dropped.

EVE Online has only one server, which means regardless of which country you are playing from, you’ll be playing together. Cultures and factions, like the Band Of Brothers and the RedSwarm Federation, pop up to conquer the universe. These armchair generals might just be playing a computer game, but to them it’s a purpose, a reason to get up every morning and fight the good fight.

I couldn’t begin to decompress Groen’s 40-minute speech, there were just too many moving parts. It was a college history course, but with video games. There were factions that controlled parts of EVE Online’s space, only to get wiped out and be replaced by an entirely new faction. There was backstabbing, crazy egos and everything you could want out of a dramatic soap opera, but with internet nerds in pretend space ships.

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