In 2004, barely a year after the launch of the popular MMO EVE Online, a player named Azia Burgi thought it would be interesting to gather the bodies of other players killed in the game’s epic space battles, then transport them to a special place—a cemetery for the fallen.
More than 15 years later, this cemetery holds hundreds if not thousands of bodies, and has become a place of solace amid the game’s constant wars and brutal hyper-capitalist economy.
In EVE, dying in space and leaving behind your frozen corpse isn’t a big deal. You lose your ship and the resources it was carrying, but your consciousness is teleported into a clone body so you can keep playing (this is 20,000 years into the future, after all).
But the Molea cemetery (located in the star system of the same name) became an emotionally important virtual memorial when players began marking space graves for people who died in real life—friends, family members, pets, and other players.
This turning point in EVE culture lead to the formation of a player-run corporation devoted to maintaining the cemetery and protecting it from nefarious players.
In June of this year, the developers of EVE formally recognized this player accomplishment by adding a massive, permanent memorial to the system, just below the cemetery.
This ensures the graves are protected, and adds a new reason for space tourists to visit and pay their respects.
This week on 2 GIRLS 1 PODCAST, Alli and Jen talk with Jason Marshall, an EVE Online veteran who has worked with the cemetery corporation for nearly 15 years.
Marshall explains how the cemetery got started, why players care so much about transporting their clone corpses to virtual graves, how the team fended off attacks from the notorious Goonswarm Alliance, and the first time a player requested a grave for a real person.
Listen to episode 143 of #2G1P here: