As an amateur Internet historian and a professional whatever-I-do-here, most of my skills are completely underwhelming. As often as I tell women in bars that I'm really very hilarious (on the Internet), few seem to offer me immediate sex or money, at least until I mention that I'm also a certified brain surgeon ... which I'm not.
Recently though, my skills finally came into play upon reading an article in RADAR about former DEN founder -- and current IGE founder -- Marc Collins-Rector. If you're familiar with the dot-com bubble burst, you'll recall that DEN was a company that supposedly created video for the Internet, in much the same way Youtube does now, only back then it was a terrible idea, even without a boardroom full of child molesters.
Hit the jump for more.
The story is long and twisted, but basically Collins-Rector and fellow IGE founder (and former Disney child star) Brock Pierce created DEN almost specifically to take venture capital money, that they then blew on houses, cars, and luring young boys into those same houses and cars (with the promise of e-stardom). When DEN failed due to massive corruption and the fact that even if it had been a realistic idea it was a decade ahead of its time, and the company heads found themselves under scrutiny for sodomizing young boys, they fled to Spain.
Then, in 2002, the gents were captured in Marbella, Spain by Spanish authorities. For the next few years, Collins-Rector fought extradition to the States, but eventually failed. After being dragged back home, the prosecution botched the entire case, Collins-Rector was only asked to pay a small fine, and he vanished yet again.
Everyone assumed we'd seen the last of him, at least until a story appeared in the UK newspaper Sun. RADAR sums it up well: "Marc Collins-Rector, nattily dressed in a tan blazer and blue shirt, sporting a pair of Wayfarers and carrying a silver-topped cane, stands outside a PC World in London, accompanied by a teenage boy lugging a newly purchased set of high-end computer speakers. The headline: "Tycoon Paedo on Prowl in UK.""
It seems he's managed to weasel his way back into the creepy side of the Internet by putting up the cash to fund IGE along with his protégé Pierce. While no one has yet claimed he's continued his Sodomite ways while in Europe, one assumes leaving a child alone with him would be like leaving a ham alone with John Goodman: if you're lucky, it will only be devoured.
If the destabilization of virtual economies wasn't enough of a deterrent to the use of gold-farming services, hopefully this story seals the deal. I'm not writing this up to necessarily push anyone away from their God-given right to break MMO EULAs, but personally I'm not a fan of creepy old dudes fondling kids. Just remember, the next time you decide to drop $50 on that Grecian Helm of Eromenos, you've quite possibly supplied four lines of blow and a handful of Gummi Bears to a balding middle-aged man who only wants to use those consumables for evil.