Monday, August 9, 2010

Rise of the Carebears

I've been doing this all wrong.

Apparently, all y'all are living the Life Digital while Fiddler's Edge is mired in analog. You're into the social media - texting, twittering, podcasting, FaceBooking et al. The Edge, with its "wall of text" doesn't dazzle, doesn't compete for the jaded eye of the media-soaked online gamer.

It seems I'm sending invites to high tea in a world of rave parties.

See, I've assumed you read the Edge for its thoughtful analysis, daring prose, deep insights, and its tendency to use words not writ nor spoken conversationally since Middle English went out of fashion.

I respect my  readers.

....I'm sorry, what were we talking about?

Oh yes! CareBears.
No, These Are Not EVE Care Bears

No, not Care Bears on Fire. That's some girl-punk indy band. And no, I haven't heard their last CD.

No, I speak of CareBear in the EVE eauve.

Now, CareBear is one of those context-driven words. There's an awful lot of drift to exactly what a CareBear is. To some it's the player who hugs highsec, refusing to participate in any pvp and demanding all griefing and piracy be forbidden in empire space.

On the other end of the spectrum, there's the opinion of the hardened PVPer; that anyone doing anything that does not involve blowing up other players, is a CareBear. Doesn't matter whether you live in nullsec and PVP when you're not mining or building ships and mods. The fact that you're spending valuable game time not podding someone makes you a CareBear, and therefore a lower form of life in the EVE universe.

Now there's nothing new about this point of view. The warrior class has often taken a very dim view of the merchant/artisan class.
Edo Era Wood Cut Print

In Tokugawa Japan, the merchant class was at the very bottom of the caste system - below even the farmers. They were a necessary evil required for the support of the Samurai – after all, the fine silks, ceramics and other niceties of life for a cultured warrior class had to come from somewhere. However, merchants were discouraged from thinking too much of themselves and their dirty money by the fact that Yojimbo could cut off their heads on a whim if the merchants got uppity.
A Medieval Peasant

In medieval Europe, peasants were effectively tied to the patch of dirt on which they were born; they were part of a their lord’s domain and their labor supported said lord. Needless to say, such lords took a dim view of their labor force leaving the pig sty or barley field and running off to practice a little private enterprise in the city. Once a European merchant class did arise, the nobility made sure that the levers of political and military power were reserved for the noble born.

Trouble is, warrior class becomes dependent upon a lively economy. Sooner or later the people driving the economy can't be held down. Push comes to shove and, next thing you know, there's a Meji Resoration or an English Civil War.

When the dust settles, the warrior class finds itself working for the industrialists and money-men.

Now, all of this has happened before. All of this will happen again. In fact, it's beginning to happen now.

In New Eden.

Tune in next time, and I'll tell you why.

If you don't my research librarian will be very disappointed in you.


  1. You know, as much as I love seeing hot chicks, I won't lie that I found them a little distracting from your Providencial Punditry which keeps me coming back even more often than there are new posts.

  2. Hmmm. And yet it took Jenny (my research librarian) to call you out into the open.

    Good job Jenny.

    Thanks for appreciating the words more than the flash.

  3. Never really looked at the "warriors despise merchants" point of view. This looks like it will be a good theme and I am waiting for more.

  4. Staying tuned in. I think I have a pretty good idea of where you are going.