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Last updated 12:00p 6/30/99

I just want to tell you that I had the priviledge of knowing GM Darwin, and he was one of the coolest people in the UO world. What he did was wrong, but he did it for a noble reason. Call him Robin Hood if you want. Anyway, I want to put to rest any arguments about Darwin's character, he was a kind, cheerful person, and friendly person. Also, if what he did isn't evidence of his character, I dont know what is. He risked losing his job, and possible lawsuits (although there arent any) to help a friend in need. How can you have a better friend than that?

-- Nemesis

Truthfully, I commend Kevin for his honesty and loyalty as a friend. But on the other hand, that is extremely wrong from a moral perspective. If I'm not mistaken he's young, so I can understand the mistake. I'd hate to think about putting that on my resume though :P I'm sure that the references won't be all that forthcoming from OSI when it comes time. Definitely an interesting turn for online games. I'm wondering what laws might be able to be set from issues similar to these.

-- Marduk

This makes me sad...very sad. Man sometimes I wish I didn't know or have an idea what went on behind the scenes at OSI. 10 Months as a variable/temporary employee at $10 an hour must be really hard, I feel for the guy. Now I think I understand why they sat apart and aloof at the last Dev Luncheon I went too. At the same time he really makes me mad for abusing his power...might I have done the same thing...perhaps man its a tough call. I do know that when I ran a ROM 2.4 Mud long ago I used to twink my own characters :(. I think all this will cause is GMs to be much more careful about this. I doubt it will ever stop...

-- Relanor

You sure do have a nice way of shedding light on situations. Nice interview...

-- Dr. TwisTer

This amount of corruption leaves a taste in my mouth that can only be compared to the taste of blackstrap molasses. That warm, gooey, almost sludge-like quality that was entrancing with pancakes and butter, but after biting down makes you wonder where you dumped the oil from your Ford's last jiffy-lube.

It's sick, too bad the pancakes were buggy, it might've been a decent meal.

When I watch the Fox network, I can see all manner of police shows. I can see actual policemen on the job, dealing with irate, incoherent people. Of course, under the camera these men do seriously appear to be tackling the daunting task of making sense of events as recanted by people in such a state of panicky thoughtlessness as to make you wonder how they find the bottom of a toiletbowl with their piss when the policemen aren't around.

I'm going to make the assumption that your interview with Mr. Roseler was real, and not satire. I hope I'm being neither presumptuous, nor dense.

[Kevin] Ahh, where to start... well, most of what the little jerk said was true.. there is no denying what I did. A really good friend of mine was and is going through a very very rough spot in life... he is having marriage troubles... and needed to get out of debt fast in order to try and save his marriage...

...well,, kinda a long time ago, like when that first account was sold. I mean I knew if I was caught that I would be fired. But, if I had to do it all over I would do it again... a friend needed me and I stick by my friends.

A small, trite word comes to mind while reading that..... oh yes, it's "Moron". Now, I will not get into the argument that Christ started so long ago by asking the first person who hasn't gone against the virtues to cast the first stone paver. Certainly we've all done something on the job that could be classified as misuse of resources/position that could cause the systems that we work for to take disciplinary action. Whether it be arriving 5 minutes late back from lunch, or miscalculating your travel miles on your car, we've all done it. That's not disturbing, and it's probably as old as the hourly wage. What's disturbing is Mr Roseler stating quite clearly that he would, "Do it again."

This world that he (now) was god in is a place where hundreds of thousands of people come for a level playing field. And this loser, believing that dishonesty at work is somehow the better method of supporting his friend, would twice violate a game that all of us expect to be a fair game, a virtual world of steadfast laws? Who is it better for when people think so selfishly as to discount the experience of thousands of people, so as to make a pathetic amount of cash to help a friend who's been a little loose with their checkbook? The personal financial troubles of one person are not worth the destruction of the trust of thousands of people. You're poor, your friends are poor? So what, shut up and and stop the fucking whining. It's called welfare, I've lived with it, so have millions of others. It's not a bruise that you can't tell your next girlfriend about, it's almost a badge of honor to have been poor and maintained your sense of humor. What Darwin did was wrong, he killed and yet he would do it again? Move over counselor rennovation, lets talk about rennovating the GM screening process. If the people hired to police this game decide that profit is more important than keeping the game fair for everyone, AS IS PROVEN BY THE REACTION TO NIGHTHAWK'S WHINING, then the game is simply revealing itself for what it was... diablo 2.

Welcome to Diablo 2. No, cheating doesn't come in easy-to-swallow/download tablets... instead you must use your powers of bardic persuasion to entice the gods of the land into placing your duped buildings for you, that is if you can pry them away from the html of eBay.

