Making Science Fiction Real: Neoliberalism, Real-Life and Esports in Eve Online


  • Mark Richard Johnson Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Robert Mejia North Dakota State University



EVE Online, esports, metagaming, neoliberalism, competition, science fiction, imaginaries, teleology, Walter Benjmain, capitalism, streaming, magic circle


In this paper, we argue that EVE Online is a fruitful site for exploring how the representational and political-economic elements of science fiction intersect to exert a sociocultural and political-economic force on the shape and nature of the future-present. EVE has been oft heralded for its economic and sociocultural complexity, and for employing a free market ethos and ethics in its game world. However, we by contrast seek not to consider how EVE reflects our contemporary world, but rather how our contemporary neoliberal milieu reflects EVE. We explore how EVE works to make its world of neoliberal markets and borderline anarcho-capitalism manifest through the political economic and sociocultural assemblages mobilized beyond the game. We explore the deep intertwining of

Author Biographies

Mark Richard Johnson, Goldsmiths, University of London

Dr Mark R Johnson is a Killam Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta. His work focuses primarily on the intersections between play and money, such as eSports, live streaming, fantasy sports, and gamification. His first monograph, "The Unpredictability of Gameplay", is soon to be published by Bloomsbury Academic. He is also an independent game developer, freelance games writer, and former professional poker player.

Robert Mejia, North Dakota State University

Dr Robert Mejia is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at North Dakota State University. His research focuses on the politics of technology and the technology of politics, focused on case studies such as video games and ultra-high-speed internet. He is the co-editor of "100 Greatest Video Game Characters" and "100 Greatest Video Game Franchises", both published by Rowman and Littlefield.






Peer Reviewed Research Papers