Life away from New Eden

My vacation from Eve has dragged on longer than I expected.

It's not that I have become disinterested with the game, I actually still check other people's blogs from time to time and check the latest patch notes. Part of me imagines eventually returning.

 Oddly though, I may not return as Edna. While I realise this will cue comments from the peanut gallery pointing out the loss of all the time, work and SP that I've put in going to waste because of my vanity, and they do have a point. Edna represents the culmination of nearly two years of play, and in light of that, to start anew does seem really silly. However, playing Eve for me was never, at a fundamental level, a matter of skills and ships, but of the shaping of a personality, a being in the world of cyberspace. Edna is, representatively, a copy of my own personality in real life, as is the case most of the time when forming virtual identities. Edna isn't me, but a reconstituted conception of how I wished to represent myself in playing the game. Edna has a personality, ideas and attitudes, that are at once my own, but also Edna is in a sense autonomous from myself in that she is different from me and is unique.

However, in considering a return to Eve, I feel like the virtual identity that I built around Edna is no longer one that I identify with. Things have changed for me in real life that fundamentally change the way I would choose to represent myself online. One way I know this is through a game that I have been playing a lot of lately, Planetside 2. PS2 is great, not least because it's the first time I have been able to play a first-person shooter that runs smoothly on my somewhat meagre rig. For any interested in finding me, my primary alias is GreenTitan - playing as the Vanu Sovereignty on Helios server. However, GreenTitan, another virtual identity I have made, is ostensibly not of the same kind of personality as Edna Ironsides. I talk less on comms, I take a more responsible, leadership role when I'm out in field with others, and I downplay my subtle love for trolling, as well as my excitability in large combat situations. However, I am far more vindictive, exacting, and cautious. I also find myself more concerned with in-game logistics rather than the full frontal combat that was emphasised as Edna. PS2 has actually made me more carefully consider how I interact with others online, not least because PS2 mechanics demand more cooperation among players than Eve Online - it virtually punishes you for playing alone.

I feel that now, if I were to return to the world of New Eden, I will need a new persona to represent the new way in which I choose to produce and reproduce my virtual identity in-game, and the associations I want to build with other players. Sure, I will be set back tens of millions of SP, but in the end, it is more important to have a virtual identity that I can invest in than it is to have T2 autocannons.

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