Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Elusive Gamer Female, Ambulation, and Introduction (Not in That Order)

Welcome to my little rant spot about EVE-Online, a Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) RPG that I am currently addicted to, just like how my friends are addicted to watching Grey’s Anatomy and Sex and The City (oh so passé now).

First, let me identify myself without giving too much away – I like a little mystery. I am a 20-some female who plays Eve on a regular basis. (I'm a geek yep, and being an engineer doesn't help.) My main is a Caldari pilot who is nearly 8 months old. I used to run missions in empire and currently live deep in 0.0 space with the Rule of Three alliance. I have acquired a taste for fleets and pew pew fairly regularly, but also make a decent amount of isk from ratting and other activities to sustain my ship collection. And just because I am a gamer doesn’t mean I don’t engage in other “non-geeky” activities either: shopping, cooking, designing, parties, recreational sports…all those fun stuff are high on my hobby list. I’m not crazy about EVE to the extent as to attend Fanfests in icy Reykjavik, but I would totally crash a corp/alliance party in Vegas if they held one in the summer!

I’ve gone through some of the flurry of blogs out there in the EVE blogosphere – I excel at being a slacker at work and finding ways to procrastinate on my spreadsheets and projects and bosses. After reading a well-written
blog post by Bitteroldnoob, an MC pilot who writes for the EVE Tribune (another one of my favorite procrastinating tools), regarding the dearth of female pilots in EVE, I came up with the idea of portraying my adventures in EVE from a female perspective. Especially since all the men at CCP are wondering why more women won’t fit themselves into shiny spaceships. It’s like beer, guys. It’s an acquired taste that not many females find palatable. Why is that so?

“As of October 2006 the average age of an EVE Player was 27 of which 95% male, and 5% female.” – EVE Wiki

CCP’s Petursson: “Women Don’t Want to Be Spaceships”

Alright, let’s hear from yours truly, a female EVE gamer, about why I play and what I don’t like about the game as a lady.

- Wars, infiltrations, and consequences of pvp. Such mirrors of real life economy.
- Tight-knit corporations and alliances bring some “nationalistic” sense into the game. Being able to contribute to part of a group with similar interests. A well-developed corp and alliance interface (recruiting, war decs, corp wallets, etc etc etc.)
- Making isk via trading, ratting, mining, stocks, and many other means.
- The intelligent tactics that are involved in 0.0 fleet battles.
- The highly amusing shock factor on TS/Vent when a female voice is present.

That said, the downfalls:
- Cannot alter the look of ships, especially the Caldari ships that are… asymmetrical at best. Also, very phalic-shaped ships (Rokh, Wyvern, etc).
- Choice and customizability of avatars is just appalling, and rather crude.
- Yeah you have good graphics on Trinity, but the graphics are all very male-oriented.
- Lack of interaction with things other than ships. Ambulation and planet-interaction is an improvement.
- Nearly vertical learning curve that appeal most to the mathematically-inclined.
- Few women want to deal with the harsh realities of pvp as a way of life. (I’m special.)

How do we fix that so more ladies will keep the men of EVE occupied?

Ambulation and The Ladies

Looks like CCP Olafsson has some of those suggestions down pat for an ambitious Ambulation expansion, partly aimed at incorporating more female gamers, coming late in 2008. (Full article
here) I, along with the 4.999% of the rest of the ladies (and frankly, everyone else in EVE), will be trembling in anticipation. Let’s look at some of the tasty morsels:

- Socializing, eating/drinking, and playing poker in bars
- Getting fat as a result of that
- Plastic surgeons to change your nose. Michael Jackson’s nose anyone?
- Tailors and their shops. Now we can finally own a wardrobe!!!
- Corps can now own halls in stations and design their own rooms
- Personal shops
- EVE Voice will make me sound Caldari. Wonder how those guys playing Matari female pilots will sound.
- “Since pod-pilots are essentially nearly naked and submerged in goo as they fly, it's important they groom before they get off the ship. And make no mistake, stations have a firm "no pants, no service" policy. As such, players will have these mobile quarters where they can prepare themselves before they get off their ship.”

Uhh… I hadn’t realized that I was flying naked all of the time. That might be rather distracting in pvp situations when I eject in my pod.

I can’t wait til we have mini-games and all that in stations… plastic surgeons and tailors? Looks like I might have to train my alt in that! If those features are indeed what they claim, then I believe we will see a greater influx of female gamers. Heck, I may even stop pvp’ing, but my corp wouldn’t be too pleased.


CrazyKinux said...

I've got a great EVE Blog Pack idea.

Can you please send me an email at crazykinux[at]


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