A while ago I got back into EVE Online as an experiment.
From the outside I find it an endlessly fascinating thing, but I just wasn’t sure that it was for me. And specifically I wasn’t sure I could be who I wanted to be in the game. I wanted to be sort of chilled out and helpful and friendly, in a game that rewards being ruthless and opportunistic and strictly punishes anyone naive enough not to understand the risks of doing basically anything.
I did join long enough to find a community that had formed around exploration and providing useful travel data to other pilots, which seemed like my kind of crew. Sure enough they were welcoming and I found some value in learning the basics of surviving in that role and contributing.
But I also had to find myself ignoring a lot of mess in the comms, just genuinely abusive stuff that would happen all the time, with no fear of mods getting involved despite the game having guidelines about the behaviour.
And I guess I couldn’t get past that because I opened up the game one day and realised in a very clear moment: ‘I’m not going to play this very much longer’. And it was half-sad and half-relief. Sad because I did see the potential there, did understand why some people would push beyond the real toxic parts of that game community to the bits they enjoy, and sad that I’d be saying goodbye to a bunch of folk who had been nice and welcoming. But also a relief that I had realised early enough that I could extract myself from it fairly painlessly. The whole experience went on for less than a month.