Life, the Universe, and Everything
|Life, the Universe, and Everything|
|Board Type||Special Social|
|Entry Requirements||User ID below 888113, Signed up|
Life, the Universe and Everything, abbreviated LUE, is one of GameFAQs' most notorious forums. Initially started as a social board which had its share of serious philosophical discussions, LUE gradually turned into a place associated with craziness, borderline offensive topics and sometimes outright malicious behavior - including invasions of other boards or other websites with strings of offensive messages and pictures. While this negative association still exists in many users' minds, many LUEsers and some moderators claim this is no longer the case; after ExcLUEsion (see below), the board has gradually shaped up, with many of the worst users either maturing, being banned, or moving on to LUElinks. But since only Moderators and LUEsers can currently access the board, the rest of the site is unable to see the change and slow to acknowledge it. Users who frequent LUE often call themselves LUEsers. Many believe this was a deliberate self-mocking play on the word "loser."
The board's name is taken from the third book of Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 'trilogy'. Because of the role of the number 42 as the meaning of life, the universe and everything in the HGttG series, LUE's board number was originally 42. CJayC has met Douglas Adams in the past : what bearing this may have made to his choice of names for the board is unknown.
LUE was established as a serious board for religious, philosophical, and scientific discussion. The board was especially infamous for it's rabid religious debates between atheists and Christians, although it was fairly common to see topics devoted to time travel, physics, and other scientific discussion.
2003-2004: The Trouble Years
These two years represent the most tumultuous of LUE's history, representing both its greatest growth and sharpest decline in members. In early 2003, during a major board renumbering, CJayC changed LUE's board number from 42 to 402. The secret board Level now occupies the board number 42.
- Main article: Black LUEsday
Black LUEsday (March 4, 2003) started as a result of a Truth or Dare chat session. At the time, the social boards were filled with complaints over moderations (a fresh batch of moderators had been appointed in November 2002). LUE's growing dislike of moderators simply exploded when one of the LUEsers, tealmarie, was suspended for making a topic asking why Pikachu is yellow (after being dared to do so). At the same time, LUEser gostevie was suspended for making a topic calling for Dutch LUEsers to unite (this is believed to be unrelated to tealmarie's moderation). When DarkCobra suicided, LUE rankled into anarchy, with seventeen other account suicides, all expressing hatred and anger towards GameFAQs and its harsh policies. tealmarie was later restored, but the eighteen others had already suicided by that time. This event set the ball rolling throughout 2003 towards LUE's fate.
RevoLUEtion was LUE's second major event. On May 7, 2003, Umaro visited the Zelda Social Board to show his "cool Triforce tattoo" he got. Surprisingly enough, he was flamed to death. Users are not supposed to talk about Zelda in the ZSB, it seemed. Umaro came back to LUE with his grievances, and LUE flooded the ZSB with Zelda-related topics. After the usual bans and moderations (Umaro was spared because he didn't start it), CJayC handed LUE a fateful choice  to:
- Close LUE
- Raise the level requirement (from 30 to 31)
- Board split
LUEsers unanimously picked the second option. In addition, all the users that got suspended for the invasion were reduced to Warned by CJayC. LUE was temporarily closed off to lower-karma users, and LUE simmered down. It was at this moment that Another Place was established as a place for Level 30 users (who were locked out) to post. Over time, though, Another Place lost the image as LUE's "younger brother" and gained its own identity. In some respects, Black LUEsday foreshadowed this event, because one trigger caused LUE to go insane, forcing major intervention from the administrators. This intrastate invasion, however, preceded the most damaging event, SteriLUEzation.
- Main article: Karmageddon
Karmageddon took place on September 18th, 2003, when the moderation system itself broke down. As moderators were unable to moderate posts, users posted account suicides and ToS violations galore, particularly on LUE and CE. This resulted in both boards temporarily being closed while the moderators cleaned up, banning and warning many users. Many users feared LUE was permanently closed until CJayC announced that it was only temporarily closed. The events of Karmageddon led into the SecLUEsion.
SecLUEsion happened on October 12, 2003, when CJayC removed LUE from the social board listing, therefore removing all direct links to the board. This was CJayC's second effort to contain LUE's insanity. This was not very successful, for many users simply asked about LUE on MBH and got their answers. This event passed by without much fanfare, owing to the fact that it was not precipitated directly by any major incident. 
