Don't make me play that!

We try to be roundly educated gamers. We claim broad interests and experience. But the truth is that we all have our fears and foibles; those bogey-games we’ll gladly feign Legionnaire’s Disease to avoid. But real men face their fears. We knew we had to grit our teeth and install these detested titles or forever have our parentage questioned. As a team, we picked up the gauntlet thrown down by, er, ourselves, and sat down to play the games we vowed we never would.

Eve Online
Gamer: Tim Edwards

I can do massively multiplayer games. I can do space games. But EVE Online, the massively multiplayer space game, is my blind-spot: a hulking game of math and long-term projection that my explosion-addled mind cannot cope with. I admire the stories that come out of it, the wars and betrayals, politics and peacekeeping. But the actual game? Play it? Why?

This time, I have no choice. So, character creation then. Race: Caldari, because it sounds like Calamari. Background: Civivre, because the description says they “form the backbone of the Caldari state.” As a trained biologist, I can tell you that octopi have no backbone. I admire the contradiction. Gender: hottie. Charisma: high, as usual. Intelligence: ditto. I have high dissent (the basic ingredient of a Deputy Editor), and some form of executive command. I’m also very, very hot. And kinda naked. In space, no one can see you work the joystick naked.

Within a few moments I’m in command of Crappee 1, the newbie starship. It looks like a space-Skoda with a gatling gun. Hilariously, I land near pirates in worse space-boats than mine. The throaty computer lady talks me through the mindless destruction of these pirates, the leeching of a nearby asteroid, and the assassination of a local traitor. My usual woes with EVE rapidly surface: the interface makes me feel like a total idiot (it takes me about ten minutes to work out how to open the cargo hold), I can’t for the life of me work out where I’m going, or how to get there, and the sheer scale of the map terrifies me. But gradually, I fall into line. I chill. I relax. I chillax. I stop worrying about what the game is telling me to do, and choose my own destiny. I shut the tutorial down, and go for a drive. I’m in outer-space, with no mission, no plan, and no real hope of surviving. I resort to my usual trick - pretending to be a flirty lady, and preying on the lonely. EVE players: Poppette is coming. And she’s a space-siren.

Play it again?
Maybe. WLTM Lonely Male for interstellar romance.