Table of contents:
Video: When Death Becomes Real In EVE Online: "He Simply Has No Longer Logged In."
There is a place in the dark expanse of the EVE universe that is unsuccessfully sought after: In the Molea II system, on the first moon, there is a player-operated space station that functions as a cemetery. The graves fly around them. There are now more than a thousand, all individual containers with small messages, names, dates. If you head for Molea II - whatever you can do with your spaceship in EVE Online at any time - the game suddenly stops.
"The whole thing just exploded to a point that when you get there in the game, when you warp into the area, there's a little delay because everything has to load first."
It is a cemetery that does not immortalize dead in-game characters, but deceased players: people who played space travelers and suddenly or not so suddenly are different from life. As CCP Falcon tells me, developer CCP had to adjust the game mechanics so that Molea II could continue to be flown to - and not crash the game.
Now there is the official memorial monument. I was there live when it was shown to the EVE online community in Berlin for the first time. The mood? Happy and melancholy when some of the EVE space travelers whistled, others applauded, others smiled, others smiled … “When I first heard about it, I cried literally.
Feiryred is one of the EVE Celebs, celebrities in the EVE universe that every reasonably serious player knows somehow. She grew up in Low Sec, which stands for a system with "Low Security" - less security. She says it as if it tells me something important about herself. I would like to know what that is - like so many other things. Instead, I ask her about the craziest thing that has ever happened to her in the game.
"There was this guy in Reykjavik at the CCP Monument-"
Wait, wait, wait. Is there a CCP monument in the capital of Iceland? Obviously. What I will find out later: On the monument, every player's name is printed in small letters at the time of construction. Wow. I'm sitting with the red-haired Feiryred on a wooden bench at G-Fleet, it's now in the afternoon. I hardly have to ask any more questions, because no matter what I'm told here - I want to hear everything.
"-This guy there? Every time we lost someone, he would put a candle outside, right next to the person's name. It was always very, very touching."
EVE and dying.
EVE and dying.
EVE and dying
I can't get it in my head. What connects an MMORPG with the death of people; why is EVE Online different from all other mass multiplayer games I know? Naturally. Also games like WoW or, I don't know - Fallout 76? - have their community. No man's sky. But nowhere else have I experienced such a deep and natural connection to the game universe - and to the people who populate it.
I want to know more. But before a word can come out of my mouth, Feiryred looks at me intently - she now knows what was the craziest thing that ever happened to her.
I didn't know what to say because she was crying. Half of the people with whom I sat down at the table cried: deceased players, families who found new cohesion because of EVE, new friends, friends for life. Suicides. I thought I was talking about EVE Online that strange autumn day. Instead, I'm talking about life.
If you've been thinking about committing suicide lately, or if you know someone who you think is suicidal, get help. You can share your worries - there are free phone numbers for telephone counseling: 0800/111 0 111 and 0800/111 0 222.
There's a story that runs through all the stories I've heard that day: Are you feeling bad? Do you have depression? Your husband just passed away and you don't know how to support your family? Your house is under water and you can't even pay the hospital bills? Your friends from EVE Online will help you. They'll talk to you if they have to stay up all night. They invite you to your home and take care of you. You donate money. " You make friends for life, " CCP Falcon suggests and smiles.
After sixteen years in the vastness of our internet, is EVE Online more a second life than a game?
"Even Asteroids Are Not Alone" is a film by Jón Bjarki Magnússon. Check out the trailer here:
Even Asteroids Are Not Alone from The RAI on Vimeo.
Suicide hotline for space travelers
There's this guy called the Space Pope. Outside of EVE, he works for NASA - in-game he leads the Sixth Empire Corporation as CEO. By the way, in EVE Online there are many of those professions that we all have - CEOs, Co-CEOs, HR departments, a job as a teacher. Or maybe the job of someone sitting on the other end of a suicide hotline.
The suicide hotline in EVE Online is called Broadcast 4 Reps. Broadcast 4 Reps is a collaboration between EVE online players and CCP. It is an organization that is aimed at all players who have thoughts of suicide, are struggling with depression or have other mental illnesses. There are no professional psychologists or doctors here. There is no professional treatment here. Instead, there are players who are there every day and night when someone needs them. To talk. They can be reached via all social channels and in the game itself - and this since 2015, when Broadcast 4 Reps was founded. In her video, the suicide hotline explains what they are and what they do:
On average, EVE online players are in their early thirties. Almost everyone I've talked to has known EVE for over ten years. Newcomers are there, but they have a hard time getting into the game - many stop before they really get started. The long-established Greygal tells me about her first moments in the game, how she unwittingly maneuvered into a wormhole. Without help she would never have gotten there, but EVE would not have been EVE if there were no more experienced players to help. Uhm. Or they rob you, destroy your ship and laugh at you when you're sad about it. Either way - without the community, EVE Online would have left long ago and drifted dead through space.
People who are getting fewer and fewer. Is EVE Dying Out? CCP has been trying for years to make it easier to get started. However, the problem is that EVE only starts when a newbie joins its first fleet. Flying solo through the vastness of the universe is possible, but it doesn't keep anyone in the game for ten years, "I mean, now take a look at the game. We also call it Table Online."
Funny because everyone I've talked to? They spoke of family, friends, blows of fate and the meet-ups with their Corp comrades. Maybe they also talked about the big wars in EVE, but it wasn't about the number of ships or NPCs or missions. One time it was about a guy at an EVE party outside the game - he was flirting with someone else's wife and her husband took that as an excuse to start a war. In the game.
EVE is a second life. EVE is a community. And yet it is not comparable to anyone I have known so far.
Do you want to try EVE Online? There is a free trial month - otherwise you can get the EVE subscription through Amazon.
And at some point they don't log in anymore
If I am to describe what the EVE player Drechlas is doing, I would probably have to call him an EVE historian. Or maybe as a dead archivist, as a keeper of memories. Drechlas designs in-memoriam videos on YouTube. Each of his small films shows all known players who died in the past year. When he's not editing a video, he searches Twitter, Reddit, Facebook and the internal EVE magazines for the news. The questions. Where did that player go? Why has he disappeared for days?
He is the one who tells why someone has not logged in
Are you tired of the game? Do you have to take care of other things? Can you still log in at all? There is almost always someone across the intimate community who notices their absence. A friend, a comrade. Maybe a boss who runs the corporation they fly with.
It is you who call. And it is Drechlas who reads their messages when they report on the death of their friend, “ Somehow you are connected to them. We all play the same game, don't we?
Drechla's last video told about those who left the game in 2017-2018
I give Drechlas a moment because he has tears in his eyes. However, before I can continue, something happens. I have seven full interviews behind me, my head is smoking and I want to learn more, more, more, more. It is really like a second world! Incredible, I think. And then Feiryred interrupts us, who comes to us and says in a thick voice to Drechlas:
"I think there's someone you need to talk to. There is someone from our alliance whom we lost a few months ago
Drechlas grabs her arm and says, "That's okay, sweety," when she looks at me. My recording device is still running.
"I told you about the one from Ireland who was a success? Yes, she asked me what is the craziest thing that has ever happened to EVE -"
"Yes, you told me that." Drechlas is still holding her arm and I think it's really like a family.
"I told what I was doing and then - oh, I remembered the guy from Ireland!"
I say it was a wonderful story. She cries.
This is EVE Online today:
EVE Online - Invasion Cinematic Trailer
Drechlas later tells me that at first he didn't even know how much his videos would mean to people. Why is dying such a big topic in EVE Online? Quite simply: Because it is one of the big issues in life. EVE Online is more life than game - but, and I want to emphasize that, it's not just sad. It is friendship and cohesion and family, it is there for one another. Exactly how Feiryred was there for the Irish man.
This one story has an end and it is a good one.
"So we talked to him and we talked inconspicuously about cars, asked him what kind of car he was driving?"
For him it was his personal journey through hell that should end with his death. But it didn't happen.
How does EVE play as a beginner? I tell you in my article: For the first time Eve Online: When Eve killed me - and then brought me back.
I don't know if EVE Online has more people who have a hard time in life. Maybe. What I do know is that EVE catches them, peps them up and ultimately shapes them. Exactly how they shape EVE. The author of the book “Empires of EVE” Andrew Groen says: “ At some point I understood what the secret of EVE is. It is the fact that every story of someone is connected to every story of everyone else. “For 13 years, EVE has been the only MMORPG in the world that can do this.