Gold-farming empire linked to dot-com child abuse scandal

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20 Responses to “Gold-farming empire linked to dot-com child abuse scandal”

  1. Andrew M. says:

    As if I didn’t have enough reasons to hate IGE and their gilsellers…

    Those of us on Alla need to hit them HARD with their links to IGE. Also somepage.com, who also sells ad space to IGE.

  2. Bitgod says:

    Wow, that FC video was awsome.

  3. Stu Mark says:

    I play World Of Warcraft daily, and I use Thottbot many times a week. I’ve even signed up and added information to it, such as coordinates for NPCs and quests.

    Now I have to find an alternative. If I had the time, I’d start one. Is anyone out there willing to do so? I know it’s a tough thing to ask, but I can’t imagine using Thott again. Ugh.

  4. Cornan says:

    Not to sound like a complete dork here but thott’s been dead to me since I found wowhead.com Better web page formating, a nice search engine, and better comment structure than thottbot.

  5. mattymatt says:

    Man, what a crazy story. The full article is well-worth the read.

    Weirdly, back in 2001, I had a run-in with a similar company — I was living in LA, fresh out of film school, and was offered a job as a Tape Op at a company that had aspirations similar to DEN (but less money). They planned to show gay-themed movies and news, bookended by internally-produced host segments. I was to be responsible for simple stuff like hooking up cables and dubbing footage, and I smelled trouble when a boss asked me, “if any of our hosts can’t come in, could you fill in for them on-camera? And would you mind taking off your shirt?” That’s when I said no thanks.

    That company’s still around today, probably because as sketchy as they were, at least they didn’t drug and rape anyone. Yay, I guess?

  6. defty says:

    i can’t say i have ever in my life seen a photo of a person that screamed “sex offender” more so then this photo. the gross grin, that piece of hair swinging over and to top it off, such greasy looking skin, slap a priest outfit on him and you would have a new horror film villain.

  7. neverender says:

    yup!

    wowhead.com

    is where its at!

  8. jackattaway2 says:

    It sounds a little far out to me. I pray for them all.

  9. Stu Mark says:

    Thanks, I will give wowhead a serious look.

  10. jim.cowling says:

    Except that Wowhead was recently bought by ZAM. ZAM used to own IGE but no longer does…except that the two companies just might be owned by the same people. There’s a lot of haze and grey in the ‘divestiture’ of IGE by ZAM.

    So how it boils down is like this: you can’t use Thottbot, Allakhazam or Wowhead without some reasonable risk that a pedophile scumbag isn’t making money from pageviews.

  11. franko says:

    as cartman would say, !@#$%!!

    so if we can’t use thottbot, allakhazam, or wowhead, wtf CAN we use? i don’t want my page click to make some damn pedophile money!

    i just discovered wowhead and thottbot this week, too (new to warcrack, yeah, that’s me… i avoided it for years and *now* look where i am…)

  12. jphilby says:

    Now THAT’s Entertainment!

    Next week on the B!B! network: …

  13. joemenn says:

    For what it’s worth, here is the original 2000 LA Times expose:
    http://www.josephmenn.com/other_den.php

  14. Spinachy says:

    Wowwiki.com is the site I use most often. It’s the best source I’ve found for info on game mechanics, class abilities, and instances, and it has a lot more info on quests (including coordinates) than it used to. I much prefer the site’s format to that of Thottbot. Worldofwar.net is another pretty good source for information and add-ons, and declares itself a gold-ad-free site. Have no idea who owns it, though.

  15. franko says:

    thanks for the info, Spinachy. actually, i like wowwiki, too, so that may be may alternative. i’ve never looked into worldofwar.net, but i think i’ll zoom over there now and check it out….

  16. Stu Mark says:

    WowWiki.com is owned by Michael Davis, registered through GoDaddy. I don’t know if Davis is good or bad, but there’s little info online about him and the stuff that’s there makes him seem like a coder, not a greed-head or anything.

    …just an observation…

  17. Tale says:

    I’ve been telling this story for years (and linking the FC video) on MMORPG boards. But people still fund these creeps by buying gold.

    Most of the gold-selling shopfronts are actually IGE in disguise. They buy out their competitors. Most ‘gold farmers’ in games actually sell their gold wholesale, because it means instant US$ cash, and IGE on-sells it at a mark-up. IGE set up its own parent company and started doing things through subsidiaries, to hide the fact it was still IGE. It’s a very complex web of denials now.

    It’s a company worth hundreds of millions, or more. If you have ever bought gold, you directly caused IGE’s ownership of Allakhazam, Wowhead and Thottbot.

    What goes on in a sweatshop industry of young Asian boys, with rich US sugar daddies at the top? If you have ever bought gold, you funded whatever that means.

    Transactions involving virtual game currencies are also ideal for money laundering. There they are, in Triad territory, with an untraceable way to clean money. What do you think goes on?

    Further reading:
    http://wow.azzor.com/445/truth_about_IGE.php
    http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/business/soa/The-last-pixel-show/0,139023166,120106716-1,00.htm

  18. Tale says:

    Some other entertaining reading, from a journalist who was once employed by DEN:
    http://mattwelch.com/OJRsave/OJRsave/DEN.htm

  19. Silva says:

    #4 defty:
    I was thinking that myself. That has to be one of the most unflaterring, “mug-shot picture taken for sex-offenders registry” looakalike picture I’ve ever seen.

  20. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Matt Welch? Okay, that’s interesting.

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