EVE's True Stories - Why EVE Online's TV Show is Going to be Awesome
by Lloyd Gyan
For as long as there have been successful games, there have always been movie tie ins, and vice versa. Not necessarily very well done, or entertaIining, but there can be a number of factors involved. The content the director has to work with may not translate well into a Hollywood blockbuster. The movie rights may have secured only part of the gaming license and had to come up with their own features. Everyone on set may have never bothered to actually play the game. Uwe Boll.
Most important of all, games are basically... games. Simulations of reality that ask their players to immerse themselves in a world where their actions will dictate where the story will go, or who they will shoot, or what monsters will pop out of the corner and vomit acid down their throat. Even in games that do not immerse the player into the minds of the lead character, you are given a very considerable time to love, hate, ridicule, belittle, and fear for the characters you encounter. Something that movie makers must struggle to do in an hour and a half of watching someone dodge bullets in a gunfight.
Movies have it tough enough trying to get you to emphasise with a character. When you have already played the game, and come up to the cinema to see that same character that you know and love/loathe in person, they do not always stand up to scratch.
The sort of same thing happens in the reverse order. Conceptions of characters from the movie have to be translated into game form, where you may be seeing some of them for an incredible length of time. The writers of the game have to make it so the character stays true to their movie nature, which can mean that the character may never grow or develop as a person for you to relate to. Their actions, abilities, and talents must come from the movie as well (along with their product placement - gotta wear those Reeboks!). And let’s not talk about the quality of some of the games from movies that have been released in time for the movie’s release just to capitalise on interest, with disastrous results.
Now I am not saying there has never been a good game to movie (or vice versa), everyone remembers Spiderman 2 and Enter the Matrix fondly, because I know I do. I am sure there would not be five Resident Evil movies if they weren’t very very entertaining (or featured female characters wearing very little clothing sometimes. I forget which). A damn fine writer and director can make magic happen with the right tools, capital, and source material, but it will never really be your own personal story told in movie form.
That may be about to change.
CCP games, creators of the undeniable juggernaut that is EVE online, have formed a partnership with Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur and his production company to develop a TV show based on the stories of EVE players. They are also doing the same thing with Dark Horse Comics to develop a new line of player-based comic books of the same vein.
If you haven’t already heard of EVE, (which is a feat in of itself), it is a space simulation MMO where a lot of the action, economy, and exploration are left in the hands of the players. You may think that this would lead to anarchy, wild fights, and a wild west style frontier that has its players feeling like they just entered a space apocalypse. Well, it does lead to that, but it also leads to giant 10,000 strong corporations that rule the stars in their sector, and the wars that it can inflict. It leads to infiltrations of said corps to shut them down from the inside, to shifting blame onto other characters to draw suspicion away from yourself. It leads to Firefly-esque crews just trying to get by while fleeing from oppression corps threatening to kill them and take their stuff.
If you find any of those things interesting, you should be in that game right now.
Even a casual search on the internet can bring you the wild tales that have developed from that environment. Spies, sent into giant corps to work their way up the ladder for close to two years, just to destroy it from the inside. CEOs just losing the plot and selling the funds of their corps to strangers. And that’s all the popular stuff that makes news reports. Who knows what stories have gone untold because they were of smaller scale.
Of course, no one truly knows how this will turn out, if they will be able to do the tales submitted justice, or even if it will see a release in some place that isn’t Iceland.
I, for one, am definitely looking forward to it.
If you play EVE, and you think your personal story with the game should be told, go check them out! Or join Goonsquad, either works!