Shortly after getting my EVE Online account set up, I got emails from a couple of EVE corporation recruiters soliciting for members. I was interested in talking with them because major activities in EVE Online — things like building space stations and fighting wars of any real scale — are only practically available to good-sized groups of players. A single individual can’t earn enough money or be in enough places at one time to accomplish what a corporation can. No surprise there. That’s life, if nothing else.
In reading over one of the corporation’s Web sites, I thought “Here’s a group of pretty reasonable folks who know where they’re going and what they want.” That was appealing, and after trading a couple of EVE mails with one of them, I found their corporate chat channel.
We talked about what I did, where I was based, what I enjoyed … the usual sorts of things one would expect in any interview, really. Likewise, we talked about them, too. They did, in fact, seem like very nice people who had a lot of fun in EVE Online.
Their living was made mostly by mining operations and running missions. They had more than 40 members, most, if not all, of whom were adults who embraced a mature approach to the game: no stealing, no smack talk, no anything that might cause anyone to take offense or elicit a declaration of war. All very understandable. All very nice.
I listened. I thought.
Later on, in the forums, I came across a term that pirates in the game use to describe corporations organized and run in this manner: Carebear.
What to make of that?
I’m chuckling as I type this right now.
I am a middle-aged carebear for a wife and three children. I’m also a carebear for a group of IT specialists whose job it is to be carebears for our company’s data. Some of them have a hard time playing well with others, so I wind up being a carebear for the people they bend out of shape. I’m a pro at this already.
Carebear? In EVE Online?
Why in the galaxy would I want to be a carebear in my one and only escape from my carebear reality?
Heck, let’s blow up carebears instead.
Let’s strike fear into unsuspecting traders and miners. Let’s become the scourge of the galaxy. Let’s fight great and glorious wars against wicked, smothering carebear corporations — which by the way, are really just minding their own business, but hey. Let’s be pixel pirates with virtual vanquishing devilish drones that send shocking shivers so deep into people that their halting hands can’t even click them out of dire straits of my monstrous malicious making. Mmwwwwaaahahahahaha!
Am I getting carried away, or what?
In the end, after a pleasant chat, we wished one another well and I told them I would be in touch soon, likely to apply for membership. I had second thoughts a couple of days later, so I thanked them again for the invitation and told them I wasn’t yet sure in which direction my character was headed.
Pondering the situation, the carebear in me surfaced: “I’d better get moving and get to work salvaging and making a good, honest living out there. I’ll need the money.
“Yes, indeed, I will need the money. I’ll need to buy salvagers, mining lasers, insurance and all those homey things that all carebears need.”
But then again….
Ships. I’ll need a good supply of ships. I might be going through a lot of them learning how this eye patch works.
— Will Collum
Read Previous EVE Online Diaries: