by Alphaville Herald on 30/06/08 at 11:06 pm
History of the Voted5 goons includes amazing revelation — Philip Linden caught in-world accepting bug reports!!
by Mötör Vöted5
[this story appeared in a slightly different form at the Griefer Herald, where the author describes an exploit allowing free transfer of L$ spacebux - part of a tell-all account of a bygone era. While the exploit has presumably been patched, the level of close cooperation between dark lord of the goons, Gene Replacement, and Philip Linden, ex-CEO of the metaverse finally confirms what many have long suspected. - the Editrix]
I was a member of Voted 5 way before the great purge that razed Satyr to the ground and led to the revival of the then defunct w-hat. I joined sometime after the great w-hat civil war (where Voted 5 was splintered from w-hat) and many months before the removal of Satyr from the grid and the banning of several prominent members of Voted 5. Let me tell you, things back then were what one would consider fun. Back then was when griefing was an art.
Gene Replacement was a glorious leader. Gene Replacement, whom many know as Plastic Duck, was what made Voted 5 so popular and famous. The scripts, items, and everything that streamed from him was a marvel to behold. I can even remember Gene Replacement taking a few moments to modify the Linden popgun to exploit most Gorean combat meters. Everything was always done with a fluid motion including keeping all of the SA goons in check.
There was no faggotry allowed in Satyr. The second you came up with the idea to type a 4chan catchphrase was the second you were swiftly kicked from the sim by Gene Replacement. That was, unless you were part of the in-crowd. My memory is fuzzy in regards to those who were in the tight knit clique that circled Gene Replacement and maintained the majority of the power of the group. Names that I can summon from the top of my head are Schwartz Guillaume, Decomposing Monstre, and the “guy in the power ranger suit” whose name escapes me. People like NiceAaron Thetan and Ben Kerensky were overly prominent, but I’m unsure if they made it into the clique that surrounded Gene. Being from the outside one doesn’t know all of the facts.
The fall of Voted 5 was caused by many factors. I suspect, however, that many at the top knew it was coming. Before Satyr underwent a “tiki theme” that led to in-fighting (no one wanted to do a serious theme that wasn’t mocking something) there was a theme called “Tacowood” which was making fun of both the Gorean and Furry sims. The entire sim was cartoony and had a tree similar to the one you’d find in Lost Furest in the middle with everything made of megaprims. The entire ground was made of a megaprim.
The Tacowood theme was great because the description was the same as any other Gorean sim at the time. This led many Goreans to zone in with their slaves in tow and find a welcome of five to twenty weirdly dressed people shouting at them to nadu. A cage was added at the telehub so the Goreans were locked in and given the rules of Tacowood. The ones who escaped the cage (through sitting or reading the rules if I remember right) found themselves in a world that did not welcome them. The odds of their collars being diddled with, their sexgen being raped, and being told to nadu were extremely high. The major source of comedy was often when the slave would not leave because their “master” didn’t give them permission yet.
These were the times when Voted 5 shined for me. There was no mass grid griefing, there was no Patriotic Nigras running about, and the leadership was firm on good solid “goon values”. There was only one major griefing event outside of the sim and that was an invasion of FurNation with everyone dressed as Team Rocket throwing pokeballs at various furries while a Meowth blimp was floating about. Afterwards there was a raid on a few Gorean sims. It was good fun due mostly to the overreaction of the furries and Goreans to these strangers in their sim.
Other raids were simply finding people cybering and stopping in with some form of hilarious image. Often a band would roam about mainland exploring and finding two dots together before a teleport chain would occur. Outside of those two instances most everything was contained within Satyr. Satyr was a sim where you could hang out, talk with fellow goons, and fuck around all you wanted.
This all came to an end, however, when the crew wanted to create a serious sim after Satyr got a lot of publicity for their build. Many people argued and bickered, saying that themes should be for goofing off, but the tiki theme came about anyway. The zone was wiped and the tiki theme was being set up. No one but Gene and his crew were building for it. Eventually, to everyone’s relief, the tiki theme was all but lost to a giant face of Prokofy spewing particles out of her giant mouth. The map also contained a lewd drawing of King of the Hill involving Bobby Hill (a popular image in many “goon image packs”). Then, I would say, the leaders of Voted 5 knew their days were numbered. It seemed that they knew the inevitable was coming and we were giving one final hurrah.
After the purge, Gene Replacement was banned. Satyr was inaccessible. Gene Replacement didn’t go out without a fight though. He held a live funeral where he was buried in some random graveyard sim with build permission. Standing large beside him was a screenshot of his SL account being banned if viewed from the web login. He was still inside the game and a complete renegade from Linden Labs. Did the Lindens purposely not re-ban him? No one knows, but everyone knows he was awesome enough that even Linden Lab couldn’t stop him.
Afterwards everyone fled back to the “homeland” of Baku. Baku who had stagnated over the year was once again revived. The owners of the group returned amongst various rumors of Voted 5′s purge. Everyone left the Voted 5 group and construction began on a new theme for Baku. W-Hat was born again. However, it was born without the leadership that the others provided.
Soon, 4chan took over. You’d see them and their avatars hanging out in Baku land. Soon you could see the discontent of the older generation as they were dissatisfied with the current leadership. Many left SL, many went elsewhere and played with other SL friends, and some stayed. I don’t know specifically how w-hat changed after the few months I followed it passed Voted 5′s removal from the game. However, I do know I’m glad I left. The w-hat I see now is nowhere near as cool as Voted 5. They may want to distance themselves as far away from Plastic Duck as they can, but that won’t change the fact that Plastic Duck is a better leader then they could ever be.
For instance, rumors abound that Plastic Duck had a way to hack SL and steal Lindens from people’s accounts. That rumor is true and I’ve seen it for myself. Gene Replacement and the guy in the power ranger suit were there one night when Gene discovered how to pay someone a negative amount. When you payed someone a negative amount the game would give you the money and take it from them. The best part was that even if they had no Linden the game would still give the money over.
Plastic Duck could have ruined Second Life then and there. It could have been the end of the game. They could have kept the exploit secret and used it to send fake cash all over the grid with different accounts and IP addresses, exchanging those lindens for real world currency before Linden Lab could have noticed. They could have caused more damage than the grid crashing. They could have undermined the entire game and people’s trust into Linden Labs.
IM Chatlogs between Plastic Duck aka Gene Replacement and Philip Linden:
[7:10] Philip Linden: hey there!
[7:10] Gene Replacement: hi what’s up
[7:10] Philip Linden: can I come and talk to you about your reported exploit?
[7:11] Gene Replacement: ok sure but I’m not at a nice place
[7:11] Philip Linden: let’s go somewhere else then.
[7:11] Philip Linden: hang on.
[7:12] Philip Linden: actually let’s talk in IM to be really secure.
[7:12] Gene Replacement: secure
[7:12] Philip Linden: OK so can you tell me the time and source->dest of the test you did?
[7:13] Gene Replacement: honestly, I have no idea. I’ve been messing with packet shaping SL stuff for a few hours last night/today and was messing with various stuff.
[7:13] Gene Replacement: I debited two different avatars and paid them back to do the test.
[7:13] Philip Linden: OK which ones?
[7:14] Philip Linden: I want to look at our logs and see what is there?
[7:14] Gene Replacement: Tiny Marbles and Huns Valen
[7:14] Gene Replacement: I received their permission via voice chat
[7:14] Gene Replacement: I also debited NULL_KEY when testing it, as the idea originally came from modifying asset upload fees and the default avatar paid is NULL_KEY
[7:15] Philip Linden: OK are you referring to a transact between you and him at 3AM this morning?
[7:16] Philip Linden: that is what I see.
[7:16] Gene Replacement: yeah that sounds right
[7:16] Gene Replacement: I was messing with the upload fees a few days ago but wanted to try spoofing the payment source/destination today
[7:16] Philip Linden: there is a ‘gift’ transact of value 1L$?
[7:16] Philip Linden: is that correct?
[7:16] Gene Replacement: to Huns?
[7:17] Philip Linden: there is first a payment from huns->gene, and then backwards.
[7:17] Gene Replacement: yes that is correct
[7:17] Philip Linden: OK so what account were you logged in as when you sent the packets?
[7:18] Gene Replacement: Gene Replacement
[7:18] Philip Linden: So basically you were able to get Huns to xfer to you, though you were logged in as you?
[7:18] Gene Replacement: yes
[7:18] Gene Replacement: it’s really simple I could do it to you
[7:19] Philip Linden: OK
[7:19] Gene Replacement: you are asking me to debit money from you?
[7:20] Philip Linden: can you do it right now?
[7:20] Gene Replacement: yes
[7:20] Philip Linden: OK let’s do that so we have a good record.
[7:20] Philip Linden: XFER L$1 from me to you.
[7:20] Gene Replacement: ok it will take a few mins
[7:21] Philip Linden: OK
[7:22] Gene Replacement: there we go
[7:22] Philip Linden: Got it.
[7:22] Philip Linden: Let me check the logs.
[7:22] Gene Replacement: no I got it
[7:23] Philip Linden: OK I’ve got it confirmed in the logs.
[7:23] Philip Linden: Wow that is a really big problem.
[7:23] Philip Linden: I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the find.
[7:24] Philip Linden: Why we aren’t confirming that event at the server is beyond me,
[7:24] Philip Linden: OK so it looks like we’ve at least got good logs,
[7:24] Philip Linden: which would allow us to look for this happening.
[7:24] Philip Linden: I was still able to see that you were the one who initiated the transfer (from me to you)
[7:25] Philip Linden: so that makes me feel somewhat better in terms of the time it will take to fix.
[7:25] Gene Replacement: this is why an open policy on reverse engineering is a good thing
[7:25] Philip Linden: Obviously please keep under wraps. We’ll probably fix it today.
[7:25] Gene Replacement: yup, I don’t plan on telling anyone how to do this.
[7:26] Philip Linden: OK thanks.
[7:26] Philip Linden: We will be working on it within couple hours.
[7:26] Philip Linden: I
[7:26] Philip Linden: I’m in the office now.
[7:27] Philip Linden: OK talk to you soon.
[7:27] Gene Replacement: ok bye
Instead, Gene and his friend reported it after a long debate in Satyr with what few people were there at the time. The idea of free legit Linden for reporting the exploit was worth more to them then wreaking havoc on the grid. In the end, the exploit was reported and Philip Linden himself showed up and took them somewhere, and an epic screencap was taken. They were given the reward and the security hole was fixed.
Voted 5 wasn’t about griefing or crashing sims. It was about playing a game by goofing off, being silly, and having fun just like most goons do. Laughing at others was a prominent theme but for most of the V5 members it was simple enough to laugh at how lame they were without needing to poke them and make them do something funny.
I do not know what w-hat is like in its current state but the constant bickering with the 4chan group and the way I’ve seen the leadership handle 4channers shitting the place up, the SL Safari, the constant jabs at Prokofy just because she was funny awhile back, and constant press about their ill deeds I can only shake my head. Everyone out there can shun Plastic Duck/Gene Replacement but I would join any group he was leading. I would join even if it wasn’t restricted to Something Awful members. I would join because I believe he knows how to have fun in SL. That’s something lost on most of the playerbase and even the current generation of griefers.