First of all, hacker creds: had a 2400bps modem (firstname.lastname@example.org), asked for a CPU-overdrive upgrade (486SX25 to a 486DX75) for Christmas, and developed a map for Wolfenstein3D so grotesque (each sprite altered to up the gore level (mainly painting lots of different shades of red)) that when I begin to mow down a small room so full of Nazis and the omnipresent Nazi dogs I made myself want to puke. I traded 3.5” inch floppies full of porn at CCD (which my dad inevitably found, asleep at the wheel), saved AOL demo discs under the assumption in the future all CD-ROMs could be re-written, and also frequently cut the bags of PC Gamer at Waldenbooks to steal the demo discs. I downloaded Ride of the Triads off a local BBS, downloaded Photoshop 3.0 RAR by infinity RAR off one of the first warez sites, and held an upstanding ratio at several offshore FTP sites.
Second of all, more hacker creds: cracked the Quake 1 demo disc using the infamous idcrack, and started what came to be one of the first Quake clans in the land, what we called “The Amish”. I don’t mean to brag, but as one of the organizers of the first team-based internet multiplayer games which is now a several-hundred million dollar business, I can say I was a loser in early high school. Working at a supermarket at the time, checking out one of the soon-to-be-dead print mags about the internet, I felt a rush to discover the Amish had been written up. “A lame laugh” they called the group, “with far too much time on their hands.” I didn’t care. I was published. But what kind of horsejizz who is writing for an internet magazine in 1996 chastises some teenagers for having too much time on their hands? I swear to Christ I hope I heard about his entire lineage being sold in to sex slavery and ODing on some new designer drugs on CNN and didn’t give it another thought.
But one of my more outstanding acts as a n00b, was playing a girl on IRC in #nazi, seducing an op (oh why do I always forget the dumb ones’ name) to gain !Ops privileges and then using one of the trendier IRC scripts to mass kick/ban all of the Nazis on Efnet. The honeypot scheme was a disturbingly unquestioned first mode of attack for a 13-year old boy. But the thrill was short lived, I got sloppy at the top, and saved a transcript of the entire ordeal to my desktop to re-live at my leisure. Of course this transcript had me as a lad entering puberty not only spouting mein führer’s favorite idioms over the family telephone wire, but also spitting game as Aryan player-ette to what I can assume was a full-grown man of hatred, and succeeding (way more progress than in real life, the ladies of the Marshfield Hitler Youth were some frigid Riefenstahls). Adding to this treasure cove of juvenile delights was all the underground IRC channels the Nazis also frequented which often contained several hash marks to keep them off the radar (####disturbing-illegal-lower-1%-of-humanity-pics-but-FREE-FREE-FREE), containing material that would make Pete Townshend blush and R. Kelly furiously masturbate.
Anyhow, my dad helped himself to a heart-attack buffet and read this elaborate document of what I had been
up to a few nights prior, when I said I was up researching dinosaurs or talking to new found friends in Japan. He gave me a stern look and swore if he ever caught wind of me joining the Klan or inviting full grown men of hatred over to the house, he’d take me straight in Boston and have me talk to some real Holocaust deniers (what I think he meant is he’d be really confused and have to go on a long walk). What didn’t help my case is he found a scrunched up comic around this same time my friend and I drew during English where we substituted a particularly garish girl from our class into the story of Anne Frank, who was shot down by a 6-minigun-toting Hitler from Wolfenstein 3D (I have since been to the Anne Frank Haus in Amsterdam and it is very cramped.)
But dads will be dads and I was treated to a fresh install of Cyber Patrol the next day. Cyber Patrol, for your records, does not even let you type ass, it freaks out and substitutes the word with a string of asterisks, this meta-censorship would be further explored in the film Minority Report some decade later. But my cousin was down the next day, and expressed interest in seeing some of these freaky sluts he’s heard live on the internet. What kind of computer gentleman would I be if I hadn’t had a keystroke logger running all morning and discovered my dad uses the same password for everything. It wasn’t but five minutes later my dad caught us looking at the sickest shit you don’t even joke about. Yeah, dad, the ‘Net got yo’ ass.