EVE has apparently become the first MMO to become governed by a democratically-elected governing body. The Council of Stellar Management has emerged from a proper election, and will consist of nine players and five reservists. The body will effectively act as a bridge between the community and developer CCP, discussing game-related issues with both.
Press release after the link.
CCP announces the Council of Stellar Management to empower players through representative democracy in EVE Online
Players gain a new level of in-game and out-of-game representation aimed at improving all aspects of the second largest MMO in US and Europe
Reykjavik, Iceland - March 19, 2008 - CCP, one of the world's leading independent game developers, has announced the formation of the Council of Stellar Management (CSM), the first democratically-elected governing body in a virtual world. Its inception marks a decisive leap in the evolution in online worlds, especially in terms of how a publisher interacts with its community. For EVE Online, the council encompasses the next logical step in the complex social and economic systems for which EVE is well known.
"The voice of the player has always been an integral and driving force in the maturation of EVE Online, so the institution of the Council of Stellar Management is natural at this point," said Pétur ©skarsson, CCP Researcher and project lead for the Council of Stellar Management. "The CSM will empower players with a formal communications channel to directly impact the development of their society as it grows more and more advanced."
The CSM will consist of nine representatives and five alternates, each elected by popular vote from EVE's player base, a population of cyber citizens that's nearing the quarter-million mark. The call for candidacy opened March 18 and will be followed by a two-week long election period slated to begin May 5 and ending on May 19. During their six-month term, delegates to the council will deliberate on issues of importance to the EVE community and work with representatives of CCP on the future evolution of EVE Online.
"EVE Online has evolved from an MMORPG to a virtual world with a virtual society. It is our role as its caretakers to evolve our approach as well, through economics research, political science or other aspects of operations or development," said Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, CEO of CCP. "A democratic election process of representatives is one of mankind's greatest inventions. We are bringing a version of that to EVE now with hope of it allowing us to expand EVE Online in a similar way to what we've seen on Earth."
More on the architecture and logistics of the Council of Stellar Management can be found here: http://myeve.eve-online.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&bid=