In a socially-driven game environment such as EVE Online’s, everyone has an agenda. CCP promotes its products and has an army of volunteers to do the same; corporations and alliances deliver entertaining recruitment drives, CSM election candidates solicit for voter favour, bloggers and podcasters opine to their audiences.
In this intricate web of communication, influence and control, what part does propaganda play in your game?
“Propaganda” Mike looked out at the prospective capsuleers and smiled. “Always it is something the ‘other guy’ uses. It is a dirty nest of lies and deceit, right?” He snorted. “Wrong.”
The students he could see near the front of the hall looked a bit shocked. “Information control is key to ANY organization. What the message is and how you control it is key to so many different aspects of New Eden that if ANY corp larger than three members claims to be immune or refrain from propaganda then I say they have been indoctrinating themselves a bit too heavily.”
“Does that include your own operations?” A student asked.
“Of course it does. Let us start with breaking down the bits and pieces. Now I know that some folks are past masters of the graphical forms of information. Be it posters or logos and the like. I am more of a word than image guy. Today I will be focusing on just one facet of propaganda because to cover ALL of it would be a full course in and of itself, not a one off lecture.” He looked out over the pilots and sighed. “Most of you will not have the time under your belts to vote by the time the election rolls around . . . pity,”
Mike tensed and counted to ten, slowly, before answering. “The CSM8 election. Advisers to how things change in the tech and laws of New Eden? Ring a bell? Does the name Pavlov ring a bell? No? Whatever. Just know that a bunch of pilots are running for a set of seats on a council, elected by all other pilots who have been active for at least 60 days. Now since these pilots are supposed to be the ones who help change the way we fly more than a few would like to take a shot at it. So we have an election and with elections comes political propaganda.”
“Basic advertising comes under two headings, when elections are involved. They either are to raise up your own candidate OR to shoot down the opposition. The ‘Yeah Me’s’ and the ‘Boo Them’s’ He touched a control and brought up the first image of an article in the ‘forums’. “If you go the comms of ‘Jita Park’ you will find that some candidates have already started the ball rolling. This is a prime area to see political propaganda in all its glory.”
One of the students snorted. “Glory?”
“Yeah, maybe I be layin it on a bit too thick. Most of the campaign threads follow the same basic pattern. The initial post is by the candidate proclaiming him to be the right one for the job. It is accompanied by qualifications, experience and what they may or may not do once they hit office. The last depends on how much they know about the CSM and how it works.”
He scrolled the comm. “The initial post is usually followed by a few of the OP’s close friends or corp mates trying to show a bandwagon for others to jump on. The good once speak highly of specific skills. The lesser ones merely say +1 or ‘you have my axe’. That usually does more harm than good since it looks mechanical and unenthusiastic. Kind of like a standing ovation at a kindergarten recital.” The class laughed softly.
“Then the sharks circle, if the prey is worthy . . . or weak. Opponents and their adherents ask trap questions . . . ‘how would you fix null?’, ‘will you be forcing CCP to make us lego POS’s’, that sort of thing. Mixed in with those are legitimate questions from voters. But not many of those.”
“Why aren’t there many of those?”
“Partially because there are not many ‘undecided’ voters and more because the election has not really started yet. As a result the comms known as the forums is currently only being used by he heavily invested political types and they already know who they like, and dislike.”
The Dean spoke from the side. “What Mr. Azariah is NOT telling you is that he is running in the upcoming election as well.”
“No point in telling them, most won’t vote anyhow. Stats show that the majority of new pilot start out in hisec, that is strike one against voting since hisec is lax in that sort of thing. Second stat is that new pilots don’t vote, either through ignorance or apathy or the idea that their vote won’t make a difference.”
“Well, it won’t” A young lady in the front row objected. “What difference will a single vote make?”
Mike glared for a moment and then calmed himself again. He touched a button and the image changed.
“For those of you linguistically limited it translates as ‘No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.’ I showed it in this fashion to get your attention. Each of your votes is a single flake but together huge changes can be wrought. You may think your contribution is small and it is but together . . . united . . . the power that can be wielded is massive. And THAT is what propaganda is for. To change how the flakes drift, fall, to guide the avalanche to sweep one person to victory, bury another completely.”
He touched the control and the image vanished. “Vote. Read and evaluate why you are being told, what you are being told and what might be being withheld from you. Awareness is the best defense against propaganda.”
“Do you use it, in your campaign?”
“When it starts, I will. Hopefully there will be more ‘yeah me’s’ and not many ‘boo them’s’. Though there are some candidates I do hope do not succeed. And no, I am not going to name names, so don’t ask . . .yet.”
on the other hand, this whole thing could be considered a propaganda piece FOR me. Depends on how you look at it
Other folks were faster at picking up on this subject than I and they are linked below. Almost all of them are worth reading except for the stinkin worthless pieces by my . . .ahem . . including the well thought out (ghost written) pieces by my worthy opponents in the election to come.
- EVE O GANDA by Rixx Javix @ EVEOGANDA
- Propaganda by Bagehi @ Internet Spaceships is Serious Business
- 45th BB to date! by TetraEtc @ Tetras Eve Blog
- My 3 Cents! by Ardent Defender
- Hello, My name is “Puppet” by Orakkus @ 2nd Anomaly From the Left
- People of RISE by DaiTengu @ Spaceholder
- My “Art” With a Silent “F” by Drackarn @ Sand, Cider and Spaceships
- Propaganda by Kuan Yida @ Random Posts from Auga
- Dropping the info bomb by Azalean Ladder @ The Ladder
- Psychological Warfare by Da Dom @ Mystic Monologue
- Peripheral Pressure by Sugar Kyle @ Low Sec Lifestyle
- Brainwashing the masses by Emergent Patroller
- Propaganda? What propaganda? by Samwise Potato @ And Other Bright Ideas
- We need Enemies by splatus @ A journey through the mind
- Loose Lips Sink Coalitions by Harkconnan @ Extra Vehicular
- The Art of Influence by Azual Skoll @ The Altruist
- The New Eden Propaganda Vulnerability Test by TurAmarth ElRandir @ A Carbon Based Life
- Propaganda by Poetic Stanziel @ Poetic Discourse
- The Machine by Miura Bull @ Brutor Bullfighter
- Mafia Scum by Ripard Teg @ Jester’s Trek
- The Propaganda You Don’t See by Kirith Kodachi @ Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah
- Cult of Personality by John Purcell @ Prosper: An EVE Online Tool Development Blog
- On Propaganda by Alikchi @ TheMittani.com