It's hard to describe how big EVE Online is in Iceland. I've been here for twelve hours so far, and it's like being bombarded with EVE propaganda. There are advertisements on bus stops, advertisements in the windows of fancy cafes--EVE is serious business for Reykjavik.
And now, to celebrate ten years of EVE Online, there's even a monument.
"Building a monument to a computer game might seem odd," said Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, CEO of CCP Games, at today's unveiling event. The crowd, composed mostly of people in town for this week's EVE Fanfest, laughed.
Over the past year, CCP has worked with artist Sigurður Guðmundsson to create the sculpture "Worlds Within a World." It's a ten-plus-foot aluminum behemoth right on the harbor, near CCP's offices, inscribed with the usernames of EVE players. CCP created an app to help visiting players locate where their name is on the monument.
Mayor of Reykjavik Jón Gnarr was also on-hand to say a few words. After joking with the crowd about how he doesn't believe in reality ("I don't believe I exist and I don't believe you exist"), he thanked CCP and the EVE community for its gift to Reykjavik.
And that was it. The cord was cut, the statue unveiled, the crowd cheered, and a toast was called. Champagne was hoisted skyward by a crowd of over a hundred people. "Thank you monumental EVE Online and all its players," Hilmar said, before walking off-stage. Dozens of EVE players scrambled towards the statue to try and find their name in miniscule 8-point font.
In Iceland, there's now a statue to a video game. It's a pretty surreal moment. Undoubtedly the first of many, as EVE Fanfest 2014 continues on over the next three days.
We'll have more coverage of EVE Fanfest all weekend--everything from EVE Online to EVE Valkyrie and even Dust 514. Check back for more tomorrow evening, when the convention officially starts.