A postcard from Reykjavik: Inside 2013’s Eve FanFest

To understand Eve Online, you need to visit Reykjavik. It won’t help with mundane details like which battlecruiser to aspire to, but the ride from Keflavik airport to both CCP and FanFest’s home town is an eye-opening experience. Simply knowing that Iceland has a hostile interior is nothing compared to actually seeing it – not merely how small its patches of civilisation are amongst seemingly infinite emptiness with no trees and often nothing to see but the remnants of volcanic activity covered in moss, but the kind of community it takes to handle it.

Even with a Subway seemingly on every corner, this remains a tough land for tough people, clustered together and very aware of the need for co-operation. We’re talking a culture so interconnected that there’s a genuine not-a-joke smartphone app to help Icelanders make sure they don’t accidentally get jiggy with too close a relative. Just driving through is to realise that Iceland may not be the only place Eve Online could have been made, but it’s as much a part of its soul as the spaceships, with Reykjavik its own high-sec region. They even share a currency, making for at least one bizarre moment when we’re told the event has raised two million ISK for charity. Actual money, or spacebucks? Do charities need battlecruisers?

FanFest’s location, the Harpa, is a giant concert hall built of slanted, multicoloured crystal that I wouldn’t be shocked to one day hear had taken off to finally rejoin the mothership. Inside is equally cool, a convention location that M.C. Escher might have designed, with staircases spiking up and down and drawing the eye into unusual places. Adding to the endearing chaos, CCP has renamed all of the rooms with Eve names like “Tranquility” and “Multiplicity”, but the signs everywhere still point to the likes of “Eldborg” and “Silfurberg” and “Toilets”, and all of them seem to have at least one entrance somewhere just to confuse.

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  • This Post originally appeared on:
  • Eurogamer.net
  • Bad puns and video games since 1999.
  • Originally dated as:
  • 01 May 2013 14:00:00 +0100