The Space Ship in the Heart of Reykjavik – The Annual EVE Fanfest
Iceland is home to the one of the most vibrant virtual worlds ever created. This is the awesome EVE Online, a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) that has over 400 hundred thousand players world wide. It is run by CCP games which was founded in Reykjavik, Iceland, by a handful of local entrepreneurs back in 1997.
Now the company has hundreds of employees from 20 different countries who speak some 30 languages. CCP games has offices in Iceland, China, Britain and in the United States. Its second game set in the EVE universe, the great looking First Person Shooter Dust 514, has recently entered public beta.
A stellar virtual world
The company launched EVE Online in May 2003 and it always has been a fascinating project. It is a groundbreaking computer game in so many respects that describing EVE Online as a “computer game” is bit of a misnomer. It belongs to the genre of games called Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) but perhaps a better way to describe is to call it a virtual (or an alternative) world where its inhabitants work together, trade, fight and plunder in a futuristic space age world. While many virtual worlds have foundered in the ever changing landscape of online entertainment over the years EVE Online continues to go strong. The key to the success of EVE Online has probably been its ability to inspire loyalty and dedication from its players. This is displayed to an impressive degree at the annual EVE Fanfest.
A futuristic fantasy land
The 2012 EVE Online Fanfest was attended by some 3.000 visitors, among them were some 70 journalists. Most of it took place in the futuristic Harpa Music Hall and Conference Center in downtown Reykjavik which was turned into a virtual space ship for the occasion. The Harpa building proved to be the perfect setting for the Fanfest, I mean when you look at it you expect it to lift off any second and thunder up and away to the stars.
Being a fan helps – but isn´t necessary!
The 2013 EVE Online Fanfest will also be held at Harpa on April 25th-27th although some activities will precede the actual Fanfest. The activities planned look like a lot of fun but I suppose you need to be a pretty hardcore EVE Online player to really enjoy some of them. There is extra excitement in the air as this is the tenth anniversary of the EVE Fanfest.
The festivities planned this year look something like this:
- Presentation and round tables. The top brass at CCP reveal their plans for EVE online and Dust 514 and are peppered with questions from the players
- Pub Crawl with CCP developers. This is your change to get drunk while being led through the best clubs and bars in Reykjavik by CCP employers. Sounds pretty good actually as CCP staff are known for working and playing really hard!
- EVE Tournaments – Teams fight other teams. All good fun but also dead serious I suppose
- Sisters of EvE – CCP doesn´t forget about the better halfs of EvE online gamers and take them on a pretty epic journey around Iceland. This includes a trip up on the Langjokull glacier which is massive fun and I envy those who are going
- Charity dinner at the renowned restaurant Kolabrautin
- “Hangover party” in the Blue Lagoon. Partying soaked in a natural outdoor geothermal pool with several hundred gamers is probably a unique experience to say the least
- Do the Golden Circle Express with developers
- Massive party dubbed “Party at the top of the world”
In my view one of the most interesting things on the itinerary is the EVE 10th Anniversary Symphony, a performance of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra of the music from EVE. Even if you are not really interested in playing the game, the graphics and the music are really something else. So I think anyone will be blown away listening to the music from the game in the spanking new acoustically perfect Eldborg auditorium in the Harpa Music Concert hall while watching scenes from the EVE universe on the big screen.
This will be epic.
EVE Online: Fanfest 2013 trailer
How to get there
All information is on the EVE Online Fanfest page.
Written by Jón Heiðar Þorsteinsson
Pictures by CCP
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