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I wonder why we find stories like this so compelling. We see it time and time again: players work long and hard to destroy things that other players worked long and hard to create.

I'm not mocking those that find these stories compelling. _I_ find them compelling. But when I stop to ask myself why, I dont have a good answer. Why is a successful attack (and less so, a successful defense) so much more compelling than the initial construction?

Why is an Eve battle that destroys tens of thousands of dollars of value (or more) more gripping than a minecraft world with tons of detail?

For me it comes down purely to the coordinated attack aspect. There are people spending more time per day than I do at work clicking buttons in an imaginary world. Seven days a week. 52 weeks a year.

Sure that sounds like I’m setting it up to be a whole “hey, look at these losers!” kind of thing, but that’s not it at all. I’m jealous. They have something they care about _that_ much and I can’t imagine ever having that.

Eve in particular also has appeal to me because of all the other aspects that so accurately mirror real life. There isn’t any other game I’m aware of that does that.

So in reality it’s not about the destruction or construction or whatever. It’s about the depth and dedication.

> "I’m jealous. They have something they care about _that_ much and I can’t imagine ever having that."

I identify with this so much. I have some friends who just pour time into games, and sure you can say that's a waste, but to have the human experience of caring that much about something must have some merit.

The only other thing I can think of that people have such a love/hate dedication to is their kids, and sometimes I worry that eventually I’m going to have kids and not find them interesting for the same reasons I don’t play Eve (plus, you know, the poo).

>Why is an Eve battle that destroys tens of thousands of dollars of value (or more) more gripping than a minecraft world with tons of detail?

Minecraft isn't an immersive universe, and it doesn't really have that much detail to draw one's attention outside of gameplay.

Eve, meanwhile, has social and political depth and the complexity of its space opera setting, and its stories would make for interesting sci-fi drama even without the real world financial consequences.

It's basically the difference between the lore of Super Mario Bros and Game of Thrones.

Humans like interactions. Doing the interactions, reading about interactions, etc. It's why we have drama in the first place. War is the ultimate form of interaction as every participant is using 100% of their capacity to influence a certain series of events. Every action is important and possibly carries a risk of death. It's gripping to see others engaging in the most pure form of interaction that humanity has available to itself which is why war stories and things like this Eve story are so engrossing to us. It's pure and real.

Instinctively the natural interests of many humans - especially male humans - tend to tribal violence (war) and resource acquisition and exploitation (business and politics).

Building stuff is some way down the list, and not nearly as obsessively compelling.

We've done well to sublimate some of it into online games and sports without having to act it out for real quite as much as we would otherwise.

Off the top of my head: because humans find conflict compelling. If I'm in Minecraft just building away without resource scarcity or random events, sure it's cool but it's just a painting. It doesn't have a story. Whereas these people are having to do planning and execution that mirrors actual warfare.

There is one common theme that exists throughout all sorts of media: we like hearing about competence. Why do we like sports? Player competence. Why do we like antihero stories? The antiheroes tend to be super-competent. What makes Ironman everybody's favorite Marvel superhero? His devil-may-care attitude is backed up by his supreme competence.


If it was an epic story of how a group of people went through a massive epic quest to collect all the resources they needed for a build in Minecraft, sure that too could be compelling. My son has watched hundreds of hours of roleplaying in Minecraft on youtube that boils down to finding resources in survival because someone wants to build something in their survival world.

But I also think that for Minecraft a large part of it is that most large scale Minecraft servers tends to be focused on minigames or more casual interaction than large scale drama.

I don't find this compelling. I will probably read this article, but only after I'm done trawling through all the comments. I read the first story like this that I ran into, because it was interesting that such coordination and planning could happen in the MMORPG world. But when these stories of coordinated griefing and betrayal are the only things you see coming out of EVE, you have to wonder if the people playing this game are all just a bunch of dumb cunts.

This isn't a story about the destruction of a starbase (you'll note that the actual destruction occupies about one sentence). It is a story about destroying the means of control of the resources of a sector and accomplishing something previously considered impossible. It is a story about a victory in the Great Game [1].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Game

I think part of the reasons is the parallels to real-world war. Humans are naturally pre-disposed to warfare, but (thank god) never have a chance to experience it in day-to-day life. This attack was probably closer to some of the epic battles of history than most real battles today, so reading about it is as interesting as reading about WWII or the Mongol conquests.

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