Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ushra'Khan: Fighting Virtual Slavery with Internet Spaceships for Five Years

Ugleb, on the occasion of our fifth anniversary, last Wednesday:

We are the Ushra'Khan, we come for our people.

For five years now that has been the cornerstone for all that our movement has done. It is is our purpose, our motivation. It is our compulsion, our definition. Despite all that has transpired in this half-decade of strife, we remain the Ushra'Khan. And all that we have done, we have done for them.

We are a movement founded with one goal; to break the chains of slavery that bind our kin. No matter the world of your birth, it is your right to live free. No matter the passage of time nor the light years that divide us, we shall see you freed. That was our promise then, and it remains our promise even today. You shall be free...

The work ahead of us remains vast, it is the undertaking of a lifetime, not mere years, but together we move forward. Today we remember where we have come from, where we have been. And as the sun rises tomorrow we look forward to where we shall go, together in unity.

With our fists raised high in salute to the rising sun and in defiance to the darkness we march to battle. This war has waged five years now for us, it has not stopped for a single day.

We are the Ushra'Khan, we come for our people.

We go on.

I've been Ushra'Khan for a bit less than two years; my only alliance in Eve. Eve alliances are weird institutions. As of today we've got 1082 members in sixteen corporations; that makes us the 26th biggest in Eve by membership -- we're also officially the oldest. Exactly how many people are behind those avatars, I don't know. I know I contribute three characters; I'd guess it is really 300 - 500 real people. Could be 150 or so active players total. I don't know, but Eve developers have speculated that alliances cap out around Dunbar's number in real players despite their count in game.

Anyhow... I could ramble on about this for a while, but let me say this: Ushra'Khan is extremely well led, both as freedom fighters and an online community. Our diplomats do an outstanding job. Our council is serious enough to make internet spaceships interesting and for Ushra'Khan to stand for something, but never too serious. The average age of our members is probably thirty, with a fairly even spread from 15 to 45. I certainly don't play a lot (nor am I very good) by MMO standards in general, but I can get exactly what I want from my experience without anyone ever suggesting that I need to make my gaming life a higher priority than my real life. We enforce high standards for our pilots, without becoming pedantic, and as such draw high quality, often highly experienced recruits.

What makes this unique though, is how impersonal Eve is. Space is big. And empty. And we're primarily a hit and run guerrilla force. So a lot of time I'm just flying around on my own. Joining up in a fleet with our premiere pilots, who I otherwise just follow on the forums and killboard, is a special event. If I find myself in a fleet with, say, Karn Mithralia (2205 kills v. 203 losses), his Aussie accent coming over Teamspeak from halfway around the world, well, that's extra exciting, in a way that is unique to a sandbox massively multi-player online game.

It is a lot of fun.

1 comment:

klaus said...

nice read, thank you

zoolkhan
mirkur draug'tyr
ushra'khan