Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Propaganda You Don't See

Blog Banter 45: Propaganda

This edition of the Blog Banter is forged from suggestions from #tweetfleet members @KaedaMaxwell, @RocWieler and @TigerlilyFenix.

In a socially-driven game environment such as EVE Online's, everyone has an agenda. CCP promotes its products and has an army of volunteers to do the same; corporations and alliances deliver entertaining recruitment drives, CSM election candidates solicit for voter favour, bloggers and podcasters opine to their audiences.

In this intricate web of communication, influence and control; what part does propaganda play in your game?

* * * * *

I'm a little late to the party. So sue me. 

A lot of people are going to focus on the obvious examples of propaganda in Eve, and there is a lot to talk about. Some of the best propaganda posters and videos come from the big null sec alliances and I was so looking forward to the Goons/Test war that never happened just for the mud slinging.

But as a preeminent and prolific blogger, I'm going to avoid the easy discussion points and talk about the propaganda you don't see. Or rather the propaganda you see and don't realize it.

A couple weeks ago I took the guys on Shunners and Sinners podcast to task for swallowing hook line and sinker the line about structure hit points being a reason the war between CFC and HBC was averted. This is an example of less obvious propaganda that was easy to pick out for people who have been observers of null sec for a long time, but Eve's metagame is chock full of examples all over the place.

The two big news sites, Evenews24.com and TheMittani.com, have to be read with a constant shovel load of skepticism. The forums are filled with trolls and alts and sock puppets whose only purpose is to divert or pollute the facts to obscure the truth. Even some blogs have posts that are questionable in their veracity and aims.

Everything, literally everything, needs to be verified and double checked. People who don't have the "trust no one" philosophy are quickly taken and used and discarded. Eve is a dark harsh place, but the Eve metagame is a vicious pit of survival of the sneakiest.

Moral of the story: don't believe everything you hear. Don't trust, verify.

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