This post is a reply to the Blog Banter #45.
In a socially-driven game environment such as EVE Online’s, everyone has an agenda. CCP promotes its products and has an army of volunteers to do the same; corporations and alliances deliver entertaining recruitment drives, CSM election candidates solicit for voter favour, bloggers and podcasters opine to their audiences.
In this intricate web of communication, influence and control, what part does propaganda play in your game?
In a game as emergent as EVE, metagame is often just as important as using actual game mechanics. Propaganda is influencing the community point of view. Did you ever wonder why being a miner is so bad in EVE? Or why the word “carebear” has such pejorative meaning? Or why should one join the Goonswarm instead of being one of the pubbies (and why real men don’t play with pubbies)?
What is it?
Propaganda is a marketing tool. It can make others join your cause, and it can makes your cause sound cool (or at least better than the others). It makes YOU the one who has influence on what other people think. It is often this influence that makes you good friends (or bitter enemies). And this can in turn:
- turn the tides of war,
- make your event bigger,
- make people hate miners,
- make griefing a fun thing to do.
How to do it?
In an era of social media it is just a matter of using these media. It usually helps to have some creative skills: wordsmiths and Photoshop warriors will have something to do (GIMP works too). Propaganda can be simply words, because words repeated enough times become the truth. Also notice that a catchy phrase with some catchy piece of graphics is three times* as much catchy – just a friendly tip. By the way, rumour is simply propaganda fitted with a Covert Ops Cloak.
* – an engineer approximation
Propaganda makes you recognized
If you hear “Lukas Rox”, most likely you don’t know who the hell it is. But you probably immediately recognize The Mittani. You most likely heard of Helicity Boson or Roc Wieler. If you read EVE related blogs, the name of Poetic Stanziel should sound familiar. And if you have an Android phone, you most likely know Marcel Devereux. Metagame and propaganda is the way to the top in EVE.
Examples of successful propaganda actions
- First off, Goonswarm. With some creative talents and attitude of their leader, they use propaganda tools to make themselves heard, plus they usually do it quite loud. Let’s take Burn Jita for example:
Did you notice that some of these have not been actually made by the Goons? This is another side effect of propaganda. It seems to have an effect on creative minds, so if you make your marketing cool enough, other people will surely respond (and possibly follow).
- Another successful propaganda action is/was Hulkageddon. Even though the Hulk ganking operation is periodic, people still do it in the wake of Helicity Boson.
- Faction Warfare militias uses propaganda as well – to bolster the numbers mainly – and to rally people together
As you can see, propaganda is an important tool for EVE Online players, and moreover, they eagerly use it.
What part does propaganda take in my game?
Propaganda? Me? Are you kidding me?
See what other Banterers have to say
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- People of RISE by DaiTengu @ Spaceholder
- My “Art” With a Silent “F” by Drackarn @ Sand, Cider and Spaceships
- Propaganda by Kuan Yida @ Random Posts from Auga
- Dropping the info bomb by Azalean Ladder @ The Ladder
- Psychological Warfare by Da Dom @ Mystic Monologue
- Peripheral Pressure by Sugar Kyle @ Low Sec Lifestyle
- Brainwashing the masses by Emergent Patroller
- Propaganda? What propaganda? by Samwise Potato @ And Other Bright Ideas
- We need Enemies by splatus @ A journey through the mind
- Loose Lips Sink Coalitions by Harkconnan @ Extra Vehicular
- The Art of Influence by Azual Skoll @ The Altruist
- The New Eden Propaganda Vulnerability Test by TurAmarth ElRandir @ A Carbon Based Life
- Propaganda by Poetic Stanziel @ Poetic Discourse
- The Machine by Miura Bull @ Brutor Bullfighter