Friday, May 10, 2013

Villains

A break in your regularly scheduled mathpr0n for something a little more off topic.  I want to take a moment to reveal my dirty rotten RP roots.

One aspect that has kept me rooted so strongly in EVE for all these years has been the story it engenders.  There's nothing particularly nice or friendly about the EVE universe.  Frankly, I think the "we're a small bubble of air in a vast vacuum among infinite forces bent on venting us and salvaging the debris" is really where a lot of science fiction excels.  It's at least the stories that I take the most enjoyment out of.  You can keep your Star Wars/Star Trek, give me that sweet Battlestar, Firefly, FTL, and EVE.

The part that really drew me in, way back in Red Moon Rising, was EVE was (and still is) the only MMO where you can really play as the actual villain.  My main was never envisioned as the "hero" or the Superman... he was always the long-bet villain who would stand behind you as you set fire to your own fields counting his spoils and laughing all the way home while your life was in ruins.  I liked this character because it's so polarly opposite to my IRL behavior... but what's the point in role playing if you are just going to play yourself?  Unfortunately, I have found very little opportunity to indulge in real character-driven play in EVE other than sitting smugly on my pile of your cash for all the T2 you keep buying.

I get it that EVERY game has a "good guy" vs "bad guy" dynamic, but they so often get stuck in tropes that they might as well be "red team" and "blue team".  The evil guys aren't THAT evil... at least compared to those NPCs over there... the good guys aren't bastions of truth and honor.  Too often "evil" is confused for "assholes", too often good is confused with "nice guy".  Also too often RPing turns into bunch of pizza faced nerds throwing out "forsooth"s and playing internet ren-fest.  Not to disparage the upper tier of RPers who actually put time/effort/stock into their RP... but if you've been to one tabletop RPG game, you've seen the tropes and you know what I'm talking about.

The stories that always intrigued me were those of villains, specifically those with class.  You can keep your traditional Snidely Whiplash, give me your Hannibal Lectors, Magnetos, Light Yagamis.  Villains with purpose, and who have the intellect to impose their will and will not be stopped.  Great villains are heroes who made the "wrong" choices.  EVE being so player driven gives you the backdrop to really play out that dream.  We see it over, and over, and over again.  From petty banditos to arch-villainy.

The point of this meandering babble is I've been reading the likes of Sand, Cider, and Spaceships and Lowsec Lifestyle and kind of want to try my hand at the EVE Fiction sphere.  I used to really enjoy the back stories and chronicles (even if the novels are, well, shit), and have desperately wanted to write in this realm.  Also, it could have something to do with me finally redeeming some nerd cred to read Ender's Game.  I have a couple of sparks floating around, but have yet to have them coalesce into a story worth telling yet.

But I have some hope that picking at them will hopefully be fruitful.  I am always encouraged by Neil Gaiman and his spark to write American Gods: "What if they [immigrants] brought their gods?"  And Orson Scott Card said that his original impetus behind Ender's Game was sparked by the idea of the Battle Room.  So, I will pick at a couple ideas and see if they flower.

In the end, the first rule of successful projects is "work".  It will take some shuffling on my part to allocate the time required to "work".  Still have code and spaceships and work and life to take care of.  I might try to make 1 post/month a fiction project of some sort.