-- Rainman

This whole incident is just another saga in the battle between the players and OSI. The trust is broken further each time, and now no player will probably ever trust a GM, ever. This also goes to show that Darwin is likely a selfish asshole. How can one do this in the first place let alone say they would do it again? How can a few extra bucks be worth viloating the trust of thousands of, people? Thats not exactly right. Neither should OSI giving nighthawk boat loads of items, although this is a greater justification for that. It was a replacement for his lost earnings, not a personal ebay ticket. Would have been easier to just keep him banned. Although thats another story there.

As far as twister goes, OSI needs to exercise one of their commandments on his ass, Thou shalt be terminated ("Further, Origin Systems reserves the rights to terminate the Service at any time without further obligation to you."). The world could be a happier place.

-- Inherent

How to start this off? Heres a thought. TwisTer is one immature little fucknut. Why? Because of a GAME, an ONLINE GAME, an INTERNET(and very stressful at times) FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT, he cost someone their job. As you can tell simply by reading his posts as of late, hes been fed up with OSI, claiming everyone who doesn't give him the help HE feels he deserves, is fucked up. Normally I just shrug off TwisTer's bullshit, but this time it hits really close to home.

GM Darwin has always been one really nice guy. At Jhelom bank, in Catskills, he one time dressed up the town cryer in a pirates outfit, and gave the bankers neon colored hair, just for a laugh with a few players. I had the opportunity to talk to him, and hes pretty understanding, and a really cool guy. Now I'm not going to start some sob case story, but you get the point I'm trying to say, I hope.

Bottom line - TwisTer should of just blew off his steam and let things go. But no. Thats not TwisTer's style. He pry got dozens of E-mails saying "d3wd u shuud get bak at him", and, as we all know TwisTer the show-boat LOVES to "give the readers what they want", he went off and spent countless hours and got someone fired who was simply trying to help a friend of his.

In my eyes, the real man here is Darwin. He didn't just disappear, he stated loud and clear what he did, and why he did it. At least he has the balls to admit what he did was wrong. TwisTer on the other hand, is one little boy who needs to grow up and mature to the level of realizing when a game is a game. I don't care how blue the thief was, it wasn't worth digging up dirt on a GM who, even though he did something wrong, was one of the damned best GMs out there. Oh well, as we know, TwisTer only cares about two things: Getting # 1 on his top 100 list, and "doing the UO audience a favor". Heres a favor he can do for me; He can take his thumb, shove it up his ass, and rotate.

-- Rankal

Subject: *looks at ring in Lum's nose*

Well Lum...I got to admit, that was a nice interview. Kevin sure did make himself look like such a good guy! You all share a beer afterwards? You know...I really like the part about him doing it for his friend....and that he didn't get dime one! How noble Kevin! You know for a strugling parent with a friend with such HUGE financial debt...I just dont know how you managed to do this. Looks like his "friend" was in dire need of several computers and all kinds of cool shit....I bet that 19" flat screen saved the marriage eh? What a hypocrite..... Lum....I expected better from you....

-- Brules

I was thinking about all this GM Darwin mess and I gotta say the more I think about it the more I'm amazed it's taken this long for something like this happen.

In my opinion with the amount that GMs are paid, combined with the potential benefits they can reap from abusing their powers, the GM Darwin kind of abuse is inevitable and if anything will accelerate.

Lets examine a hypothetical GM. Now GM Kewl is a 22 year old college student working at OSI for spending money at college. Now he gets paid $10 an hour. Assuming he works 40 hours a week, which is probably an too much, but just for arguments sake we'll go with the standard 40 hour work week. So before taxes he's pulling in $400 a week. $800 a month.

Now lets say GM Kewl has the oppurtunity to set up an operation in which he creates UO money and deeds in exchange for RL dollars. Now GM Kewl is a sneaky bastard and has no desire to get busted like the altruistic GM Darwin. So he goes to great lengths to conceal his identity and what he's doing. He has a dorm friend sign up for an account and uses that one from a dial out service instead of the schools internal network. Useing his friend's account he networks with other players, maybe gets in contact with the powerplayer, kewl dood, UOP usin element that doesn't give a damn about the rules. Then he uses his GM char to creates tons of cash or regs or rare items or whatever for the rule breaker friends in exchange for cold hard RL cash. Either that or he could just go the ebay route but be smart about it. I doubt he'd get caught.

