EVE Online: The Worlds of Wealth and War

Hooper Brenton
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

This article explores the distribution of player owned wealth in EVE Online. I apply standardized methods such as the Gini Coefficient, a statistical dispersion intended to represent the wealth distribution of a nation’s residents, to explore EVE Online’s wealth distribution. I also explore the relationship between a players’ time in game, and their wealth. Using these methods, I find that EVE Online’s wealth is highly concentrated, more so than the real-world economy. Additionally, I cast doubt on EVE Online having a first-mover advantage. Those players who started first have not gained a lasting competitive advantage by gaining control of resources. Instead, wealth is strongly correlated with a player’s time in game.


Framing the Gamer: A Study of Invented Marginality

de Wildt Lars Bonenfant Maude Therrien Carl Khaled Rilla
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

Since 2014, discussions about gamer identity have been topical, and they remain so. Recently, for instance, Real Games traces the boundaries of what ‘counts’ as real games (Consalvo & Paul, 2019), for a ‘gamer’ subculture that is uniquely tied to its medium of choice. The issue of ‘gamer’ identity has been a subject of study since at least 1983 (Kiesler, et al.); and analyses of the oversexualization of women have appeared since Justine Cassell and Henry Jenkin’s From Barbie to Mortal Kombat (1998). Later, studies regarding gender, race, sexuality and class have followed suit (cf. Leonard, 2006; Hitchens, 2011; Shaw, 2014). Indeed, much scholarship suggests a split, on the one hand, between the overrepresentation of white, male, cis-gendered heterosexual player identities within games; and, on the other hand, the actual diverse player base that supports and plays these games (e.g., IGDA, 2019). If gamer culture is perhaps unfairly seen by male gamers as the site of paradoxically marginalized, white male “nerds” (cf. Kowert & Oldmeadow, 2012), it remains relevant, but unclear, how this nonetheless hegemonic identity was constructed. Historical game scholarship suggests that such identities were formed long before the internet afforded a global community to collectively co-construct such a subcultural identity (e.g., Kocurek, 2015; Therrien). More particularly, the inspection of game magazines suggests that “gamers” were quintessentially constructed in the 80s and early 90s, as game magazines targeted and thereby created a male-dominated and sexist target audience in local (national) contexts (Kirkpatrick, 2015; Therrien & Lefebvre, 2017). Additionally, this calls to attention the local and often ethnocentric contexts in which games were made and marketed for a specific audience (e.g., Mukherjee, 2017; Švelch, 2018; Wolf, 2015), and the role that paratexts have played therein (Consalvo, 2017).


The Death of Gamers: How Do We Address The Gamer Stereotype?

Houe Nina P.
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

The clash of identities expressed in the Gamergate incident of 2014 was arguably intensified by the discourse of the “Gamers Are Dead” articles, which declared an end to gamers, meaning the prevalence of the gamer stereotype. This paper seeks to illuminate a novel angle of the Gamergate conflict by investigating how the gamer identity has been addressed through imagery in eight of the “Gamers Are Dead” articles of 2014. To do so, it discusses how the discourse of gamer identity, which is part of a larger ecology in game culture, may contribute to continued strife. To learn from the Gamergate crisis as a scholarly community, we unquestionably need to look at how discourse has been used to harm minorities, academics, and critics voicing their concerns about game culture. However, we also need to reflect on how critics affect the discourse of the gamer identity.