A few days ago I had an interesting conversation on the Broadcast for Reps channel. The story was special and the two of us shared some thoughts on how important it is that we, as EVE Online players, make a clear distinction between “gaming” and “gambling”…
Today we have a longer text again. If you don’t like that, you can help yourself to the buffet on the right-hand side under “Read more”.
But now to the actual topic. A few days ago, a player wrote to me about Broadcast for Reps. He was a bit hung up and since I was circling a Faction Warfare beacon anyway, I signalled to him that I had time to listen.
He began to tell me and his story was…special. With kind permission, I may write about it here and reflect a little.
But first, a quick spotlight:
The player is in his mid-thirties, lives alone as a single person in a medium-sized city in Germany and has a 450€ job in addition to his normal 9-5 job where he does some extra hours in the evenings or on weekends. Oh, I thought to myself. I’ll have something to say about that!
His problem was that each of his days felt the same and he just couldn’t get out of this hamster wheel:
Out of bed at half past six in the morning, breakfast, reading the news and then off to work. In the evening at 5:30pm he’s back home, cooking something quick. Then he drives to his second job, where he works a few more hours. Around 20:30 he is back home. After a shower, he goes to the computer. He logs on, gambles until about 11 pm and then goes to bed to get up at 6:30 am the next morning. That’s what each of his weekdays looks like, with slight variations.
And at the weekend? Exactly the same. In the morning he gets up at 6:30am so as not to get out of rhythm. Then he cleans his flat, goes to his part-time job for a few hours, goes shopping and then sits down in front of the computer to gamble. In the evening, he might watch a film, sometimes at the same time as gambling. On Sunday, he might watch a crime scene, then he goes to bed early to get up at 6:30 on Monday morning.
“Joa…you’re right about that. You have to change something to make it different.”
Yes, but what? We have analysed the situation a bit. Of course he can’t give up his job or anything else that is important for his livelihood. Reducing his working hours is out of the question for him. So we tried to approach the matter from the other side. Assuming he would be satisfied with his life, where does he fill up with strength and energy? Where would he have joy and fun and not be preoccupied with everyday things? What would be his “quality time”?
He enjoys gaming. He mainly plays EVE Online and flies missions and Abyss sites there. So he’s a normal EVE player, but that’s something he enjoys. For him, gaming is a hobby. When he tells me about it, he blossoms. His ship is optimised for Dark Abyss, his mission-running ship is perfectly trimmed for missions against Sansha’s Nation and for every available Burner mission he has an appropriate ship at hand. He shows me screenshots of his Vargur, which really looks pretty cool with Chainbreaker skin.
He is proud of the ship and his playstyle, which allows him to finance EVE Online only with PLEX. He has the necessary ISK after about 3 weeks of relaxed gaming, it goes a bit faster when a faction module or implant drops. But a few days ago he had a thought that wouldn’t let him go.
“What am I doing this for anyway?”
Admittedly, one has to start here in a completely different place in order to steer the whole thing back into a somewhat regular course. That is already a question about the meaning of life…
After all, he has already looked for help himself and knows that the life he leads could be the reason for his current low. After all, he now has the realisation that he has lost his direction and is adrift.
Let’s be honest – we all have days or weeks like that sometimes. Then you shimmy through the days with minimal effort, work through your “compulsory programme” and react more than create your own life.
At some point, however, you catch yourself again or at least vary with other activities in the evening so that you don’t do the same thing all the time. And that is perhaps the key to the problem.
No, it’s not easy to do something different, to change your life, to make time for other things. It is definitely work to get out of the usual rut and define for yourself personally what you are actually doing something for – or for whom.
“Where should I start?”
An important component here is the daily grind with which he fills the precious time he is at home. Yes, he enjoys it, when there is a good drop he feels rewarded and his ISK in the account are additional confirmation. But here’s the rub: he didn’t tell me about his experiences. Nothing about a narrow escape from the Abyss, nothing about completing a Lady Scarlett in 5 minutes or the like. He only ever referred to the status symbols he had achieved.
Interestingly, he noticed that too.
That’s what I call “gambling” – a word that sounds a bit like ZOmbie and trOCKEN. Accept, Run, Deliver – always the same pattern. Doggedly into the same pattern and because you can’t imagine anything else at that moment, you do it just like that.
Playing, on the other hand, we have agreed, is a state in which one “obliviously” pursues an activity in which one actively participates. And development. Play is always connected with some kind of development.
I observed a nice example a few years ago with our cats. When they were young, they differed in a very special way. While one of the two cats chased after leaves, nuts and stones and killed them mercilessly, the other cat had his very own methods to kill “the prey”. He always managed not only to kick the objects around, but also to lift them up and throw them upwards. This was a nice example for me of what “gaming” can really look like and how it differs from “normal” gambling. No doubt both have become good mousers over time.
Back to our EVE player. Of course, he doesn’t have to change his play style if he doesn’t want to do anything supposedly dangerous. But in the future he wants to gamble less and play more, explore more, try new things and maybe skip the computer on the odd evening. No one has to start knitting or socialising if they don’t want to, but it helps a lot if you break away from old patterns and stick your head out of your tower from time to time.
Regularly I write a bit about EVE philosophy – sometimes my thoughts and ideas wander a bit too far from the shot. Then it’s time for you to catch them in the comments! What do you think about this “case”? Do you play EVE or do you play EVE? How do your days look like, how do you gather strength, what motivates you? So that you are motivated enough to write a comment, there are of course cool Scopy Syndication Skins to get!