Then you have a situation of a guy making $800 a month, probably much less than that, pulling in over 1k in a weekend. How can you expect at least some of the GMs not to fall for this kind of temptation. When a kid can pull in up to 6 or 7k a month if he's good, and all he faces if he gets caught is the loss of a crappy $10 an hour job he could replace in two seconds with his computer skills. I mean that's really serious money. Especially for someone in college. Hell that'll keep the cheap beer and pizza coming non stop all year, or pay for a car, or an apartment, or tution, ect. This is just too much money for the GMs not to cheat. OSI either needs a network of NARCs in the game to catch the GMs or a Internal Affairs type organization that keeps tabs on the GMs. Of course considering they won't even pay $10 an hour for a couple extra college kids so there is a GM on every shard all the time, I don't think my ideas are gonna be implemented soon.

Not matter what GMs are gonna cheat. OSI just has to find a way to contain them.

-- Nicademus

ok...i dont think TwisTer did anything wrong posting about darwin, or any other gms or osi...i expect it... but...the thing i question, is why he sounded so pissed? or why anybody would be so pissed?...if TwisTer found a way to dupe castle deeds, him and all his freinds would be rich in game..and at least a couple would think the words Ebay..and get a little cash in real life... look heres a guy with a way to get that gold in game...and he thought far as i can tell hes no diffrent then TwisTer... and yes a lot of other players would do the same thing..this meens YOU...really ask yourself..put your self in the position that Darwin portrayed himself to be in...would you risk your job to help a friend? what if you thought you could do it without getting cought? hell what if there was no friend and you just saw a way to make cash? you're looking at temptation here...i mean look at the world we live in...where a lot of people are convinced that money is the only way to gain happiness...

-- Grim

Criminals *always* have 2 things to say. They either deny all connection with the crime, or they have some sort of bleeding-heart justification for it. I'm wondering if Darwin didn't work at UO, but worked at say...a bank - would he steal 7k from the vault to fund his noble "Robin Hood" scheme?

I'm sorry. Darwin broke the trust of thousands of people, and permanently damaged the reputation of the remaining UO staff. For that he should never be forgiven, and for that - he should never work in this industry again. Clearly, this guy has no sense of morals and proper behavior. I shake my head at the failure of his parents to instill the basic tenants of right vs wrong and "the end does not justify the means". I once had a high opinion of Darwin, but he showed himself to be a man of no class and his "hey I put my head on the block for a friend" excuse just sounds like all the voices coming out of the penetentary windows. "I needed to buy food, so I robbed the QuickieMart!" please. How insulting.

-- Bob

Some Monday you had there - Revealed Twister's Identity as well as the fact that he used to be (may still be for all we know) one of those pathetic blue robe wearing souls! Also got that interview with Kevin, which is kind of the point of my writing.

I've read some of the replies you've received, which only inspires me to write more. The majority of people seem to be pulling behind this guy which can only make me wonder WHY??? Besides for the fact that we live in an overly liberal country I can see no reason why anyone would side with a criminal - and thats exactly what he is!

"I'm going to say this one more time..." (quote included for all you damn liberals out there) The guy STOLE from the company. His reasoning behind it is irrevelant. It is my feeling that OSI should prosecute this guy for theft - or even worse, contact the IRS anonymously concerning unclaimed wages on his behalf - that'll teach the fucker!

It is impossible to feel sorry, or even wose, look up to someone who feels a sense of contempt for his employer for only paying him 10$/hr (which is a bit more then I made while working full time to pay for college tuition and what-not) and decides to take it in his own hands to generate an additional salary (regardless of its use) for himself! Now, as one of your repliers earlier indicated, we all cheat in some way or another but there is BIG fucking difference between stealing a coke out of the company refrigerator without putting the .50 in the soda fund and ripping off nearly 8 THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!

Now do I see OSI in the same light as before? Well pretty much so. Its common knowledge that there is favoritism in the game and probably a little bit of corruption here and there, but in light of the recent story I believe OSI has a responsibility to all of us that kick in 10$/month to procecute this slimeball as (and many of you liberals might not see it this way) by flooding the market with his "fool's" gold he inadvertantly lowered the value of the rest of our gold that we earned through honest channels. Once again I feel compelled to include another liberal favorite... "Its the Economy Stupid!".

Take it how you will Lum, but don't ever feel sorry for the criminal! May the prick rot in some Texas jail!

-- Cynic (part of that vast right-wing conspiracy)

There are comments on here from people who say that the guy was real nice etc etc and was just helping out a friend. This just has to be the most lame stuff I have ever read. The guy was a crook, a thief a real life scoundrel. After he gets caught he 'comes clean' and this somehow makes him OK? LOL

And this poor soul only gets paid 10 bucks/hour ? Ah, my heart bleeds. I mean, its such a real hard job is it not. Cruel OSI. I mean, GM on a GAME should earn you what ? 50K, 100K year at least. Tell the people who have to work in McDonalds about this poor guys hard life.

