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Quiet on the Front?

By Victor Barreiro Jr. on February 20, 2013 | Columns | Comments

Quiet on the Front?

Sometimes, just when I think all is quiet in the Alternate Earth of The Secret World, I get surprised. I get extremely surprised... by buzzing instead of tweeting.


Nusquam’s Experiment

On February 7, Game Director Joel Bylos, writing as Nusquam on the forums. decided to set up a seemingly innocuous experiment. He wrote, “We like to do experiments and we like to try new things. Like minded souls should get twitter accounts and pay attention to the twitterverse. Especially on Tuesdays.”

As an active Twitter user, I didn’t think much of it. I follow most of the MMO Twitter accounts, including those of developers and customer service accounts. I didn’t notice anything breaking or significant. Two weeks later, right before I began writing this, I checked the forum post for the Twitterverse experiment.

It had grown into a 14-page monstrosity, and I realized TSW had at least one more account that I had not noticed prior to starting the TSW column for

The Buzzing won’t stop...

The Twitter handle @The_Buzzing became, from what I can tell, the starting point for a collaborative adventure for interested gamers who decided to try the experiment.

This sporadically-used Twitter account started buzzing again, humming utterances laced with pop culture references such as Doctor Who and Sixteen Candles.  Following the trail of the #HiveHum, I realized what was happening. Nusquam had begun his experiment, and whatever The Buzzing was, it was sending cryptic messages that humans could not easily comprehend because it was a mishmash of words from various bits and pieces of human existence.

Angels and Edgar Allan Poe, Tweets from Twitter accounts long dormant, Daleks! These were all coming together, providing hints. BUT TO WHAT?!  The Buzzing was affecting me. The links and videos were disturbing my psyche.  I was not informed. I was not prepared. I was not ready. I had to keep digging deeper, either to find a solution, to find a safe haven from the disturbance I felt in my mind.

I was hearing voices.

The #HiveHum pointed to others chronicling information available from the larger collective. I was desperate.for information, but even if they answered the clues, none of it made sense. Why is this happening? What started this? Where do these clues lead? Why won’t the buzzing stop?!

I checked my previous writings, and even past writings alluded to something beyond my ability to comprehend. I struggled for answers, till it dawned on me what was happening. NO.

I checked my old emails, correspondences with Nusquam and his company. I’m scrolling through them, looking for a sign or a key that would unlock a mystery... and I found it.

“I'd love it if they made an out-of-game Investigation Mission out of their DLC reveal, primarily because their INV missions are extremely obscure and require obscene amounts of research.”

I understand what is happening now. This is my fault. All my fault. The buzzing won’t stop. The buzzing won’t stop. The buzzing won’t stop...

Victor Barreiro Jr. maintains The Devil’s Advocate and The Secret World columns for He also writes for as a technology reporter. You can find more of his ramblings on Games and Geekery and on Twitter at @vbarreirojr.

Victor Barreiro Jr. / Victor Barreiro Jr. maintains the the Landmark/Everquest Next and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn columns for He also writes for news website Rappler ( as a technology reporter.
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