image credit: Razorien
In playing Eve Online, it is apparent that there are many different types of structure and leadership used in running an alliance. However, the one which is the most prominent,  is that of the autocratic method of leadership. I’m referring to where one person is able to get the final say in everything within the respective corporation or alliance, in essence, a dictator. This type of government is often touted as the most effective within the game. I disagree, as it simply does not exist in the way many people say it does within Eve Online.

It all comes down to the simple difference between real-life and video-games:

People play video-games for fun, but a true dictatorship in which one individual rules with iron fist is inherently not fun.

When a dictator fails to provide the needed amount of enjoyment for his corporation or alliance members they can leave which effectively provides a vote of sorts against said dictator, unlike a real-world dictatorship where leaving an autocratic country is not as feasible. So, in order to prevent members becoming unhappy, the opinions and needs of line members, the insight from CEO’s or officers and not acting unselfishly are all tasks which a good leader has to undertake within the context of the game. Although these leadership qualities are useful irregardless of whether the objective is to have fun or not, they are distinctly not autocratic, at least not in the sense that one would get when referring to dictatorships within the real world.

One might compare an all-encompassing leader to a CEO or the person with the most financial stake within a company such as in the real world but this concept falls flat when it is quite often, in Eve, that the line members are paying tax to the corporation they are in rather than the corporation paying a salary. Another comparison could be made between the usually militaristic structure of Eve’s various groups and that must mean that the corporation CEO or alliance executor must act as a sort of military general as a way of necessity. This may very well be true in some cases but, quite often, CEO’s and executors will spend more time on the alliance’s communication channels like Discord and Teamspeak than actually playing the game which makes them poor candidates to be seen as military generals when they rarely fly on the battlefield. The running joke of CEO’s being in a state of “AFK from the game” has a lot of truth to it.

What it ultimately comes down to for a corporation CEO, alliance executor or any other leader in-game is the ability to generate content and enjoyment for their members. They can attach whatever leadership structure or style on to this, whether they have a council, voting system (eww) or as previously stated a dictatorship, but if they cannot then they will find themselves “voted out” by the exodus of their membership base.