For a long time I was a casual player. I use to treat EvE as a game. I would log on, swap a few skills, run a few missions with the Corp and maybe do some mining. But after 2-4 hours I would log off and go and do something else in the real world, perhaps not returning to my computer screen for a couple of days.
But then work moved me away from my friends and I found myself with empty evenings during the week. Not content with just sitting and watching DVD's, I started to explore in greater depth what EvE has to offer. So I got a lot more involved with the Corp. I wasn't just turning up to more fleet operations, but suggesting and exploring ideas to expand and move our Corporation forward. I started learning about the mechanics of running a Corp and managing POS's. My involvement continued to escalate as time progressed. Now, in game, I am the Vice-CEO of our Corporation.
Some time ago now, through the wonders of my iPod Touch, I began to take an interest in the Blogs as well as listening to Podcasts. I was learning about areas of EvE that I had not yet explored or even knew about, and my interest and curiosity in the game grew. In one of the Blogs I also read that EvE has the most active gaming-community the World has to offer and I found myself wanting to get involved. I now dedicate time to writing Blogs and I am also a member of the Tweetfleet where I can keep up with other pilots in a real-time fashion. EvE (in and out of game) is so large I find it hard to get bored.
So, I have made it more than 'just a game'. I write to an audience about life in New Eden. I have 'worked' to the position of co-manager of a successful Corporation of which I have an active part in recruiting and expanding as well as the organisation and activities of the members within. I have brought myself to a position where if I were to leave the Corporation I would change the game for many people on some level. As well as all this I have a selection of internet space-ships with changeable armament and equipment to suit a myriad of situations - situations that are both in and out of my control. And I can use the spaceships in any way I choose because EvE is a sandbox game. There are no restrictions on how I can play.
It's not just a case of completing missions any more to get a bigger, better space-ships. I've realised the more one puts into this game the more one gets out, and I actively 'work' at EvE to get the most enjoyment out of it. It's not a game to me now, it's a hobby.
And the best thing? There is no end to any of this.