A typical sandbox involves a box and sand. The goal is for the child to “play” by molding the sand into a display of imagination (creativity)… like a castle. But then the child can no longer do anything with this castle because the structure will break if touched just like a house of cards.
A good example of what a sandbox is in gaming is the title “Minecraft”.
EVE Online is not a sandbox, despite the publisher using the word. There is nothing to mold nor create. Everything is given to you before you even log in… you are forced to play by the rules and settings of the game, you cannot use any imagination. You do what you are told to do, or you log off.
An example is by using a “theme park” mmo like elder scrolls online, and using this facade called eve online.
EVE = ESO in space
Territorial Conquest = Cyrodiil
Faction Warfare = Battlegrounds
Complex Economy = Trade Market
Missions = Quests
Abyss = Dungeons
Gate Camping = Scouting
Ganking = Ganking
Incursions = Trials
Industry = Crafting
Trade = Trade
Exploration = Exploration
Chat in stations = Chat in towns
Walking in stations (removed) = Towns
Station Assets = Banks
Ship Cargo = Inventory
Clone movement = Teleportation
Skill learning = Spell learning
Alliances = Factions
Corps = Guilds
Home (whatever that is) = Player Housing
Ship Skins = Cosmetics / Fashion
Anything else? Yes, of course the counter is not always an exact equal, this goes for either game, but the point still stands, how is ESO a “theme park” but EVE a “sandbox”?