As to how he was detected and the rewards or not given to this Nighthawk character ? Well, all I can say is SO WHAT ? BIG DEAL. Please tell me how it effects other players. All the people complaining are just bitching or plain jealous. I don't play on his shard but I COULD NOT CARE LESS.

If it was not for all the lamers that go out and buy accounts/gold etc on ebay for real money then this would not have happened. I personally do not think that real money should be allowed. Its one thing to use virtual gold via UOMarket to buy things, another to use real life cash.

A final comment. Sure I bitch big time bout bugs in the game. I admit that. But, I get on with playing the game. I do not get jealous over other people. And in my opinion that is what a lot of this is all about. Nighthawk got his reward. You might think it unfair or whatever. Just get on with playing and forget it. If it has a direct effect on you then all well and good. But please, save me the in game morality issues. Real life is more important, and what Darwin did was a real life issue.

-- Mick

I read the Darwin Saga and the whole thing sent my Spidey-Sense tingling. For the love of all that is Holy, does GM Darwin expect me to believe that what he did was anything but total and utter bullshit? Everything out of this kid's mouth is self-serving crap. It's not bad enough that he stole from the company he worked for. Or that he got caught because he worked over a customer so bad that the guy actually made it a mission to bring him down. Now we're supposed to get all weepy because OSI doesn't get tough on harassers, and because one of his friends is on the outs with the missus (maybe if he stopped playing UO so much, his marriage might be in better shape, but I digress).

If you take a snapshot of Darwin and examine it from a distance you see a young individual who's idea of working is getting paid 10 bucks an hour to play a video game. You would think that a sane individual, when faced with the hardships life is certain to dish out, could think up several legal ways to earn extra money before deciding that stealing from his company was "a-okay." I guess nothing expresses friendship more than fucking over someone else, cause hey, your pal deserves it more. Everyone needs to realize that what Darwin did was illegal, immoral, and worst of all, just fucking lazy. What a lazy bastard. Your friend needs you man, go show some balls and get a part time job at Dairy Queen to help him out.

I know that we all hate OSI and nothing would please us more than to see the collective whole slide under a gas truck and taste their own blood. I also understand how easy it is to take the side of a hard working, underpaid employee over that of the rich corporation who's only concern is raking in the dough. But we are smart enough to understand that both those concepts are stereotypes. Individual people have good opportunities to earn the money they need to survive, and businesses can't let anyone steal from them for any reason, regardless of how much money they pull in every quarter.

Darwin, this Bard would ask that if you look back at this and learn anything, please realize that your friend was in need of your help. Stealing dishonored him, you, and the validity of his struggle. Remember that the hardest of times are the moments that define who we are. When the chips are down, it's not time to cave in, it's time to show everyone what you are really worth. I look back on the last three years of my life and see the hardships I had to endure. My dad had heart surgery, my mom died unexpectedly and I lost my job. Brother, let me tell you, nothing brought out the best in me more than all the crap I've had to endure. I can look back and see how much stronger, wiser, and confident I am for having experienced it. Don't cheapen the events that unfold to determine who you are by giving up. You may not acomplish all your goals, but the main goal should be the struggle itself. In the end, that's what's going to matter.

And to everyone else reading who wants me to lay off Darwin and attack OSI, the real enemy, I ask that you consider this: Nothing sold more copies of TSR's Dungeons and Dragons than a copy of the players manual and several blood stained character sheets being found next to a group of teens who offed themselves. The more of a stank we make out of the ongoing Soap Opera that is Ultima Online, the more money these people are going to rake it. Things seem in disarray, but bet your paycheck that somewhere there is a smoke filled boardroom where people in suits are laugh. I understand that we all enjoy rants, and controversy...and that's normal and human. Just realize when you complain publicly that you're perpetuating it. Like I am right now.

-- Samwise

Now about this Darwin guy - I hate to say it, but it's time for you to bring out the hot pinchers and bamboo needles. He claims he was doing what he thought was right. So let's examine the ethics of his statements, and see how close he came:

Don't you go taking advantage of my master because his servant's no better than a fool. You've spoken very handsome all along, put me off my guard, talking of Elves and all. But handsome is as handsome does we say. Now's a chance to show your quality.
- JRR Tolkein, LOTR

Ethics 101: Friends, Love, and Marriage
"here is no denying what I did. A really good friend of mine was and is going through a very very rough spot in life...he is having marriage troubles... and needed to get out of debt fast in order to try and save his marriage."

