How A Virtual World Went To The Edge Of Apocalypse And Back

Simon Parkin at The Guardian:

Along with fish, aluminium and Björk, Eve Online is one of Iceland’s biggest exports. Launched in 2003, it is a science-fiction project of unprecedented scale and ambition. It presents a cosmos of 7,500 interconnected star systems, known as New Eden, which can be travelled in spaceships built and flown by any individual. In-game professions vary. There are miners, traders, pirates, journalists and educators. You are free to work alone or in loose-knit corporations and alliances, the largest of which are comprised of tens of thousands of members.

As a microcosm of human activity, the game has been studied by academics interested in creating political models, and by economists interested in testing financial ones. In a universe where every bullet, trade, offer of friendship and betrayal can be tracked and its impact logged and measured, Eve offers a new way to understand our species and the social systems of our world.

more here.