Countdown to EVE Online Fanfest: A Tale of Internet Spaceships

For most Fanfest attendees, it is the opportunity to celebrate their beloved internet spaceship MMO. But for three brave Swedish film-makers, it is an odyssey into the unknown.

To the wider world, the concept of EVE Online is difficult to fathom.

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The story of EVE Online‘s success, the player-developer relationship, and the challenges which have punctuated the tempestuous history of this unique virtual civilisation, are all things which make sense to those who are part of it. But to the uninformed, it is simply “a sandbox for sociopaths” or “spreadsheets in space”.

Millions of man hours have been invested in the single virtual economy and theatre of war which is New Eden. Communities have formed to defend themselves against aggressors, pacts have been made between vast societies, imaginary empires have been built and overthrown, and player organisations have risen to unrivaled success only to be infiltrated or betrayed by their own. Players have even taken a stand against developers in protest and forced a change of culture.

These are all real stories which have played out against the single, virtual backdrop of EVE Online, yet still remain a source of bafflement to those not “EVE-literate”. From within, the “Nation of EVE” can be seen for the gloriously diverse, infinitely creative and (in some cases) disturbingly Machiavellian.

But from without it can seem as distant and as incomprehensible as a foreign culture.

Braving the Capsuleer’s Lair

Whatever the truth is, after 10 years and a persistent, healthy increase of subscribers, clearly EVE Online is doing something right. In Reykjavik, Iceland in just a few days, the most fervent internet spaceship enthusiasts will be gathering at the yearly EVE Fanfest to celebrate this historic milestone.

In a bold effort to demystify this sci-fi cult once and for all, a group of intrepid Swedish media students are traveling to Fanfest to create a documentary. As they witness the tenth anniversary celebrations of EVE Online, Petter, Philip and Elin will be filming and interviewing the attending fans of internet spaceships to find out exactly what all the fuss is about.

Petter Mårtensson, games journalist and project co-director, explained that the resulting documentary will be called A Tale of Internet Spaceships. The plan is to make a feature length film which will follow the experiences of the team as they travel to Iceland, meet the community and participate in the eclectic Fanfest experience.

Tell Your Story

The team has been coordinating with CCP and will be setting up an interview area at the Harpa Conference Center. There, they will be sitting down with members of the EVE community to get their insights on the relationship between CCP and the players and the events that have contributed to the tale of EVE.  Already, a number of EVE’s colourful and influential personalities have agreed to come chat to the team, but there are many more from whom they would like to hear.

Petter was keen to point out that the project is entirely under the creative control of the team and they are free to tell the real story of EVE Online without any marketing constraints. This independence was one of the reasons they sought funding via the Indiegogo crowd-funding solution rather than acquiring any corporate backing.

The support from Indiegogo backers–many from the EVE community itself–was heart-warming, with over $3,000 raised to cover equipment rental costs. As a result, and with the continued support of the EVE community, A Tale of Internet Spaceships should deliver a fascinating insight into one of the world’s most advanced virtual societies.

If you are attending Fanfest and are interested in talking with the A Tale of Internet Spaceships documentary team, please contact them at [email protected].


[Check out our other daily Countdown to Fanfest features for more information and speculation on EVE Online‘s Second Decade and the Party on Top of the World.]

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Image of Mat Westhorpe
Mat Westhorpe
Broken paramedic and coffee-drinking Englishman whose favourite dumb animal is an oxymoron. After over a decade of humping and dumping the fat and the dead, my lower spine did things normally reserved for Rubik's cubes, bringing my career as a medical clinician to an unexpectedly early end. Fortunately, my real passion is in writing and given that I'm now highly qualified in the art of sitting down, I have the time to pursue it. Having blogged about video games (well, mostly EVE Online) for years, I hope to channel my enjoyment of wordcraft and my hobby of gaming into one handy new career that doesn't involve other people's vomit.