The Game Pond Takeover
by Daryn

The screen capture you see above is the aftermath of Troy and I putting what was once the world's largest video game ezboard community out of its misery. Wanna know how it happened?

Actually, I was one of the two creators of the Game Pond. The other was a friend of mine, Nathan, aka CataTonic9. Along with our friend, Kiera Lordens, we all had a website that eventually went under. Kiera wanted to create a website of her own after that and she started out by saying we needed forums to stay in contact with each other and discuss work on the site. She found ezboard, but couldn't figure out how to use it. She registered the name "kierayincat", but there was some glitch in the system that wouldn't let her create an ezboard with that username. Cat9 and I created a name called just "kiera" and somehow we were able to circumvent the glitch and create a board with that name instead.

We turned control of the "kiera" account, and thus the board itself, over to Kiera. It was registered as "Kierayincat's Game Center", but Flying Omelette created a banner for it that had a drawing of a pond in the background. Thus, Kiera renamed it to "The Game Pond". Somehow it became hugely successful and popular. We don't really know how, but it doesn't matter.

This was in 1999. Flash forward to 2001. I don't really know all the details of what happened in between and quite frankly, I don't care. But I do know that Kiera told me one day that she was leaving the Game Pond for good because a certain faction of people, an alliance between two groups known as the "N-Siders" and "Team-VZQ", had taken too much control over the board. Troy was friends with James Torrance, the admin of another large ezboard community (the "Outlanders", or something like that), and they confirmed that not only did the N-Sider/Team-VZQ alliance have complete control over the Game Pond, but they were trying to run them out of their own ezboards, too.

Somewhere along the way, James and Flying Omelette were banned from the Game Pond, which caused a mass exodus of people who were friends with them. More people started getting banned for various reasons. Because everyone Troy was friends with had either left or been banned, we took the perfect opportunity to strike...

I won't say exactly how we did it. We prefer that detail to remain a bit of a mystery, but on November 11, 2001, we took complete control of the Game Pond. We got into the control center and revoked admin from almost everyone who had it. We attacked the board in such a way that it disabled anyone using Internet Explorer from being able to view it, giving them the infamous "Blue Screen of Death" if they tried. We attacked the posts of everyone involved with the N-Siders and Team-VZQ - editing and deleting them at will. (We did some other things involving certain ezboard user accounts that, for various reasons, we won't discuss in detail here.)

However, there must have been at least one name we missed revoking admin from because someone got in, took our admin away, and banned both of us. We were both reported to the ezboard staff, and Troy had to leave the internet for a personal reason right afterwards, which led to a rumor that he was globally banned. (Ezboard never did anything to us, for what it's worth.)

For awhile, that seemed like it was the end of it. But then our friend SethraShnoo told me there were still N-Siders/Team-VZQ allies hanging around Port Saiid (FO's forums), attempting to pull the same old tricks as before. I confronted these guys at Deathamster's ezboard, and the following day, my Geocities site was hacked. (I knew it was them because in the previous confrontation, I had said something like, "We killed you fags, we've killed worse fags than you", and the message left on my hacked site said, "So, who's the fags now?") I was under the impression that DHN was their new headquarters since that's where the confrontation had taken place and attacked it in the same way we attacked the Game Pond. Deathamster was pretty angry with me about it... heh.

But anyway, Sethra said that they were still trying to gain control of the Game Pond back (even though it was pretty much dead). So once again, we got into the control center, and this time we changed the name of the board to "Troy and Daryn's Labyrinth of Hell" and left the message you see in the above screenshot to get it through their heads that they lost this fight, it was over, and they needed to get the fuck out of the community.

Here's the question: Since they banned FO and James, why would they still continue trying to control the Port Saiid and DHN communities? Didn't they want to get rid of them? Everyone says it's because without that half of the community, theirs slowly dried up and died completely. People who may have been on the fence as to which faction to take sides with were probably pushed to the FO/DHN side after witnessing the banning incident. (I heard that they purposefully waited until FO paid to have the ad-free service renewed on the Game Pond before they banned her.)

Their way of dealing with this was not to apologize for the banishments, offer to refund FO's money, nor attempt to make amends or compromises to get the community back together again. Their way was to pretend the banishments never happened and flame anyone who said otherwise, calling them "liars" or "people with bad memories", amongst other things.

But our second Game Pond takeover sent a pretty good message and they seemed to vanish after that. Well, that, and I rather relentlessly pranked two of the Team-VZQ ringleaders on Port Saiid until they took off. When they left, their remaining underlings left with them, with the exception of one mentally-challenged subject who still thinks he's living in 2001 and comes by every year to remind us of just how justified we were in usurping his kin's rule.

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