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Getting Oriented

Are all of you people insane? Don't you all realize this is (a hoax | a marketing ploy | Microsoft's attempt at world domination | your mom | etc.)? OMGWTFBBQ?

If you see people who are responding to all of this ilovebees stuff as though it were real, chances are they just playing along. They think it's a type of game called an ARG (Alternate Reality Game). In general, people are stupid, but not that stupid. If, however, you are one of those who believe this isn't a game/hoax/otherwise staged, then I'd be happy to give you the extra-double-secret tinfoil hat for a mere US$500. Contact TheUserExtrasonic for my PayPal info.

Um, ok, so what's an ARG?

The long-ish answer is that it's an evolution of role-playing games. You know, [WWW]Dungeons & Dragons, all that stuff. Originally these games were made so that people had a framework within which they could pretend to be characters in a story and tell the story together. When an event in the story occurred that required luck or chance (or if two people disagreed about what should happen next in the story), dice were rolled and rules were applied to resolve the issue. Some folks really, REALLY liked the idea of pretending to be these characters and participating in these stories, and sorta took it to the next level with LARP (live-action role playing). Instead of sitting around a table with a bunch of books, paper, and dice, they decided to act out their roles in the stories they create, often in public. Think of it as making a movie with no cameras. If you see a big group of Goths in a park in a major city in the middle of the night, chances are they are actually LARPing [WWW]Vampire the Masquerade, or, possibly, they are lost and looking for a dance club that still plays Bauhaus. Hard to go wrong with either guess. Now there are ARGs, which are sort of the next turn of the crank on these formalized versions of "let's pretend". In ARGs, the players often (but not always) are just themselves, not characters, although people running the game frequently pretend to be something they're not. It's the game coordinators' job to let people think they've stumbled into a "real life" mystery and get them to try to figure out what's going on. This is often in the context of telling a larger story, just like earlier evolutions of role-playing games discussed above, but since the players are just being their own curious selves, it adds to the immersion and makes it seem more "real". If you like movies and are intrigued by the ARG concept, see [WWW]The Game with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn, which is a serious movie about an ARG (or is it?), or, if you prefer comedies, [WWW]The Man Who Knew Too Little, in which Bill Murray thinks he's playing an ARG, but he isn't.

Other ARG resources:

Wow - why would someone go to all the expense and trouble of running an ARG for a bunch of strangers?

Usually it is to promote something (see Halo connections below). Just because it's an advertisement, however, doesn't mean it's not a fun game. Check the Cloudmakers link above; they had a lot of fun with their ARG (called "The Beast" by some), and that was essentially a way to generate interest in the movie [WWW]AI.

I think I get it... so what is this ARG?

This ARG is a mystery. Players are trying to figure out what happened to the [WWW]ilovebees.com website. Much has been learned so far, and much more has been speculated.

What if I don't know anything about Bungie or ''Halo''? I don't know why, but it seems like they're pretty important to this ARG.

If you want in on this ARG but you don't know/care about Halo, then you can brush up on the mythology using these resources:

Ok - so you're not all lunatics. Actually, this sounds kind of fun - how can I play, too?

Well, the first thing to do is to review this Wiki in general (probably starting with the rest of this FAQ) to try to get caught up on the goings-on in the game and the conversations/theories people are tossing around. Then, anything you can think of is fair game, provided it doesn't break the law. Things to do might include:

Things not to do:

I've got something to contribute, but I have no idea what the heck a Wiki is or how to use one. What should I do?

Read through the information at the HelpContents page; it's really useful.

Quick Start

If this is a mystery, then there must be clues. Where have the clues come from so far?

There've been a lot of sources for confirmed clues. Specifically:

Also, bear in mind that there are a lot of red herrings and people just trying to mess with the players. Think critically (and follow the helpful guidelines on the PossibleLeads page) before announcing that you've discovered a new source of clues, and make sure to check the TheFalsities page.

What clues have we found?

At the time of this writing, there have been two phases to this ARG thus far - Phase 1, which started when people received their honey in the mail, and Phase 2, which happened when the countdown on [WWW]ilovebees.com announced that "Network throttling" had "eroded". The MaydayText and the TheStory known as "The Widow's Journey" are the most significant finds from Phase 1 and TheOperatorsMonologue and KillerJpg pictures/embedded text are the most significant finds thus far in Phase 2. The EmbeddedText page has a good accounting for the rest of the clues that have come from ilovebees.com. Note that there may be additional clues that haven't been found, either on ilovebees.com or elsewhere.

What sense have we made of all of these clues?

Good question - and the source of a lot of debate. Try the following:

Note that this list is not meant to be comprehensive, but you should be able to get to just about every page by following links from these top-level pages.

v1.0: Initial version --UserExtrasonic 07:38, 30 Jul 2004 (PDT)