First of all, I hate to say it but if your relationship is breaking up it ain't purely because there's no money. Didn't you ever see Bill Murray in THE RAZOR'S EDGE? He was working as a coal miner and hardly had enough money to buy those 16 books a day he read in seedy bars but he and his woman were HAPPY. The Ingalls had some rough times, like the time the bank was going to foreclose on their farm, but it only brought them closer together! So don't give me crap about how you're saving your friend's marriage by giving him the proceeds of your larceny, and don't delude yourself about that either.

However, I don't see an ethical problem with giving a friend money, I just think it's stupid to think it's going to save his friend's marriage. I'm not willing to let him use the marriage as an excuse, but I am willing to ignore it. So let's just skip the rest of that and say that Kevin had a friend who needed to get out of debt fast. So he abused his power to make that happen, and he said he would do it again because he thought it was the right thing to do.

It's not. I refuse to believe Kevin had no other means to help his friend than to lie and cheat. This was just the easiest way for him to do so - easy if you don't have any moral considerations about stealing from your employer. I think maybe if your friend has no place to live, or needs a kidney or an abortion, or doesn't have enough food to eat, you could be excused for helping them. But not to just get them out of debt or save a foundering marriage. And even then, if you are going to do something wrong to help someone you don't get to cry foul when you are caught at it and must pay the price for what you have done.

ETHICAL FALLACY #1: Thinking the ends justify the means. Maybe they do, maybe they don't - it's often a gray area. What is NOT gray is that the ends are never an EXCUSE for the means. You are responsible for your actions, regardless of what high-minded purpose they were for.

"But, if I had to do it all over I would do it again... a friend needed me and I stick by my friends" - I stick by my friends, too. But sticking by your friends is being there for them, offering them an ear to bend or a burger to eat or a place to crash. Maybe offering your advice, too, although that tends to fuck things up almost as bad as offering them money. Sticking by your friends is NOT stealing from your employer to help them pay their VISA bill.

Ethics 102: Rationalization
"There are so many that are never reported. I mean, I am sure all the GM's have done, none were caught for it while I was there"
"But, the lure is always there... I mean, I am sure others GM's have done it or are doing it."
Lots of guys speed - so sure, just tell that to the traffic court judge - just say "Your honor, I see thousands of people speeding every day and NONE OF THEM got caught! This isn't fair!", then rip up the ticket. You don't get to weasel out of doing a Bad Thing by pointing out others are doing the same Bad Thing without being held accountable. It doesn't work that way.

Doing something wrong is doing something wrong. Kevin might be claiming Origin's response was out of line with his actions - I think he should consider himself lucky that he's not being sued or charged over this. Lum, you seem to think it's a pretty arcane and unenforcable "crime" - I think you know as well as I that Origin got taken to the tune of 8 grand and if they were serious they would have no trouble at least recovering that in a civil case.

"He is the one that actually turned me in. What does he get for all this? A placed Castle and much more."
"You can see how strict they are about racial harassment there"
"ahh that was bullshit."
"and now this bullshit letter they post on the site"
"Total bullshit if you ask me."
Again, lots of guys are idiots, or do things the wrong way, or are full of bullshit. I think, though, if I had just betrayed the trust of thousands of people while lying to my company and stealing from them I'd be concentrating more on apologizing and less on going on the warpath. I see lots of idiots every day, the world seems to be full of them. I'd love to punch a few of them out, or barring that maybe undermine the integrity of their company by profiting from abusing my position. It wouldn't make doing either of those things right. When you've done something wrong, it doesn't make it right that you did it to someone who was a lummox or a jerk. And it only makes you look like an asshole to consistently and constantly bad mouth the people you either betrayed or who caught you in your betrayal.

ETHICAL FALLACY #2: Rationalizing one's actions by pointing to those of others. As the saying goes, if a million people say an untrue thing it is still an untrue thing. You cannot rationalize doing something that is immoral by doing something immoral, and you cannot lessen your own faults by pointing out faults in others. Ethical behavior is not a zero-sum game.

"I am not upset or mad with OSI about my my termination as it was my fault, just the way it was handled and now this bullshit letter they post on the site... that is just plain classless" - damn, what did you want, an apology from Lord British as you were escorted out by security? This is a nice boilerplate but it's undermined by the constant complaints and rationalizations that precede it. Nice try, no cookie for you.

Ethics 103: Lying, and thinking you can get away with it.
"Now that being said, there is the thought that I got something out of this.. well I did, I helped a friend and did not make a dime."
"All I can say was that I was helping a friend that needed help."
Let's look into this. Kevin's reported e-bay id, imagine691, sold UO merchandise exclusively for a total of $8,163.89 over the month from 5/20 to 6/20 (who knows how much longer he would have gone on if he had not been caught?). Over the same time period he was the winning bidder on e-bay in $4730.75 worth of merchandise, mainly computers and electronics. In April he also spent $1500.00+ on items. And that's just the stuff he WON, he BID on about a dozen other auctions during the period he was, as a last desperate resort, selling UO gear to save his friend's marriage.

