Friday, October 4, 2013

Poetic Stanziel, Alas

Poetic Stanziel is dead.  This fills me with sadness.  Oh, don't worry.  The real person, whoever he is, who played Poe and blogged as Poe is still alive.  This is no Vile Rat level of awful.  Still, it's awful, and I find it hard to articulate why.  This is where my talents, such as they are, as a writer fail.  I need to be discursive and emotive like Sugar (newly added to the blogroll).  She'd do this thing justice I think.  But I am me, analytic, dry, and robotic.  I'll make do.

The facts of the matter are this: the man who formerly played Poe, and blogged under that name, decided to quit EVE a few weeks ago.  (From here out I'll refer to him as Some Nerd, his new nom du blog.)  People leave EVE all the time.  Perhaps sad, perhaps not.  There are many things in life besides EVE Online.  Bittervets bitterly drop all the time, and come back when their load of bitterness fades.  But then, a few days back, Some Nerd dropped a bomb: he's selling Poetic.
They're pixels. They're all replaceable. I can appreciate that some people get really attached to their character names, but it really isn't an issue for me. I still have the blog. I still have my Twitter. I have not ceased to exist. It's not the character name that I would miss. It is the skillpoints. I never roleplayed in EVE. That character name is just that, a name; it's not a character to me. If I return and bemoan a lack of skillpoints, I can just buy them. I'll have ISK socked away on the alt accounts. That's what the character bazaar is for.
He did sell the character.

Why does this fill me with sadness?  It's not like I ever met Poetic in the game, nor have I even met Some Nerd in real life.  But I did meet Some Nerd out of game, in a fashion, and I met him in a more significant way than shaking hands at some nerd meet-up and mumbling, "I love your blog".  "Thanks".  I met him as a reader meets an author, as a brain-in-a-box who I read on the Internet.  I enjoyed his writing and read him daily for months.  And I knew him as Poe.  So Poe has sentimental meaning to me.  That sentiment remains but the attachment to some character actually in the game is now nullified.

And yet the character lives on.  There's someone out there in the EVE verse right now, walking around in Poe's body, and not doing it right.  This is creepy, like a zombie attack.

I think about my own characters.  I would never, ever sell Von.  I made him; his reputation is mine.  He is like a child in some ways.  I can certainly understand creating characters for sale; I have dabbled in that myself as a corporate project.  But I cannot see selling a character I have poured so much love into.  When I ganked that guy, when those guys ganked me, when we fought the sleepers the first time, when I figured out how to do PI, it was not just me doing it.  It was me and Von, together as one.  He's a comrade.  I don't want to lose that.

Maybe love is the difference here.  From reading Some Nerd explain his choice, it seems he never loved his character.  She's "just pixels".  This just seems awful strange to me.  I love Von, and Otto, and indeed all my characters, even my two-week ganking alt.  I love them with the love of the author for his work, as I love my words and work that I have done.  They seem realer to me than most real people do.  I love them as comrades in battle love each other, not because of who they are but what we've gone through together.

Skillpoints strike me as beside the point.  Occasionally Jayne throws out the idea of buying a carrier or dread pilot for our corp.  And I always say no; I will homegrow my own, or I will not have one.  Jayne, if he wants, can buy whatever character he wants for himself.  And the corp will of course invite that character and use him.  But I will never buy a character myself.  I would not love that character the same way, at least not at first.  That would diminish my game just a tiny bit.

R.I.P. Poe.


  1. Geeze. Get some tissues and a room.

  2. He'll be back. They always come back.

  3. I found this via a Google search. Thanks for the kind words.