EVE Online is not for everyone : Exceptionalism in online gaming cultures
Bergstrom, K. (2019). EVE Online is not for everyone : Exceptionalism in online gaming cultures. Human Technology, 15 (3), 304-325. doi:10.17011/ht/urn.201911265022
Published inHuman Technology
©2019 Kelly Bergstrom and the Open Science Centre, University of Jyväskylä
EVE Online is a space-themed massively multiplayer online game that has developed a reputation for being difficult and unwelcoming to new players. In this article, I explore how an emphasis on exceptionalism is present throughout discussions about EVE by its developer, the enthusiast gaming press, and survey responses of current players (N = 647). Taken together, information from these sources reinforces a public perception that EVE is a game that is of interest only to a very specific kind of player. In turn, these findings add further evidence to the long-argued position of feminist game scholars: Not all gaming communities are open to all players. Rather, who plays, what they play, when they play, and/or how often they play is shaped by the larger social context in which play occurs.