- Main article: SteriLUEzation
SteriLUEzation was a groundbreaking event that shook LUE. On November 15, 2003, user y2k in poor judgment posted a link to Shana's LiveJournal. Just nine months earlier, in March, Shana committed suicide, and her family left her LiveJournal open as a memorial. LUEsers at first posted funny comments, but it quickly degraded into an invasion, with some LUEsers posting Goatse, the pains, and other gross things.
The family contacted LiveJournal, and later, CJayC. CJayC lucked out of any monetary damages because he was not directly responsible for the users' actions. The scope of the invasion, however, caused CJayC to go ballistic on LUE. Unlike in RevoLUEtion, CJayC immediately "sterilized" LUE bystopping any user above ID 888113 (the ID created when CJayC instituted the restriction) from ever being able to access LUE, consequently killing any of LUE's potential growth. 
CJayC had named the number, and LUEsers sought to find it. Soon enough, LUE found their last new member, Lunarhawk99, and began harassing him like crazy. Alt-888113 on the numerical pad yielded "1," and LUE started calling him "The One," a reference to the recently-released The Matrix Revolutions movie. After reaching 150 karma, however, Lunarhawk99's aura began diminishing, and he preferred to stay on RI and other boards. When Lunarhawk99 first visited LUE on August 31, 2004, his first topic filled up in record time.  
- Main article: 12/28
12/28, also known as the Black Mist Incident, took place on December 28th, 2003. Former board hunter Black Mist posted the passwords to dozens of accounts on LUE. Shortly thereafter, after several LUEsers had logged into these accounts, Black Mist suicided his own account: in the following usermap axe, roughly 30 LUEsers lost their accounts. Controversially, CJayC promised to unban the accounts of whomever emailed him, but failed to do so. 12/28 sees some significance as it was the first time following SteriLUEzation that several LUEsers had been banned at once, exposing the inability of a banned user to just make a new account and come back.
ExcLUEsion was CJayC's final solution to containing LUE. On January 4, 2004, he opened up an 11-day sign up period for LUEsers to register and become members of the now-private LUE.  It was LUE's fifth major event within a year - after Black LUEsday (19 committing suicide), RevoLUEtion (karma limit raised to 150), SecLUEsion (delinked), and SteriLUEzation (board closed to new GameFAQs users). LUEsers had to agree to several things, including that they would never give away their LUE accounts. Many people criticized this action as unnecessary, given that LUE had already been sterilized and would have no new members. Others stated that sterilization would only work in the long-term and LUE needed a short-term solution to its ills now.
Nevertheless, the process went through, with much chaos and outcries. LUEsers who were away during the two-week signup were angry that they were now locked out. Many petitions (even to this day) call for a new round of signups, although CJayC has said many times that there will be no more signups. A big protest was the fact CJayC's first topic on the matter purged due to a glitch in the system (the joke was that he was actually modded for trolling because he called LUE "a cancer" in the topic). This was before sticky topics were implemented on the boards. He stamped the topic with a January 15 creation date (final day of the sign-ups) to keep it at the top as topics are sorted by most recent post. The system purged it because nobody posted in the closed topic for X amount of days. Consequently, the only way to get into LUE now (besides hacking) is to become a moderator.
ExcLUEsion is somewhat notable in that it is the only LUE-related event to have been named by CJayC himself, as opposed to a general consensus by board members.
This period is best defined as starting on January 16th, 2004 (following the end of the ExcLUEsion sign-up dates on the 15th) to the present day. During this time period, LUE's population has slowly bled off, with a few incidents specifically accelerating the process.
- Main article: LUElinks
On May 8th, 2004, LlamaGuy posted a topic on LUE inviting users to join his newly created site LUElinks, built on the premise of being a links repository site where users could share links away from the prying eyes of the moderators. Over 4000 users joined in 3 days: as the LUElinks boards began to grow, many users began to permanently immigrate from GameFAQs, leaving a gaping hole in LUE's posting activity, and setting the pace for its irrevocable decline (see the graph for more details). As a result of LUElinks' success, many users would suicide their accounts, causing the number of accounts able to access LUE to fall. Several thousands more would follow over the controversial GameSpot Merger, with over 7500 users registered by the end of 2004. By mid 2006, over 10,000 LUEsers had registered for LUElinks.