The question is: did Kevin do this because what his friend's marriage REALLY needed was not money but a couple of PIII systems with big-ass monitors? Maybe his buddy's wife was going to leave him if he didn't get her those Mickey Mouse salt shakers? Is Kevin a hero, or just a greedy little shit looking for an easy buck to get a faster computer?

I've looked into this and it seems imagine69, or [email protected] (alternatively known as [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], and ICQ# 5368579) was the one doing all this buying and selling, and that this is the same as both Kevin Roseler and GM Darwin. Dejanews searches on these addresses show a stance on cheating and getting caught that is, well, kinda ironic. But that, as Kevin's literary namesake might say, is another story.

Anyway, maybe Kevin was helping a friend, but it seems pretty likely he either was helping himself at the same time or he kept his "new computers" budget separate from his "friends in need" budget. I'm not going to make any firm accusations, but it's my guess Kevin should have learned by now you can get caught lying and cheating.

ETHICAL FALLACY #3: If you got somewhere tough by lying, just get out with more lying! Lying is, y'know, BAD, nnokay?

"I know a lot of you hate me." - I'd never heard of Kevin before this and I haven't played UO in over a year. But DAMN if he's not the one guy who's manage to make me think LESS of Origin and it's customer support so far this month...

Bad monkey!

" Would I do it again? I am not sure, but my guess is yes." - thank god you're not going to get the chance, Kevin. Let's just hope you get a better handle on right and wrong before someone puts you in a position of responsibility again.

Kevin has said what he did was wrong and that he doesn't have issues with being fired. At the same time he says he would do it again and claims he was doing it to help a friend. A few people have said he was a cool guy and he turned bankers' hair neon-colored (possibly while he was one of the one or two GMs responsible for a shard?). Other people point the finger at the system or the folks that turned him in.

I've heard people saying Kevin is a "real man" and a loyal friend for what he did. No, I'm sorry, he is just a stupid kid who tried to make an easy buck. Kevin was placed in a position where he had the trust of thousands of people, and where he had real power to affect their level of service and their experience in an endeavor they were each paying money each month for and investing untold hours in. He abused that power and betrayed their trust for profit. It doesn't matter what he did with the money, and even so it seems pretty obvious his stories about a friend in need are almost total hooey. And he says he would do it again.

Kevin blew it, folks. He should not be admired. He should be ashamed of what he did, and contrite. And he should learn from his mistake, because next time it might be his family or friends he fucks over, and he might do some real damage. And all of you gullible cheerleaders out there better be careful before you turn him into a martyr and make a greedy, lying, kid who got caught doing a bad thing and then tried to weasel out of it this month's poster child for ethical behavior.

FINAL COMMENT: Kevin, on Dejanews: "You know... iT's the fuckers like your sorry cheating ass that ruin this game... ;/ Get a fukcing clue will you? I mean why do you have to cheat? Is it to ruin others gaming time? I would just really like to know... "

I'd like to know, too, Kevin. Did you figure it out yet?

-- Rick

Darwin was a thief, plain and simple. He had a job getting paid $10 an hour to work on a game that we pay to play. Everybody feels they should be paid more for the job they do but using company assets to make extra money on the side is wrong and illegal. I would love to have a job doing that kind of work for $10 an hour. By using inside info and power to make more money from people by cheating others and stealing from the system is unjustifiable. Trying to turn it into an American have-have not issue is like saying since you are driving a better car than I am, I should have the right to take you car and use it for my own needs. In fact I have a friend that needs to go to the doctor's office, so since that is a noble thing I am doing to help a friend, it should be ok with you, right?

His buddy needed money? His buddy can try working and going to a credit counselor. If his marriage is in trouble, a marriage counselor might be more helpful than taking money that Darwin stole in the first place. There are free counselors out there that do a great job helping people out of the hole. It just involves taking some responsibility for poor financial decisions. Darwin should have directed his friend to a resource that would have actually helped his friend learn not to repeat his mistakes instead of scamming others including his employer.

I cannot see feeling sorry for Darwin because he has a wife and child. I am a wife and have children. My husband and I try to teach our kids that stealing is wrong. Period. No excuses.

Darwin's use of his friend as an excuse for committing a crime, blaming OSI and trying to pass the buck on to Nighthawk is cowardly and immature. He is a GM that abused his power and was stupid enough to have a scam he knew he could get fired for running openly on the Web.

