Keagan valued his online privacy, and valued it heavily. People that knew him personally attributed this to a variety of factors, but all were impressed by the lengths he was willing to go to maintain e-anonymity in an age when it was increasingly easy to strip such away.

All his interactions were carried out through an elaborate proxy system, using server information from as far away as the Philippines and Egypt. He used a specially sanitized computer to interact with the outside, one which had never contained any personal information in any form, and was religious about not bringing over content from his personal machine, which was totally unconnected to any network at all. The entire setup was run off a university server as well, adding yet another buffer.

The reason for all this? A game.

Keagen was, unbeknownst to most, one of the world’s top-ranked players of the Dungeons of Krull MMORPG. He’d one been the number eight player worldwide based on experience points, instanced boss kills, and elite equipment but had slipped to fifteen after a number of Korean players made unexpected headway.

As the world’s most popular MMORPG, with a fanatical following at home and abroad, Dungeons of Krull could be legitimately dangerous. A player in Seoul had been killed by a guildmate who stood to inherit control of a vast amount of treasure in 2007; another had died in Seattle a year later after humiliating a much lower-ranked player in a duel. Radiant Gauntlets of the Seraphim might confer resistance to all missile attacks inside Dungeons of Krull, but they offered no protection against a Beretta.

Advertisements