Sunday, August 01, 2004

My new addiction: I Love Bees.

You see, about a month ago some prominent members of the gaming community recieved packages containing jars of honey from a place called "Margaret's Honey." Inside each jar of honey was a letter, and together, all the letters spelled out I LOVE BEES. Being good gamers, they went and visited ilovebees.com, and here's where our story begins...

ilovebees.com is the website of Margaret's Honey, run by Margaret's niece, Dana. But that's not what you'll notice first; what you'll notice first is the giant, menacing countdown informing you that this system has been invaded by the "System Peril Distributive Reflex," and that you have until August 24 until "wide awake and physical." What does that mean?

Our obedient gamers went to work on the website, piecing together clues. Strewn throughout the website were distorted images, bits of disjointed computer code, and cries for help beginning "mayday, mayday, mayday." By piecing together the distortions of the images, our heroes found a story; a beautiful story, good God, and a scary one, about the Widow who has to bring back her Queen so that she can reclaim her rightful place as ruler. Piece together the random bits of computer code, and you have a sequence of events running parrallel to the Widow's actions in the story. Finally, piece together the "mayday" cries for help and you have excerpts from Robinson Crusoe, The Tempest, Moby Dick, and other stories, as well as military training manuals, the excerpts specifically relating to SHIPWRECKS. Oh dear.

It all came to a head when Bungie began advertising Halo 2 in movie theaters; at the end of the trailer, the usual Xbox logo and Xbox.com address were displayed, except the web address briefly changed from "xbox.com" to...

Something big is going down, my friends. Something big.

The I Love Bees website is here, and the wiki set up to gather clues is here. If you think you have a few new bearings on this mystery, feel free to join in the treasure hunt. Me, I'm right fascinated with the whole business, and it's right pathetic. I know full well that Bungie is dangling a carrot in front of my face, leading me closer and closer to the inevitable purchase of Halo 2. Damn your genius, Bungie! And damn your really good writers. That creepy story is irreproducible.


(By the way, prominently in the computer code is the number 343. Do you know what that means?)

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