EVEN ASTEROIDS ARE NOT ALONE
Jón Bjarki Magnússon | Germany 2017 | 17 Min. | OmeU
In the vast and hostile world of New Eden, no one can really be trusted. How can one make friends in the depths of space? Is it safe? Is somebody pointing a gun at me? Even Astroids Are Not Alone explores how friendship and trust evolves in Eve Online, a massive multiplayer game where hundreds of thousands of players mine, trade and fight their way through computer-generated galaxies far, far away from the world as we know it. Virtual worlds have often been portrayed as places of social isolation and those who dwell in them regarded as anti-social. By weaving together the experiences of fourteen players from around the globe, the film reveals a different story on the ability of online games to forge a strong community and bridge the space between people, countries and continents. The players’ quest for beauty, freedom and adventure in a virtual space has exposed them to an enriching social environment where the logic of friendship remains the same as in real life. Here, trust is built over time. By banding together they gain greater opportunities. Through communal practices their bonds grow stronger. What starts with chitchat about in-game stuff slowly evolves into intimate conversations about real-life issues in general. Often referring to their in-game friends as family, the players describe everlasting friendships that have had life and death implications reaching far beyond the game itself. It does not matter whether the space we are flying through is virtual or physical, the longing for understanding, connection and someone to share experiences with is universal. We are all just looking for same companionship during the ride.
Jón Bjarki Magnússon (b. 1984) is an award-winning journalist, writer and filmmaker from Iceland currently living in Berlin, Germany. Working as a journalist since 2008, he has written extensively about the poor conditions of refugees in his home country and in 2014 his coverage of ministerial crimes against asylum seekers led to the resignation of the Icelandic Minister of the Interior. Jón Bjarki studied Creative Writing at the University of Iceland in 2009-2012, published a book of poetry ― The Lambs in Cambodia (and you) ― in 2011, and is currently enrolled at the MA program of Visual and Media Anthropology at Freie Universitat, Berlin. Even Asteroids Are Not Alone is his first film.