Somone commented that because he is young, it is understandable. His age is not a factor, his lack of character and integrity are the issue. If he is truly only 22 years old, he should have considered himself lucky that he had a job making that much.

-- AD

Most of the talk has been about player relations and GM trust, etc. But many people don't realize the broader issues of the Darwin story.

Origin would've released pretty much the entire story by now, but they want to cover their asses. And they got a good reason, too. Origin isn't stupid. They know perfectly well the players know the entire story by now, that isn't the reason they haven't released anything. The reason is simply because they don't want this to turn into a nation-wide story.

Think about it. The fact that Ultima Online accounts are selling so much on eBay isn't just limited to Origin's player base. I saw a few articles in Newsweek, The Washington Post, and USA Today about it. Origin I'm sure loved this, because it showed people how good Ultima Online was.

But now you have this Darwin thing. If three major National news organizations published articles on accounts being sold, nothing would stop them from posting this stuff on Darwin. Probably wouldn't make the headlines, but it would be there. And these are huge newspapers, think of all the gaming magazines, internet sites, etc. This WOULD make their headlines, and would give Origin a terrible image. But Washington Times and Happy Puppy most likely don't visit Dr. TwisTer and your page regulary. The gaming sites, however, probably do keep tabs on And the large commercial entertainment sites probably keep tabs on the other gaming sites. And Newsweek and USA Today probably keep tabs on the commercial gaming sites.

What am I getting at? Pretty much a blown-up scandle for Origin if word gets out about this past the UO player base. This is definately not good for Origin.

This probably also has a connection with why all they did was fire Darwin and haven't really made any public actions about it besides that. While they could probably bring it to court, they won't. Most of all because the case would probably get dismissed, but also because again they want to keep this as low-key as possible.

Here's something else to think about...Dr. TwisTer is part of a larger gaming site called GameHut, and I'm sure they know about Darwin...

Okay, damn, that took a long time to write. Anyways, Dr. TwisTer is slowly getting his server back up after the move to wherever the hell GameHut moved his servers, so thats all I have to say.

-- Ishamel of Catskills

I got bored, so after reading all the complete bullshit surrounding this story, I decided to just do some old fashion number crunching. Now I don't care what Darwin and his wife say, because if he truly felt what he did was wrong then there would be none of this "I did it for a friend." That's like saying "Yes, I stole this man's wallet, but let me tell you why." To say your are wrong and then give excuses is nothing but a tactic to bring people to your side. What is really being said by Darwin is "Yes, I'm wrong from your point of view, but look at it from my point of view...." To add to the fact, the two defense stories sound so cooked. "I did it for a friend in trouble," and "All the purchases on eBay were for his mom." Next will be "Ok, honestly, I didn't want it public, but I did it for my son because he needs an operation." I don't mean to sound like an insensitive bastard, but there is to much sympathy invoking going on with these excuses to believe it. To borrow a phrase from a friend of mine when talking about the Kosovo conflict, something just doesn't add up.

But numbers always add up, and that brings me to the point of this. I don't care who you are, in personal finance there are two cashflows: incoming cash and outgoing cash. Under that idea, I added up all Darwin's eBay sales of UO goods and all his purchases made on eBay after the first UO item sold:

Total eBay Sales from UO Items: $8163.89
Total eBay Purchases after 6/1: $4750.75
Funds Remaining: $3413.14

Whichever way you cut it, whoever the computer parts, salt shakers, and whatever bought on eBay were for, and whether or not he helped his friend, it doesn't matter. Over a 3 week period he took in roughly $8200 and spent $4800. Technically he may have not have gotten a dime from his eBay sales. He could have already had $4800 to begin with, and directed the money from eBay to help his friend. But if he HADN'T sold stuff on eBay, and being the good guy he makes himself out to be, the $4800 he hypothetically had otherwise would have gone to help his friend, thus he wouldn't have been able to buy all the computer stuff "for his dear old mom."

I would be willing to bet he had auctions ongoing through eBay when OSI busted him. This probably would have pushed his little intake up to $10K. God knows if eBay is the only auction site he sold stuff on. You're so right about this Lum, I totally understand how this will destroy UO. Who's going to trust a GM now? So many jokes will be made of this like "What took the GM so long? Oh, his auction on eBay was closing." GM's thought they had trouble getting respect before? They will NEVER be respected now. The ones who are trusted will now have shadows of doubt cast over them. And it's all the work of one man. To paraphrase Dennis Miller: You're a punk, Darwin. A bad guy. Go to hell.

