Smooth sailing to Iceland -- so to speak -- and now I've been in country for a little more than 24 hours.
Because of the interviews that CCP Mimic did during the Winter Summit, I was recognized by another EVE player at the Seattle terminal. He and I chatting about spaceships attracted a couple of other guys who also wanted to chat about spaceships. So the two or three hours between flights passed quickly. The flight to Reyk went equally smooth and quick and before I knew it, I was back in Reykjavik.
Last year's Fanfest was the ten year anniversary edition; this year's edition seems much more low-key. Not that there aren't a lot of EVE players walking the streets -- there certainly are! But there appear to be fewer large groups, and overall it seems less like an all-out invasion of the city than it was last year. Still, after landing I headed over to The Laundromat and there were a goodly number of spaceship nerds in attendance. A group of us got into a discussion of the upcoming industry changes. Ali Aras and Two step arrived not long after I did and groups formed around both of them as well.
Weirdly enough, the businesses around town also seem to realize this -- maybe CCP put out a flyer or something? -- and though some of them have window decorations or other indications that they know it's Fanfest week, it's fewer and less pronounced than last year.
After breakfast, I headed over to see if the monument is up and uncovered. It was, and it was. It's quite impressive in person though now that I've seen it, I don't envy whomever has to keep it clean. ;-) The reflective surface between the man and machine elements, in particular, seems like it's going to be both tough to keep clean and not all that resistant to accidental damage or to the elements. I spent about 15 minutes looking at the plaques listing character names, looking either for familiar names or naughty ones. I only found one of the former and none of the latter. I was told later in the day there are some 490,000 character names on the monument not counting Chinese names which visibly take up a little under 10% of the available surface of the plaques.
Yesterday evening, about half the CSM members coming here (including myself, Ali, mynnna, Chitsa Jason, and Mike Azariah) in Iceland had an informal get-together dinner with eight so CCP employees. That was quite relaxing! Then while most of the CCP'ers headed back to the office to work on FF presentations, the CSM headed over to Nora's. I learned in the process of this that the strike is now off, postponed until May 22. So that was good news!
And that's about it so far! In about an hour as I write this, I'll be headed back to the monument for the official unveiling ceremony. Hope to chat with some of you there!