Feb 12, 2008

[Why I Don't Play EVE]

Bitter Old Noob asked the question: "Why don't more women play EVE?"
The common theory seems to be that there's not enough dress-up or pretty colors in the game.It's so annoying to always hear those same theories over and over again, whenever guys wonder about why more women don't play 'so-and-so game'. Those two elements are not the 'make or break' elements that encourage women gamers (or a potential woman gamer) to pick up a game.

I'm female and I adore spaceships. I think mecha are sexy (I watched GundamWing for the robots, not the boys). I used to have a poster of a Klingon Bird-of-Prey on my wall when I was in high school. So with that said;

I played the EVE trial. I loved the ships, and the space environments. It's a beautiful game, in my opinion. What turned me off was the lack of accessibility (Corp politics is where things get really fun, and when you start out, you don't have any of these connections). Aside from grinding asteroids for ore, 'training' is an automatic process that you just set up and wait for days/weeks to level up. That's too 'passive' for my tastes, and I like the sense of 'working towards' character development.

I liked the tutorial. Since I'm the kind that also reads game manuals (freak of nature, I know) the length of it didn't bother me much. After that, I went about trying to get some a better ship and outfitting. Once I had mined for a day or so (a boring grind), bought an upgrade ship, and outfitted it with lots of cool equipment, I went out on a pirate mission and got summarily blown up (still being a noob). And lost everything, even with insurance. Back to the square one empty starter ship. That's when I uninstalled the game.

I don't play EVE for the same reasons lots of other male gamers don't: The game's learning curve is steep and unforgiving. A harsh death penality. The PvP is free-for-all and a general state of controlled anarchy prevails. That gameplay style is not what I enjoy.

EVE is a beautiful game, and very unique. I follow stories of Corp intrigues and wars with interest, and I love how players have made their own societies in the game, and I wish more MMOs had that openness and potential. But only a very particular kind of person enjoys the kind of PvP play mechanics EVE offers. Brighter colors and adding avatar dress-up in EVE would not get me (or others who don't already like the game) to play it, because everything else about the gameplay doesn't appeal to me (or to the majority of MMO players, if you look at the game's subscriber count). It's a game that's tailored to a very specific gamer type. (And yes, the boy's club atmosphere of the community and advertising doesn't help attract women, either).

So there's one girl's reason as to why she doesn't play EVE. =P

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