We can still argue about whether video games are an art form, but the folks at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) have already decided they are. The latest endorsement of video games as art comes as MoMA has decided to make its Eve Online exhibit into a permanent fixture at the museum’s Applied Design installation.
CCP Games, the Iceland-based creator of the game, said that the 4K UltraHD video of the installation showcases a “day in the universe” of Eve Online, a sci-fi massively multiplayer online role-playing game that still has a remarkably strong community of players even though it was published 12 years ago. The installation is a very cool portrait of an online economy that has developed in Eve Online over the years, thanks to the dedication of its players and the open market for goods and services in the game.
CCP called upon its 500,000-plus players from 230 countries to submit actual gameplay recordings from Eve. That video was compiled along with data from Eve’s servers to create a narrative of the game.
The data offer a stunning view of what alliances of players and alliances of alliances can accomplish when they work together. Players harvest resources and use them to build objects, such as giant starships. The Eve universe has 7,929 solar systems with 67,253 planets and 342,170 moons. It is all one persistent universe where all players gather. In the course of 24 hours, players mined 6.4 billion cubic meters of raw materials. They manufactured ships worth 2.7 trillion ISK (Interstellar Kredits), the currency in the game. They also made more than 3.7 million stargate jumps from one part of the universe to another. And they destroyed 25,462 starships in that 24-hour period. The value of the starships and cargo was more than 2 trillion ISK. They exchanged 210,666 lines of chat.
Players in one alliance labored for eight months to create the game’s biggest starship, Titan. There are 90,000 player-run corporations. The largest ones have more than 2,000 players. And corporations combine to form alliances. The largest alliances have more than 8,000 members. Alliances fight wars with each other to control the game’s resources.
Here’s the video of the exhibit.