CCP Games Partners with the University of Iceland to Offer Course Studying the Science of Friendship and Video Games

May 2021

Reykjavík, Iceland – May 26, 2021 – CCP Games today announced Friendship Machine: Forming a New Type of Human Connection, an online course featuring its player-driven spacefaring MMO, EVE Online. Created in partnership with the University of Iceland, the course explores “The Friendship Machine,” or the science behind how people forge meaningful relationships and how video games have created a new type of human connection. The course is now available on and includes the first three weeks free for anyone who would like to register. Unlimited access, including the final quiz and course certificate, is available for $50 USD / €40.91 EURO / £35.19 GPB.

Friendship Machine: Forming a New Type of Human Connection dives into the science behind friendship, how video games are developing as a form of entertainment, and the positive and negative impacts of video games on human connection. It also provides compelling insights into the friendships and connections that players forge through video games, the risk of loneliness and social isolation in society, and more through analyzing real player stories from the EVE Online community.

Participants can enjoy Friendship Machine: Forming a New Type of Human Connection at their own pace. All course materials are available immediately upon registration.

“Social isolation and loneliness seem to be taking on an epidemic proportion in the industrialized world today. At the same time video games as culture shapers and human connecting machines are growing rapidly in scale,” Tryggvi Hjaltason, Senior Strategist for EVE Online at CCP Games, said. “At CCP we found that 73% of our players have made a friend as a result of playing our game. We have come to understand that how you design a video game in terms of its social elements matters a lot and the variables that it takes to build a meaningful human connection need to be accounted for. Increasingly video games are a source of meaningful connection but also social isolation, understanding the difference is key for understanding the potential positive and negative impacts video games can have on our lives.”

“There has been a growing concern over the past years that computer games could have seriously detrimental effects on gamers’ mental well-being and social skills,” Ársæll Arnarsson, a professor of Leisure Studies at the University of Iceland School of Education, said. “In selected cases, this may be true. But for the vast majority of people involved, studies actually indicate findings that gameplay platforms can effectively function as friendship formation devices. The communication and information technology can create an alternative space for disconnected individuals to meet, transcending geographical and socioeconomic barriers.”

“We’re delighted to work with the University of Iceland and CCP to offer this new course to our global network of over 38 million edX learners,” said Anant Agarwal, edX founder and CEO. “Online learning creates an incredible opportunity to forge connections and foster collaboration between learners located all over the world and this new course is a fantastic example of that benefit in action.”

An opening ceremony will be held at CCP Games in Reykjavik, Iceland on May 26. Interested participants can virtually attend the ceremony and hear from course instructors Terry Hjaltason and Ársæll Arnarsson at the following link:

For more information about the course, please visit

Assets for EVE Online and the Friendship Machine: Forming a New Type of Human Connection course can be found here. For all the latest information about EVE Online, please visit [EVE News]( "EVE News").

About EVE Online®

EVE Online (PC/Mac) is a compelling, community-driven sci-fi MMO game where players can build and pilot a wide variety of spaceships, traversing vast solar systems for free and choosing their own path from countless options, experiencing space exploration, immense PvP and PvE battles, mining, industry and a sophisticated player economy in an ever-expanding sandbox. EVE is a captivating game in which hundreds of thousands of players compete for riches, power, glory and adventure, forging their own destinies in a single thriving universe. For more information, visit

About CCP Games

CCP is a leading independent game developer that has been praised for its artistry, technology and game design that facilitates emergent behavior, empowering players with compelling means of self-expression. Founded in 1997 on the principle of pushing the envelope and breaking new ground on all levels, CCP is on a mission to create virtual worlds more meaningful than real life. With the launch of EVE Online in May 2003, CCP established itself as a pioneer of cutting edge massively multiplayer games, winning numerous awards and receiving critical acclaim worldwide. CCP is headquartered in Reykjavik, Iceland, and has additional studios in London and Shanghai. For more information, visit

About the University of Iceland

The University of Iceland is a progressive comprehensive research university situated in the heart of Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik. The University is dedicated to providing high-quality programmes, developing effective teaching methods, integrating teaching and research, and providing learners opportunities to engage in authentic project-based learning in cooperation with Icelandic society and industry. The University’s emphasis on progressive research and innovation has earned it a place amongst the highest-ranked universities by several prestigious international entities. With over 15,000 students and 1,700 employees, the University strives to use its resources to promote equality, diversity, and sustainability in Iceland and to integrate those values across its research and education programmes.

About edX

edX is the education movement for restless learners. Together with our founding partners Harvard and MIT, we’ve brought together over 38 million learners, the majority of top-ranked universities in the world, and industry-leading companies onto one online learning platform that supports learners at every stage. And we’re not stopping there — we’re relentlessly pursuing our vision of a world where every learner can access education to unlock their potential, without the barriers of cost or location.

Media Contact

Journalists seeking information about CCP or its products, wanting to set up interviews, or needing assets should contact: