EVE Online's Community Culture Has Grown Beyond the Sandbox - Meet Some of the Celebrity Escapees
Aside being a well-worn cliché, to describe EVE Online as a sandbox is perhaps not to do justice to the fertile nature of the sci-fi MMO's community environment. Sand suggests desert and a lack of life, yet just taking a whistle-stop tour of EVE culture shows its more a teeming jungle than the dusty savannah suggested by the term 'sandbox'.
The metaphor is used to imply the freedom of action given to children in a defined play area overseen by adults. Even though that may have once been the case for EVE Online, evidence suggests that its ever-expanding metagame culture has spread far beyond the confines of the kindergarten.
Undoubtedly, there is an impressive depth of gameplay to be found within the client itself and players can certainly participate in the building and destroying of metaphorical sandcastles. But it is beyond the client where the sheer volume and diversity of content available can be impressively overwhelming.
Meet the Metagamers
Sadly, many new players may arrive expecting an MMO gaming experience comparable to others they've had in the past. Depending on how rookies are introduced into EVE culture, vibrant segments of the EVE landscape may remain undiscovered.
New players will explore the client content, perhaps visit the official forums if they get stuck, but may never really discover that a peek behind the curtain will reveal the true face of EVE Online. It is not an MMO supported by a single community; unlike many games, EVE has multiple communities which are all part of a society that makes up “the Nation of EVE”.
These fertile communities are an endless fount of material and resources both in and out of game. Behind much of this content are the individuals who bring character and colour to New Eden's rich sci-fi tapestry woven from barbed wire and string theory.
Read on to meet some of them...