Friday, September 29, 2017

The Art of Teaming Up

There was this comment from Ashertothi on twitter today and while I responded, I want to follow up here more completely.

When I started playing EVE, I remember the terror. Not of losing my ship which was more frustrating than scary, but rather the terror of being in a group of people and making a fool of myself. I knew some of the people in that first corp from my Warhammer 40K group but others were strangers and the anxiety of being part of that group was monumental. Going on voice comms? Terrifying.

When I first decided to try Call of Duty online, the hardest part was steeling myself up to get on a public server. I didn't even have to talk to anyone! But just being in the public space was fraught with nervousness and hesitation.

Social Anxiety of various degrees is a common condition for many people and online situations can be as threatening as public spaces, especially if attention falls on you. It is hard for people that do not suffer from it to understand how something like saying "Hey, want to join me in this mission?" can be a minefield of stress. I'm 43 and just a few months ago I was shaking with nerves at going to a martial arts class with people I didn't now. The biggest obstacle to becoming a fleet commander of even newbie low sec fleets was the social anxiety of putting myself in front of strangers.

I'm not surprised Alphas don't team up. It is a step beyond just playing a game to steel oneself to make that first move to ask for help of virtual strangers.


  1. Its EvE's greatest feature. This game works better when you trust folks. Except the only folks that can actually hurt you are the ones you trust. No one rips anyone off without a betrayal of trust. Big thefts or small, all depend on betrayal of trust.

    My first corp was N00BFleet (it still exits, btw) a bunch of strangers that managed to take tentative steps to trust each other just a touch. It was a fantastic first step, in a game that promoted the hell out of "space is dark and cold".

  2. An aggravating factor is for me the fact that there is already an environment where you /have to/ team up with people in order to achieve a goal: everyday work. Not exactly something everyone wants to face in a game as well, even if it's a multi-player game.