Yup. EVE Online is about to get an actual university course, not to be confused with EVE Academy. The course is a collaboration with the University of Iceland meant to explore the science behind people creating and maintaining meaningful relationships, and how games have allowed people to create a new type of connection.
The course is called Friendship Machine: Forming a New Type of Human Connection. It focuses on games becoming a form of entertainment in addition to the good and bad impacts games have on human connection.
Other topics explored include how friendships and relationships are forged through games, in addition to exploring risks of loneliness and social isolation in society. All of this will be observed and analyzed through the EVE Online community.
Tryggvi Hjaltason, Senior Strategist for EVE Online at CCP Games, noted in the accompanying press release,
“Social isolation and loneliness seem to be taking on an epidemic proportion in the industrialized world today. At the same time video games as culture shapers and human connecting machines are growing rapidly in scale.
Some interesting findings noted by Hjaltason include 73% of EVE Online players making a friend as a result of playing the space MMO. Ársæll Arnarsson, a professor of Leisure Studies at the University of Iceland School of Education, also noted,
“There has been a growing concern over the past years that computer games could have seriously detrimental effects on gamers’ mental well-being and social skills. In selected cases, this may be true. But for the vast majority of people involved, studies actually indicate findings that gameplay platforms can effectively function as friendship formation devices. The communication and information technology can create an alternative space for disconnected individuals to meet, transcending geographical and socioeconomic barriers.”
You can check out the opening ceremony at CCP Games today by following this link. If you’re interested in the course and want to learn more, click here. In recent news, Empires of EVE Volume 2 is out now.