On November 18th, 2019, a case of COVID was detected at the Fanfest convention in Reykjavik. The virus spread and emergency medical personnel needed to be called in for treatment. CCP donated food for those who had to stay home due to health concerns or couldn’t attend all weekend long because of the outbreak, but have yet to figure out how best to share it with players on other servers that never experienced an outbreak.
The “ccp fanfest 2022” is a gaming event that was held in Iceland. It was the first time CCP had ever done this, and it’s said to have been successful.
EVE Online gamers from all over the globe gathered in Reyjkavik, Iceland, over the weekend for EVE Fanfest 2022, the first official in-person EVE event since 2019. It didn’t take long for players to test positive for COVID-19, as we reported a week ago, with well-known gamer Max Singularity (also known as the Space Pope) declaring his illness last Sunday. While CCP representatives have said that the Pope was not Patient Zero, scores more guests and family members tested infected in the days after, with some even carrying the virus home with them.
Players from the United States and Canada were not permitted to return home without passing a negative test, which resulted in several flights being canceled and thousands of dollars in unanticipated hotel costs. CCP Games has set up a COVID-19-help channel on the official EVE Online Discord server to give any assistance it can, and devs have been organizing free food delivery for anyone who is still sick and trapped in Reykjavik.
We’ve been keeping a running total of Fanfest attendees, journalists, PR staff, volunteers, and developers publicly confirming infection on Twitter and Discord, and our tally now stands at 77, plus an unknown (to us) number from CCP’s own community team. (We are aware that CCP is also keeping an official list, but given the scope of the outbreak and the likelihood that many people are not reporting in public, we assume the numbers are much higher than either list.) While some ill players were trapped in Reykjavik this week, the scheduling of the tournament meant that many participants tested negative before returning home to the United States, only to develop symptoms after they arrived or while traveling. One gamer even claimed that members of his family who did not go to or from Iceland had caught the illness from him, implying that it had already spread.
Players have also been utilizing Discord to do some impromptu contact-tracing to find out where the illnesses came from, and it seems that the spread began at numerous player activities before Fanfest officially began. A karaoke night, a charity dinner, a 250-person pub crawl, the party at the top of the world, many private gatherings, and the Fanfest event itself, which took place within a packed venue, were all close-contact activities throughout Fanfest week. As previously stated, there were no COVID health and safety rules in place at the events, and the local airport’s enforcement was reportedly inadequate, both of which drew criticism from several guests.
While most players who were unwell early last week have since completed their five-day waiting period and returned home, not everyone was so fortunate: at least one player was hospitalized this week. “Within 28 hours of [his] negative test, he changed from testing negative and feeling normal to being hospitalized with COVID pneumococcal meningitis and sepsis,” CCP’s main volunteer rep stated. He’s doing lot better now, thankfully.
We must mention that CCP paid for our writer’s travel to and lodging at this event in compliance with Massively OP’s ethics policy. CCP did not seek or receive any control or influence on the event coverage. Brendan avoided becoming ill by wearing a mask and avoiding people.
News from Fanfest 2022:
Brendan ‘Nyphur’ Drain, an EVE Online specialist, has been playing the game for over a decade and writes the EVE Evolved column since 2008. From in-depth EVE tutorials and news analyses to game design talks and opinion articles, the column covers it everything. Leave a comment or send an email to [email protected] if there’s a subject you’d like to see addressed!
The “ccp starfsmenn” is a food delivery service that was started by CCP, the developers of EVE Online. The service allowed players to order food from their home and have it delivered at Fanfest. However, the outbreak of COVID caused an influx of people in the area and many were left without any food.
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