Friday, June 29, 2007

EVE Online's Greenspan

Blog Post by Dr. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson, EVE Online's economist

Recently, I have been very interested in trying out EVE Online once again, drawn to its sandbox design and complex and diverse structure of its universe.

One of its strength, according to the website, is that, unlike other traditional RPGs like World of Warcraft, it boasts freedom. Freedom to do whatever you want, with only one goal: Power. (Acutally, I think there's freedom in goal as well. Not everyone's out there to become the number one overlord.) You can pursue the goal by whatever method suits you; you can mine for vital ores for the universe, you can trade goods in various regions, manufacture necessary components for others, or if you are more of violent person--most of us are--you can even pirate other players for goods; this creates another opportunity for others who can get hired for protection or escort missions. Players can also form alliances or corporations to bring their efforts together to make much more profit and form a noticable presence.

This diverse activities are possible in the world of EVE because it maintains a real, complex, and breathing economy, dynamically evolving by players, along with huge (and I really do me huge) universe to provide abundance of market to run it. There are countless regions with different recourses, and needs for other resources it lacks. There are secure zones, or insecure ones. There are so many that I can go on for hours. This diverse setting is vast enough to grab attention from academia (as explained in the blog entry linked to this post) on how economic researchers may use it to study economic dyanmics, and much more.

As such complex economy keeps growing and evolving, EVE Online's creator, CCP Games, has brought in a real economist into their development team. As can be seen in the blog entry linked to this article, he will be making quarterly reports on EVE Online's economy, and providing vital feedbacks to the core development team for future development of the community. In essence, he will be Greenspan of EVE.

I am both awed and amazed by this news. It is another indicator how advanced EVE community is. Unlike other MMO games, which most of them claims that the future of [INSERT A WORLD HERE] depends on your hand.....except it really doesn't. (I can talk about this in length, but it's a whole different topic. Maybe later.) On the other hand, EVE Online really lets players have impact in the world. They never say players are heroes, or that they're destined to be saviors of the world. Instead, they say that players are citizens. People live in that world and can band together and make changes...just like the world we live in!

Blog Post by Dr. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson, EVE Online's economist

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