Not for Teens under any Circumstances
I've been a long time gamer. Whereas, face value, this has a well earned "T for Teen" as it is mild in sex, violence, drugs, etc., the rules of the game, being non-existent, encourage players to be terrible to one another.
For those worried about "consumerism," this is not the game to allow youth to play, because it involves nothing but. There are not really NPC missions to pursue of any substance, other than attacking a few pirate ships. The main part of the game is gaining large fleets and taking on other fleets.
What is of most concern for parents is the behavior between players encouraged by CCP, the games parent company. CCP freely has created an environment where gang warfare, extortion, harassment, spying, theft, stalking, and manipulation of other players is not only freely allowed, but is actively encouraged. Added to this, new players may find that one poorly composed sentence may make other players believe that you are some other player who has committed some heinous in game crime, like the theft of $16000 worth of merchandise from a corp or otherwise.
Privacy is of utmost importance, as all corporations demand access to other players' wallets and transaction histories to see if that player is a spy for another group. As CCP allows scamming, this can make your child a target for scams or theft due to the fact that CCP openly streams to third party software any information which a player provides. And, given that all corporations you join require you to give them an access code to your "online API" which allows them to view your wallet and market transactions, your child's in-game financial situation will be available for any player who wants to see it, regardless of his personal ethos regarding theft and con-artistry.
The game is good for those who like openly hostile environments and spy games, but if you're not entering the game with a large group of people you know, it is unlikely that anyone will trust you and everyone will be suspicious of you. I bought a six month subscription, thinking the game was extremely fun and complex after several days on trial. I played for about three weeks before I finally decided I didn't want to spend money on hanging out with some of the worst people the internet has to offer.
CCP takes a very low look at harassment, for example, when the heads of one of the major alliances publicly gave out chat logs of a player who had admitted he was suicidal, gave out the player's name, and then encouraged other players to continue to destroy his ship as much as possible:
CCP gave him a 30 day suspension. Whereas I believe with the particular player, being extremely high profile, this was probably acceptable as he learned how swiftly he can get punished and he payed the harassed player an inordinate amount of cash, it is one of the many examples as to why this game is not for teens.
It should always be known that all in game money has an out of game component, game time may be purchased from CCP and sold in game for in-game money.
One of the biggest heists of other players' stuff has amounted to $16,000. Several players infiltrated a players' corp, lured her to a remote region of space in her most expensive ship. They subsequently attacked and destroyed her ship and then stole everything from the corporation, a grand total of $16,000 worth of in-game items and money.
These are just a few examples how singular players will be and can be massively victimized by groups engaging in massively unethical behavior at any moment.
Please Google "Eve Online Suicidal Player" before deciding if you want your teen learning real life criminal and gang harassment skills and practicing them on real people.
This title contains:
Violence & scariness
Privacy & Safety