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Why CODE. is GREAT for Business

An address, by the most revered Princess Aiko Danuja:


As Teinyhr famously wrote on the forums, “Because exploding ships create the need to build more. Can I have my 100 million ISK now?” The answer is blatantly obvious, and nobody will expect this essay to break new ground or present revolutionary arguments. Everything has already been fully elucidated by James 315, within his award-winning blog www.minerbumping.com. Indeed, this brief essay could hardly hope to encapsulate the entire academic canon of the CODE, which an agent cannot hope to master in less than seven years.

Let us content ourselves with a simple review of the history, noting how the seminal basis of our faith covered high-sec, before James even dreamt of his pilgrimage to Arvasaras.

The Sheikh, Helicity, Dimittry, and other early prophets of the CODE were all aware of this law. Indeed, the CODE of New Halaima is transcendent, emerging from the very spark of genius which inspired the original developer of EVE Online, Professor Johann Christian Ludwig Hellwig.

Now, although one can expect nothing new within this essay, an ignorant goofus might already be confused. For the sake of such gobloks, I shall now recount the story of EVE’s genesis.

It all began in May of 1714, when Swedish tax enforcement officers began ganking Russian freighters, which were attempting to smuggle contraband through Hangö. Such dramatic developments were not uncommon, but King Friedrich Wilhelm was sorely vexed by the prolonged war. Why were public servants still AFK, and why did they complain about paying a modest indulgence, when caught in blatant violation of the New Order Regulations?

“There was always a war, always, and the king knew it was necessary to take this more seriously.”

Princess Aiko Danuja

However, he wasn’t sure what to do about bot aspirants.

Fortunately, Professor Hellwig understood that it was important to strictly enforce the rules. In order to demonstrate this, Hellwig eventually created the earliest alpha of EVE, with 1617 systems containing diverse space terrain such as mountain, water, and swamp planets.

Of course, the goal of this game was to capture the enemy keepstar. Although the game itself was not real, Hellwig urged players to treat this as a serious space business. If you weren’t able to maintain focus in a fictional war, you’d never be able to stay awake in a real war, and the game might thus serve as a means of training unemployed no-lifers how to git gud.

By 1973, EVE was in beta testing, under the guidance of Marc Miller and the Game Designers Workshop, headquartered in Miller’s bedroom closet under a pile of old laundry. Miller was himself inspired by the naval blockade of Hangö, and the ganking of the USS Lexington on May 8, 1942. Like Professor Hellwig, he thus envisioned a clash of interstellar imperiums, hellbent on an apocalyptic collision. What would life be like for a plebian capsuleer, or ‘traveller’, who attempted to mine illegally during such a savage conflict?

In September 1984, EVE was updated to the new digital format, hailed as an ‘elite’ and exceedingly ‘dangerous’ videogame. A particularly controversial feature was introduced by Robert Holdstock, who envisioned a ‘dark wheel’ of ambiguous moral alignments. Whereas Professor Hellwig’s original alpha presumed that all capsuleers were lawful evil, Holdstock speculated that some might be neutral, or even lawful good. In such a universe, a smuggler could expect law enforcement paladins to seek justice, even at the loss of their own Catalyst.

Indeed, capsuleers are free to choose their own fate.

The introduction of morality was sufficient to expand the EVE universe into a host of interrelated wargames. Wing Commander (1993) emphasized the tedious grind of a common miner, Garyson Burrows. Much like with the modern EVE, this story begins with rogue drones, and ends with an endless deluge of red circles (forerunners of the red triangle).

Grand Theft Auto (1997) introduced the concept of ‘high-sec’, a region within which law enforcement would be relentlessly harassed by overpowered rogue ‘police’ bots. In such a nightmarish dystopia, it was sometimes hard to tell who was good and who was evil, and it became ‘best practice’ to simply start ganking any potential targets.

When CCP updated the franchise in 2003, they released an official trailer that clearly defined the anticipated gameplay.

A mysterious figure known only as James 315 had served for many years as an operative of the Caldari Mission Ready Mining Taskforce, before realizing that high-sec is filled with a “bunch of hump-sucking drones, with absolutely no sense of purpose in their lives.” He would thus vow to gank all of them.

“I took everything I’d learned about the border zone and cargo transit routes from both sides, and I put it to my own good use. Let the State and Federation worker bees conduct the sweatwork, I’ll just lighten their loads a little bit. In this universe, pilots are free to choose their own economic and political destinies. Some choose to mine the resources of their great frontiers, some choose to run cargo missions… I keep all these guys very busy.”

James 315, Savior of High Sec

James thus established himself as the iconic hero of EVE Online, years before he even created an account.

The law was thus proclaimed years before James arrived in Arvasaras, and yet the Orcas who littered the icebelt would pretend they had never heard of law. They protested in vain, claiming there was no need for a Captain to remain on the bridge of his ship, and insisting they had every right to act without regard for any social compact. Enough was enough, and James was soon elected as High King, empowered to force these rogue drones to obey.

Considering this history, there is no need to engage in a lengthy macroeconomic analysis of how exactly ganking improves the larger global economy, by encouraging miners to spend their ill-gotten wealth upon the development of digital infrastructure on a remote island in the North Atlantic.

Nor is it necessary to wax sentimental about the microeconomic reality, that blowing up a retriever will allow gankers to sell another retriever. The simple fact of the matter is that this game is won by eating all the mice, and all the cheese, and blowing up all the keepstars. Once James is in complete control of the entire galaxy, the New Order Treasury will be overflowing with wealth, and the shareholders will rejoice in glorious victory. How could that possibly be bad for the economy? We want to win the war, not prolong it.

Of course, some doom and gloom non-believers will gnash their teeth and moan that the servers will blink out, with a shuddering and terrifying halt. Imagine, if you will, that you are playing a game of Monopoly, and James has built hotels on Park Place and Boardwalk. Yes, you are going to lose, and the game will surely end. However, don’t worry. We can always start another game, and EVE 2.0 will soon be released.

For now, just enjoy losing, and send more money to James 315 and CCP.

On behalf of the economy, thank you for playing.