Sunday, August 31, 2008
For those who don't play Eve: many of the action in Eve takes place in asteroid belts. These belts provide ore to miners, but they are often protected by game generated enemies, which are nicknamed 'belt rats'. These belt rats show up as little red crosses in the distance. If you notice them, you'll usually fight them or get out of the belt, if you haven't got the firepower. One thing is clear: red crosses in the sky means an enemy, and, quite probably, battle.
Yesterday I was at a garden party - one of the very few this year, the summer hasn't been that great unfortunately. Standing in the dark I looked up to the star dotted sky, where even the milky way was faintly visible. Suddenly, my eyes caught a plane passing overhead, a little red light blinking away in the night. And for a second, that red light triggered a response in my subconscious: a belt rat! Lock on target, dispatch the fighting scout drones and open fire with the 125mm rail guns! And then, a fraction of a second later, I realised that it was just a plane. I wasn't playing Eve Online, I was standing in a very real garden watching a normal plane passing overhead..
My guess is this must happen more often to those engaged in immersive virtual worlds or games!