There have been a number of low-key discussions on the web related to Eve-Online and its world-y nature. They dovetail with our recent discussion on the nature of virtual worlds ("My space or yours"). Are world-y worlds (vs. game-y ones, e.g. this discussion) better correlated with virtual worldness? Casual thoughts follow...
Richard in an interview with Matt Mihaly cites Eve-Online's design favorably - Richard architects the argument in this way:
“I like the way it’s engineered, and I like the way it holds true to its philosophy and makes no concessions to anything for convenience.”... “Yes, and the worldier the better.”
...“The thing about being worldly is that if you have a rich enough world then you automatically get a gamey worlds too, if you don’t stand in the way of it.” ... “So paradoxically, if you want a virtual world that’s a good game, you should aim to make it first and foremost a good world.”
Adam MacDonald on an interview of Magnus Bergsson emphasizes a recurring claim made: Eve-Online is like real life. Exaggeration? After all, the world of Eve-Online is a very harsh mistress and most who play there likely don't think they live like that (or would want to).
However, hard-nosed simulationist interpretations here seem poorly aimed. I think the hooks that make worlds, world-y ones and perhaps even the best virtual ones, are with more barb and are abstract. In my case, I once wrote of Eve-Online:
...how can a place such as Eve-Online be construed as a playful place were it to be strictly judged by the color of one's actions? It is a dark space of vast distances and abstract avatars in a kabuki punctuated by moments of pounding brutality and intricate economic subtext. Very little seems at first like P*L*A*Y.
... [while so much of the genre] reeks of fun and playfulness on the surface, but once ensnared, players are led into a deception that spells W*O*R*K. Eve-Online on the other hand is Icelandic with Calvinist overtones... opportunity to find one's own way towards a demeanor of play. One represents a fall into an abyss, the other, a rise from one to redemption...
In the end, I'm left to contemplate Richard's cryptic "no concessions to anything for convenience." Aye, "No Surrender." What is rock'n your world-y ideal then?