Feudal Alliances in a Hyper-Capitalist World: Power and Organization in EVE Online

Milik, Oskar and Webber, Nick (2020) Feudal Alliances in a Hyper-Capitalist World: Power and Organization in EVE Online. Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds, 12 (2). pp. 165-181. ISSN 1757-191X

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EVE Online is a MMOG which has gained notoriety for player organizations boasting thousands of active members. The complexity of these groups presents substantial challenges, and leaders have explored multiple approaches to organization and governance. They often employ structures and language drawn from historical social systems, family, or nationality to create
social order.

Here we examine the use of feudalism in EVE: as a structure of power, an indicator of legitimacy, and a mechanism of waging war. We demonstrate that even as leaders incorporate feudal language into their organizations, their application of these concepts is influenced by capitalism and individualism. We argue that the final social and economic system is neither truly feudal nor capitalist, but instead an accommodation between the two, shaped by player knowledge, experience, and in-game needs. We conclude that such systems support legitimate structures of power which encourage player participation and produce more sustainable player organizations.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1386/jgvw_00012_1
Date: 1 October 2020
Uncontrolled Keywords: EVE Online; digital games; feudalism; leadership; social control; social organizations
Subjects: L300 Sociology
P300 Media studies
V300 History by topic
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Birmingham School of Media
Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Centre for Media and Cultural Research
REF UoA Output Collections > REF2021 UoA34: Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management
Depositing User: Nick Webber
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2020 07:12
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2020 15:37
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9125

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