Daily Archives: April 4, 2016

World War Bee – What’s in a Name?

When life gives you lemons? Don’t make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! GET MAD! ‘I don’t want your damn lemons! What am I supposed to do with these?!’ Demand to see life’s manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am?! I’m the man who’s going to burn your house down! With the lemons! I’m going to get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!

Wars in EVE Online tend to pick up names of their own when they reach a certain scale or duration.  Probably the most famous three are:

  • The Great War
  • The Fountain War
  • The Halloween War

Those are pretty much the agreed upon names by all sides at this point, CCP included, and each name says something about the war itself as opposed to the parties involved.  “The Great War” is so named because of its scale and being a war like no other war before it.  “The Fountain War” is named after the region in which the primary conflict took place.  And the “Halloween War” was so named based on when it started in earnest.

We are now in the midst of another war worthy of a name that all will remember.

Over at the Nosy Gamer the start of the attack on Imperium space was dubbed “The Casino War” due to the attackers being funded by the online ISK casino I Want ISK.  That name carries on there through to today.

More recently, the war got “real” with new alliances entering the fray leading to larger and larger battles.  This led to CCP once again seeing such battles as a way to promote the game.  Again, nothing sells the game like epic, large scale battles.  Even The Scope, CCP’s in-game lore focused news service, began doing reports about the war.

CCP initially started calling this conflict The Easter War, due to the proximity of the holiday to one of the battles.  That name seemed somewhat forced.  Certainly I cannot recall anybody using that name before CCP started using it.

The war that started LONG before Easter...

The war that started LONG before Easter…

I am not sure where CCP picked up that name, as most common name I saw before that point was the previously mentioned “Casino War.”  However, CCP clearly couldn’t use that name as it would bring into focus, and imply endorsement of, gambling in EVE Online, and along with it the specter of RMT.  (However CCP didn’t flinch at “Moneybadger Coalition,” but the connection with online gambling isn’t apparent unless you know the story so far.)  So Easter seemed to be the plan, despite it being a religious holiday.

Meanwhile another name had begun to gain traction, “World War Bee.”

That name was a rallying cry for foes of The Imperium to unite them into a war against Goons.  The Goon symbol is the Fat Bee after all.

Look for the Goonion label!

Look for the Goonion label!

Somebody at CCP decided that this was better than “The Easter War” and they adopted that as their name for the war as well, and soon posts about “World War Bee” appeared on the somewhat neglected EVE Updates site.

CCP endorses the name

CCP endorses the name

CCP officially and publicly adopting the narrative of its foes for the war did not sit well with Goons.  That felt like a partisan response to a group that has seen CCP playing favorites in the past. (Roll clips from the T20 scandal, which caused the creation of the CSM, where other issues have come up.

So The Imperium leadership decided to come up with their own name for the war, which The Mittani announced yesterday during his fireside chat. (Streamed on Twitch every Sunday, replay available here.)  After sifting through some suggestions, the proposed name for the war is:

  • The War of Sovless Agression

Hrmm…  I mean, I like where it is trying to go, wrapping in a historical reference while taking a jab at our foes for not actually holding much sovereignty themselves.  But it feels like it is too much work for not enough pay off… something of a “try hard” name, which I think is the term of art.  I guess it would be fine for talking point propaganda, but it isn’t something that effortlessly slides off the tongue.  I have to think for a second before I say it, and I don’t like it sufficiently to say it enough to make it reflexive.

And, as with “World War Bee,” it is a partisan name being pushed by one side of the conflict.

In the war between the two names, “World War Bee” is going to win.  It is just easier, funnier, and with official CCP endorsement, not going to be supplanted any time soon.  Maybe after the war is over and assessed another, more fitting, less propagandist name will settle on the conflict.

But for now I think we in The Imperium are going to have to find what comfort we can in “World War Bee.”  Getting all Cave Johnson about the name isn’t going to do anything.

Fortunately, there is some comfort to be found there.

“World War Bee” is clearly and unequivocally a reference to World War Z, the zombie horror novel that was later made into a film.

The story, to sum up, is about society facing an overwhelming zombie menace and hunkering down in order to fight back in order to save themselves and the civilization they built.

It isn’t tough to assign roles in that scenario.  Who has the overwhelming numbers and who is hunkering down to defend themselves?

World War Bee.

I think we should take it and run with it.  Even now over at Something Awful, the latest recruiting drive is headlined “Eve Online: Goons vs Literally The Entire Galaxy,” which is drawing people back to the game.  Goons under siege works with the right optics.