-- Mority

There is absolutely no way that the letter from Alysha Roseler can be real.

1) The letter is well though out and well written.

2) The author is obviously mature and intelligent.

Are we supposedly gullible enough to beleive that someone as rude and childish as Darwin could land someone like that? I don't think so! I think you've been duped LUM! :-)

-- ReliX

Hey there Lum, hows life in Ultima 90210? I havent seen this much shit stirred up since 'who shot JR' was the question of that day as pertains to THINGS THAT DONT MATTER like online video games and television shows. Some people need to stop obsessing over this (except you because you make me laugh, in a ha ha kind of way) GM Darwin did this, OSI is covering up that, Dr Twisted is really the Chinese spy who is stealing secrets from the United States and plans to use the secrets to blow OSI out of the water if Vador's murder count isnt reversed, ya know, shit like that. I know your a middle aged guy who probably gets a kick out of all these teenagers who are so hell-bent over a video game. While our first ammendment is slowly being taken away 'the leaders of the future' are concerned about a guy who held a meaningless job (in the grand sceme of things) making gold as a side business to help his friend (or so he says). First of all, WHO CARES? If you have been playing this game for more than 16 minutes you know shit like this goes on (unless your a roleplayer) and let it go with the attitude 'as long as its not happening to me it doesnt matter' unless your dr twister who makes his personal mission to try and sink OSI and everyone attached. Ill be blunt, GMs have done things for me, GMs have done things for A LOT of people I know. GMs decorated a large brick that belonged to a guildmate of mine because it was a GM's mothers. GMs do things they 'arent supposed' to do on a daily basis. Granted Darwin's scheme went a little further than giving a guy black hair or placing a fountian on the porch of a large smithy, like $7,000 further, but thats not really the point, the point is stuff like this goes on every day and has gone on since the begining of Ultima Online and MU's. For fucks sake it even went on in those paper and pencil RPGs when you would finish up for the day take you character sheet home, with nobody watching you add a couple points of wisdom here and a point or two of strenght there and everything was kosher. Anyway Real World is on MTV now and I have to go watch it because its funny and amusing, like you. I dont know if this made sence at all, my point really when I read about congress passing ammendments to the constitution to slowly limit my rights (more so than already) it kind of makes me think. What if everyone that plays UO and takes the time to write you or twister or UO vault a full page about how shitty UO is and how much it could be imporved took the time to write about how shitty America is and how much it could be improved then mabey things would get better. hmm I lost myself on that last one, and your making me miss my fantasy world on MTV. Thanks you for reading, if you got this far.

Oh yeah I forgot to add if I were GM Gunganine Ebay would be covered with gold and houses I made. Take a poll on this question please... As a teenager did you ever steal ANYTHING from an employer? be it a cheese burger if you worked as a whopper flopper or a coke if you worked at a grocery store. Im not condoning stealing, or saying I rip off my employer as an adult but as a teenager employed at a grocery store I did, on occasion 'borrow' a coke and forget to pay for it here and there. Even taking an hour lunch insted of a 45 minute lunch is stealing. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. I would wager dollars to donuts that 75%+ of the people (including OSI employees) who read your have done or are currently doing the same thing. Or mabey not and Ill burn in hell alone for eternity, well me along with the Back Street Boys.

-- Gunganine the water slave

Let me start by saying I have never played UO. I have worked as a GM in another online game, and currently enjoy playing Everquest. Reading through these points and counterpoints regarding what Kevin/Darwin did, I had a 3rd person observation I wanted to make.

People are trying to use the extreme examples of embezzlement or the taking of an employer's paper clips to put what was done in perspective. Both are poor examples at best.

A company whose product is a massively multiplayer online game is very different than most other companies. Their product has to continually prove itself to its customers. The moment a customer quits having fun, regardless of the reason, they will quit purchasing the product and move on to something else.

Most people that play games like UO want there to be a level playing field, an assurance that for their monthly fee, they have the opportunity to stand on equal footing with everyone else in the game. What Kevin did severely disrupted this game integrity. Now there is a perception that the staff is corrupt, that there is no level playing field. This disgusts many people, and will lead to their general displeasure with the product. Displeasure with a product in turn leads to people canceling their accounts, thus lessening OSI's profits.

Kevin did not reach into the till and snatch $7000 while no one at OSI was looking. The money he recieved would never have been seen by OSI in any case. But, he didn't just steal a paper clip, either. While not being the only problem OSI has with UO (from what I've read), this event tarnishes OSI's and UO's reputation as a company and product respectively, which stealing a paper clip does not. It also adds to customer's displeasure with the game, pushing them closer to the point where they give up and take their business elsewhere.

-- Charles