The other day I was updating a game that isn't Eve Online (they exist!), it was a large update so I decided to do some stuff in Eve while I was waiting.
For some reason the updating game effected the graphics of Eve, I have all the text but no station or space graphics. As the update was going to take a while, and Eve looked usable enough, I went about my business.
This involved travelling from station to station in high sec moving some Planetary Interaction (PI) stuff.
It occurred to me pretty soon the pretty space graphics are not required to play the game, they certainly add "something", but the game functions quite happily without them.
Once the other game had finished updating the graphics in Eve started working fine again. Did I then turn my settings down to low across the board?
While the space graphics are not required they certainly make the game a total package, plus trying to sell Eve Online to a new user with only text to watch would be an exercise in futility.