Selling the Imperium: Changing Organisational Culture and History in EVE Online


DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG
Dundee, Scotland: Digital Games Research Association and Society for the Advancement of the Science of Digital Games, August, 2016
Number: 1
Volume: 13
ISBN / ISNN: ISSN 2342-9666

This paper uses two different methodologies to look at the culture and identity of different organisations in the digital game EVE Online. First, it uses a critical historical perspective to look at how powerful individuals and groups in Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games attempt to construct active identities. Secondly, through ethnography and ethnomethodology, it looks at how the player base responds to modifications to this identity and how conflicts between leadership and membership are formed, perceived, and resolved. Looking specifically at two different events in EVE Online’s history, this paper finds that line members in the game have a lot of power in determining how the group identity forms, and if pushed sufficiently by leaders against their will, they will be able to stop changes from occurring. The lack of resistance, then, can be taken as implicit legitimacy for the actions from the leaders, in particular in the case of naming The Imperium.