When last we checked in with Reddit user Lycerius and his marathon, 10-year game of Civilization II, he'd been caught in a stalemate with no obvious path to victory. But after turning to the internet for help, it took just days for someone to come forward with a winning strategy — one that would take 58 in-game years to achieve. That solution came a year ago, but Lycerius ultimately decided against wrapping up the war he'd devoted so many years of his life to fighting. It was dubbed "The Eternal War," and ultimately Lycerius decided that the battle should carry on indefinitely. "I concede that at this point, armed with the knowledge that I have gained through this experience, I could if I want at any time, crush the Viking menace with relative ease," he wrote. "I continue the story now simply to see the narrative play itself out."

And as Ars Technica reports, that narrative has had a bigger influence on other real-world players than Lycerius could have ever imagined. For a time, it inspired fan fiction at r/theternalwarstories. The Eternal War's main subreddit remains active, and more recently, some users have banded together in hopes of building an Eternal War RPG. But Lycerius has recently learned that maintaining war for the sake of war comes at a cost; he's been forced to control more rebellions than ever before.