When I was in the Eve beta years ago, I didn’t enjoy the lack of a body, and I wasn’t a fan of being ship-bound forever. For those gamers who may be unaware of it, the only physical representation of your body is your character portrait, a headshot. I remember missing a body and feeling restrained by my inability to run around. I didn’t stick with Eve back then, and I think the head-only portrait was part of the reason. I think I went went back to DAOC, or to SWG, somewhere I could have a whole body and run around.
Kanthalos mentioned feeling this way in a comment he left here the other day. I can relate, but I realized I haven’t felt restricted by the lack of a body this time around. I’m looking forward to the day CCP gives us the chance to create a body and run around on stations, but I’m still enjoying the game and the community without it.
Bekka Jae was talking about her experiences with the Eve community. Four paragraphs down in that link, she’s talking about Eve having a “coziness”. Beyond the fact that I agree with her (perhaps because we’re in the same corporation, but perhaps it’s a larger Eve phenomenon), I thought it was interesting that a game where you only have a head might seem cozier than a game where you can see a whole person and interact with a physical body.
How much does that interaction matter to people? Do you need a physical body to feel a part of a world, or can chat alone satisfy that sense of community for you? Does flying ships together, fighting or mining or hauling good, constitute enough interaction to satisfy social urges?
This time around in Eve, I find that my corporation provides an outstanding sense of community, and maybe that’s what allowed me to move past my intial dislike of the head-only avatar. I do wish that I could save, or at least waggle my wings, when I fly past a fellow corp member, but beyond that I haven’t felt limited by my lack of body.
I’d be curious if other Eve players missed a physical avatar when they started playing and what allowed you to move past that and grow attached to their head, so to speak. When did you feel like your ship…was you? What contributed to your sense of identity in Eve?