Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Channelling McLuhan - EVE - Born vs Community - Born

Although sometime I find The Mittani rambles off a bunch of nonsense (as many of my readers think of me I am sure) I found his recent Ten Ton Hammer article (Sins of a Solar Spymaster #75: The EVE-Born) very interesting. Once you get through his biases and innate need to insult others, he appears to be channeling Marshal McLuhan. In the article The Mittani discusses that 'there are now two classes of player, radically different in mindset - the EVE-born and the community-born'. EVE-born players are those who came to the game as individuals or part of a tiny group of a couple of friends. Community-born players came to EVE from an outside common community like the SA forums, Reddit or a particular ethnic group. In essence these two groups are playing two different games with two different gaming experiences and are speaking different languages either literally (as with an ethnic group) or as different speech patterns.

McLuhan had some similar observations. Watch the following video, the whole thing is worth watching however the really interesting insight starts at around the 7 minute mark:

In the above interview McLuhan is commenting on a recent 1976 election debate between Carter and Ford. Rather than discussing policy differences, which he considers pretty much irrelevant to the dabate, McLuhan is much more interested in the way the debaters, and moderators talked and presented themselves. Carter was considered to be from a 'corperate' culture (the south) and that was present in the way he talked. Corperate in this sense has nothing to do with business, but rather means that he is from a homogeneous culture with distinct speech patterns. Ford OTOH was from an individual culture (the north-eastern US which is a melting pot of a large number of ethnic groups) and that was indicated by his less distinctive speech patters and phrasing.

I am nowhere near smart enough to understand most of what 'Medium is the message' McLuhan says but I do find it interesting in EVE as well as on Earth. I have been in fleets with the goons (R.I.P. BDEAL). To say their comms chatter is interesting does not begin to cover it. I have no idea what they were saying 99% of the time. Yet they obviously seem to understand each other and can be effective. How they communicate to the community outside themselves is a different matter. In the right venue, typically 'hot', non-interactive, communication, they can be very effective due to their confidence, they know what they are saying and have no reason to believe differently. However in 'cool', more interactive, media they are less effective. As we are unable to understand them, they are unable to understand us, and this becomes apparent quickly.

BOB/IT/Raiden/PL/NC/NC-dot/Agony/BDEAL/RK/R&K/AHARM/Tuskers/..... etc are all more or less individual groups (eve-born). While at times they will be allied to the community-born (corperate) groups they will never really integrate. Look at the recent kick of BDEAL from the CFC alliance for example. This, above all else, means that permanent 100% nap-trains of 0.0 are near impossible in the global spanning game of EVE-online.

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