- Main article: LUEmit Break
Despite SteriLUEzation and ExcLUEsion, LUE was still going strong, and when a site update stopped the automatic topic closure upon 500 posts from working, LUE quickly took advantage of this and got a topic to 4145 posts in 20 minutes.
- Main article: LUEdicrous Speed
On Christmas Eve of 2004, LUE had 57,000 posts. Luster Soldier posted a topic egging LUE on to hit 60,000 posts before the purge occurred. 3,000 posts were posted during the next 40 minutes, at one point hitting 8 posts a second. Ten thousand posts were posted from 1:16AM to 7AM EST before the purge occurred, even though this is traditionally considered one of the deadest times on LUE due to most of its user base being from the USA and Canada.
- Main article: Cheradenine
Beginning in late September, 2010, a series of intense drama rocked LUE. It began when then-moderator Cheradenine moderated a topic containing a "cameltoe" picture of another LUEser. When another LUEser posted screenshots of the mod board showing that Cher had ignored her fellow mods' opinions in upholding the moderation, LUEsers posting in the topic erupted into complaints of abuse. While this died down somewhat over the next several days, a series of abusive suspensions of notable opponents of Cher's starting the next week restarted the drama, this time much more permanently. Then, to avoid complaints and trolling from other LUEsers, Cher began posting on alt Iorek Brynison, assuming the cover of a man. When this was uncovered by other LUEsers, Iorek claimed that Cher had borrowed his account in 2008. Iorek was soon suspended for account sharing for this comment.
The drama came to a close on October 25, 2010, when Cher leaked nudes of several prominent female critics to LUELinks. Later that day, SBAllen demodded her. With her reputation shattered and her moderator powers gone, Cher left, and has only been seen rarely on LUE since then. This event left a major scar on the board, both because of users who left as a result and because of intensified dislike of the moderation staff.
Because of LUE's unique property of being sterilized, the number of accounts capable of accessing LUE can never increase (sans the small handful of new moderators). As a result, with accounts being banned, purged, closed, and people simply losing interest, over time the amount of LUEable accounts has decreased along with the posting activity.
The predecessor to what banned users would do after SteriLUEzation occured shortly after RevoLUEtion, when many users flocked to Another Place. Following SteriLUEzation, several refugees flocked to USL, which enjoyed popularity for quite some time. As of mid-2004, however, the majority of banned users usually migrate to LUElinks.
LUE's Dwindling Population
- On April 29, 2005, CJayC said, "22,584 accounts originally signed up for LUE. Of those, 17,193 remain, the rest being lost to bans and purges." 
- On August 15, 2006, CJayC further refined the number of users who could access LUE. In a post on The Daily Grind he said, "So, the real current total is 17,205 active accounts that can access LUE. Of those, 15,074 have actually been used in the past six months." 
- On March 29, 2007, CJayC yet again stated the remaining number of users with LUE access, "15,487 LUE members remain. Of those, 11,829 are active accounts (logged in since 1/1)," and in another post also noted, "361 of the 11,829 are alts."
- On June 12, 2008, SBAllen responded to many "Ask GameFAQs" requests regarding the status of LUE. His post on the SBallin'! board (formerly The Daily Grind) stated that "there are 15003 registered accounts with LUE access" and that "11365 of them have been active at some point in time in 2008."
- On September 17, 2010, SBAllen posted on LUE and said that 14963 accounts still have access to LUE. Of those, 5211 accounts have visited LUE since April 30, and 2497 of those had visited LUE since August 18.
- On May 15, 2012, RaptorLC posted on LUE and said Devin Morgan told him that there were currently 13,562 accounts with LUE access, with Cold Storage cited as the major reason for the dropoff.
- Main article: LUEshi
LUEshi is an ASCII of the Super Mario World boxart, with Mario riding on Yoshi. It was originally posted by Patamon on Halloween Day of 2003, and soon thereafter began to be posted in large amounts, especially as surprise topics. The prevalence of the ASCII on LUE led it to be dubbed LUEshi. As a result of the sheer amount of LUEshis being posted, coupled with its large size and the general annoyance at surprise topics, the moderation punishment for LUEshi quickly began to accelerate. At one point in time, users were being banned for posting LUEshi.
On February 10th, 2005, however, LUEshi was downgraded to the status of a regular ASCII - as long as it was posted in topics marked with an ASCII tag, it could be posted without fear of moderation. This day was dubbed the LUEberation.