EVE Universe: Origins – The Herald of a Sci-Fi Storytelling Revolution?

Part one of a four part discussion of the EVE Universe and CCP Games' new approach to telling its stories.

Since the dawn of communication, mankind has always had epic tales to share – all that really changes are the way they are told. Early cave paintings vividly describe dramatic hunts, human behaviours and spiritual beliefs. As humanity evolved, so too did the storytelling. Advancing language, theatre, music, literature, cinema and most recently video games have all joined the narrative tool-set.

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In many ways, science-fiction stories are the human race’s way of examining difficult aspects of its own progress and morality, whilst removing the immediacy of confronting delicate issues head on. The exploration of human nature through storytelling can soften the blow whilst still functioning as a mirror.

The EVE Universe is the first virtual society centred around two linked video games; EVE Online and DUST 514. This combined game world is as unique as it is elaborate, with a population of hundreds of thousands of real people who invest huge amounts of their personal time into forming social groups, building organisations and fighting wars for territory and resources. For many participants, being involved in the EVE Universe is not simply a form of entertainment, it is a lifestyle choice.

Having been in persistent existence for ten years of real-time, New Eden has provided ample opportunity for a wealth of human interaction from the forging of lasting alliances to bitter rivalries – virtual empires have literally been painstakingly constructed and subsequently torn down. In reality, the EVE Universe is an accelerated simulation of the evolution of human civilization. Within this digital environment there are many examples of human nature which echo the history books of reality; acts of cruelty and betrayal, but equally tales of compassion and unity. There have been dark ages and crusades, but also renaissance periods and industrial revolutions.

All this naturally emergent drama is set against a beautifully realised science-fiction backdrop 200 centuries into mankind’s future. As shown in the stunning video above, fractured societies of pioneers stranded far from Earth grow into vast interstellar superpowers. These disparate factions develop the technology which facilitates and supercharges the human desire for knowledge, power and dominion and paves the way for the immortal player characters.

This is the artifice which provides the veil between reality and simulation, allowing its participants to behave in ways they might not in their own, real lives.

At least, that’s how it starts…

NEXT: Sci-Fi Storytelling Revolution – Showing the EVE Universe to the World


Series Index
  1. EVE Universe: Origins – This New Cinematic Introduction to EVE Online May Herald a Sci-Fi Storytelling Revolution
  2. Sci-Fi Storytelling Revolution: Showing the EVE Universe to the World
  3. Sci-Fi Storytelling Revolution: CCP Seagull Ushers in a New Era
  4. Sci-Fi Storytelling Revolution: An Eventful Future

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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.