Communication Professor and Department Chair Chris Paul published ““EVE Online Is Hard and It Matters” in Internet Spaceships Are Serious Business: An EVE Online Reader (University of Minnesota Press, 2016). EVE Online is an extremely popular multiplayer online game with millions of dollars in sales.
In his chapter, Paul argues that the design of the game works to push new players away from the game, which hones the community of people playing it and helps them believe they are better and more skilled than those who drop out.
“The notion that EVE is hard is a key part of the game’s mythos and maintaining the community of EVE players requires the seemingly counterintuitive step of telling most of us that we don’t belong there…kind of like a hip club and a velvet rope,” he said.
Paul, who received his PhD from the University of Minnesota, joined the faculty in 2008. He is internationally recognized for his scholarship on the rhetorical analysis of video games. His research and scholarship have appeared numerous journals including Game Studies, Games and Culture, and the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research. His book Wordplay and the Discourse of Video: Analyzing Words, Design, and Play (Routledge Studies in New Media and Cyberculture) is now in its second printing.