Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Blog Banter 45: Propaganda

First off, let me say that as much as I love reading the blog banters, I very rarely participate in them.  That said, this one is a bit more near and dear to my heart.  Propaganda!

Eve is a social game with spaceships.  I realize some people want to focus on the spaceships aspect.   However, I strongly believe that we are still playing this game today and this game continues to exist because it doesn't focus on pixels as much as interpersonal interactions.

Killing Dabigredboat's titan in Asakai wasn't amazingly fun because we were shooting a collection of pixels.  People shooting him knew him.  They had been in his fleets before.  Heard him talk.  Some may have argued with him at one point or another.  Some may have lost things because of him over the years.  It wasn't some random collection of people thrown into an arena battle where you only spend a handful of minutes learning about your opponent through fighting with him, then likely never see him/her again.  Because people know other people in Eve, loss and success is much more amplified.  

There are egos on the line.

Between egos, staggering losses, and the +1 carrot dangled in front of players at all times rewarding them for gaining friends/friendlies in Eve, it should come as no surprise that propaganda and the written word play a huge role in the game.  I write.  I write a lot.  I write for both Eve related things as well as real world things.  In both cases, I am writing both to convey my view of what has/is happening as well as to convince others that my view is the right view.

Propaganda and marketing go hand in hand with any conflict.  Whether it be a war of bullets or a financial war.  Keeping people with you as well as convincing people that your cause is just, your product/service is superior, that you are right and your opponent is wrong is central to large scale interpersonal relations.

It is all about building the narrative.

In Eve, I attempt to be as unbiased as possible in my reporting of events.  However, my selection of what to write about is not removed from bias, whether consciously or otherwise.  I will admit, this is a form of propaganda.  If no one else reports on events or does a poor job of reporting on those events that show me or the people I am allies with in a bad light, it is to my benefit.  Alternately, knowing the steamroller is coming, but heading off what could be a propaganda win for opponents with a clear, unbiased take on the events that make me or my allies look bad is as close to a win as can be achieved in a situation.  Either way, minimizing loss of face or maximizing exposure of your success is to your benefit.

Of course, in Eve, like in the real world, everything is not clear cut.  Your enemy today could be your ally tomorrow.  While doing your best to rally people to your cause, you also have to be building bridges to your opponent.  Worthy opponents can make worthy allies, after all.

Words are some of the most potent weapons in conflict.  In Eve, like it or not, propaganda has a huge influence on all of us.  The pen is mightier than the sword, after all.  So, for me, propaganda is at the center of Eve.


  1. Speaking of words, WRITE MOAR OF DEM!

    Which would be a good thing.

  2. This was a return to his high in 2010. ;)