The avatars are coming in from the cold! that is their real life owners are going to meet their makers. A unique meld of Eve Online game players will be joining the game company, CCP designers in Iceland to oversee what goes on behind the virtual scenes.
Today's New York Time's Art section story In a Virtual Universe, The Politics Turn Real might be from any business headline. The users perceive something is not above board and want more transparency, but the resolution is far from the typical business spin on an issue gone public.
Apparently, a large portion of the community perceive CCP of "rigging the game" although Eve Online is a virtual world massive player online game (MMOG) hosted by CCP in Iceland. Unique to this game is that all of the players - 200,000, just 100,000 shy of the Iceland's population appear to be on on a single server.
The company will then fly those players to Iceland regularly so they can audit CCP’s operations and report back to their player-constituents. And taking cues from transitions to democracy in the developing world, CCP says it will call in election monitors from universities in Europe and the United States.
“Perception is reality, and if a substantial part of our community feels like we are biased, whether it is true or not, it is true to them,” Hilmar Petursson, CCP’s chief executive, said in a telephone interview. “Eve Online is not a computer game. It is an emerging nation, and we have to address it like a nation being accused of corruption.
“A government can’t just keep saying, ‘We are not corrupt.’ No one will believe them. Instead you have to create transparency and robust institutions and oversight in order to maintain the confidence of the population.”
Imagine bringing the outside in to your universe or key customers to GM, Enron or any other company when perceptions of corruption were afoot. What about key constituents to FEMA post Katrina. I like these folks at CCP and think they are on to something smart. Stay tuned the elections are in the fall of 2007.
~ Victoria G. Axelrod