EVE Blog Banter #26 – Beauty

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Welcome to the twenty-sixth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week or so to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to crazykinux@gmail.com.  Check for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month’s topic was proposed by @KatiaSae of the much praised “To Boldly Go” blog. Katia asks: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As an astrophotographer, I’ve found it in the stars and planets of New Eden. Where have you found it? Perhaps you’ve found beauty in the ships we fly? Maybe it’s the sight of profits being added to your bottom line? Or maybe it’s the pilot portraits you see in the comm channels? Where ever you’ve found it, write about it and post an image.” Don’t be afraid go beyond the simple visual aspects of EVE as well. Is the EVE Community in itself a thing of beauty? What makes EVE the game, the world, the Community, so appealing to you?

I like the Wikipedia definition of Beauty – “a characteristic that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure, meaning or satisfaction”. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beauty]  With that in mind, there are four areas of beauty that stand out for me in EVE – a ship, the scenery, the order, and the distraction.

While there have been others, the very first ship that left me in awe in game was the Damnation.  Most of the ships I had initially come across were awkward and (frankly) ugly.  You could grow to respect them for their utility, but there was nothing artistic or intrinsically attractive about them.  The Damnation however just looks superb – the symmetry, the lines, the look of speed, strength and stability.  Seeing it for the first time was a wow moment – and I remember thinking “I want to fly one of those”.   (I have long since had all the skills to fit and pilot one, and the ISK to afford it, but I have never actually owned one.  I have not found a fit which I could make use of in the way I play the game.)

The scenery in the game can be breathtaking.  I’ve seen many examples where non-players question the authenticity of in game screen captures.  “That’s not real, is it?”  Followed soon by a slightly smug response from a player “Yep, that’s exactly what it looks like.”  But it doesn’t.  95% of the time you are zoomed out so far from your ship that it is just a tiny bracket in space, you have overlays and containers and the HUD and your Neocom and chat channels organised across the screen, or your on autopilot, or maybe you have the market and scan and science and journal and whatever other window you happen to be using splashed across the top of it.  But – every so often you are struck by the scene, remember to use CNTL F9, and just marvel at the beauty of the game.

The next thing of beauty is something I probably shouldn’t admit too. I like the fact that order can be achieved in game.  Everything can be filed and sorted and structured and optimised, and put neatly away.  I wouldn’t like to imagine how much time I spent trying to come up with the perfect mix of Corporation hangers and wallet division descriptions.  I don’t imagine ever getting the same sense of order in my real life, so at least I can enjoy doing so in my imaginary one.

The last aspect of beauty that stands out for me in EVE is the distraction.  I have a fairly busy and stressful life, with (quite literally) hundreds of tasks on my to-do list which I cycle through and never get close to clearing.  EVE gives me a balance of amusement, recreation, interest and distraction, and gives me some much needed downtime.