On Thursday, we had only half a day of planned activities, after which we had a whole afternoon and evening free to see the sights in Budapest.
Finally, time to draw a group picture! Go Exterminodia!
Even though we had only a few hours of activities, it was still quite intense and rewarding. We had our third guest speaker come and talk to us through video: John King of CCP Games told us about EVE Online and the community inside and outside the game.
I had heard a lot about EVE Online before the presentation, but had never played it myself. I knew that it was a sandbox game, where players had a lot of free rein over how the world developed and that it had an intricately developed market and financial system. What I didn't know was how well the community had embraced diversity, and how the company had developed some really ingenious ways to encourage them to bond and help themselves. EVE Online has player developed corporations (equivalent of guilds in other games) that work a lot like their counterparts in real life: they have charities that help out other players by donating money or ships, they have a player-run university that teaches classes to all interested gamers, and their large corporations engage in intricate politics (including nationalism and propaganda) to run different areas of the game world. There is very little typical hate-speech ingame; instead gamers use terminology and hate-speech that is unique to EVE Online, and wouldn't really work anywhere else. Their real life meetings have a great community spirit that usually isn't dampened by people's different ingame loyalties.
One of the biggest issues in EVE is unwanted attention geared towards female players. Only about 2% of EVE's players are women, but women still make up 30% of all the group leaders ingame. Possibly because the game relies heavily on voice chat at the higher levels, many women are unable to hide their gender and get faced with a lot of overeager, unwanted attention from men. Mr. King talked about various guesses as to why this happened and how it was a really tough problem to try to fix since the company didn't want to interfere too much with the sandbox world.
Overall, the presentation was very good and definitely made me impressed with the community spirit in EVE Online.
After the video conference we had a quick brainstorming session to prepare for a presentation on Friday. Then it was time to plan how to spend a free afternoon!
I went out to buy some shoes, and then walked around the city a little before heading back to the Youth Center for an evening of gaming. After such an intense week, I was in sore need of some extra sleep and alone time. Budapest is a beautiful city, but I think I would rather come back here fully as a tourist than try to cram everything into one afternoon of sightseeing.
The local neighborhood.