What actually made me report the private server that I have been mentioning in my last two entries was the fact that I had actually stumbled upon sensitive, secret information regarding two of the server’s GMs — it came out that two of the server GMs were using money that had been donated to the server to pay their rent, utilities, and effectively making “being GMs” their full-time jobs, all while failing to divulge that they were doing this with the money that was being donated, and that they wanted to keep this a secret (at least for as long as they could). Given how popular this server still was, and how unethical I knew this was, I made the decision to report the private server (because hosting a private server is not legal) to Gravity’s Korean branch, and I gave them actual proof of what the GMs were doing with the donation money. Apparently, within two weeks of me actually doing this, it came out that Gravity had issued this server a formal cease and desist letter, and they responded to this by shutting down the server. I observed from the sidelines, not saying a word. I suppose it would have been different if the GMs in question had said anything, anything at all, about what they had really been doing with the donation money, but they never once did this. It was apparently supposed to remain a secret for as long as they could prevent it from getting out. (And I don’t think it actually “came out” for years until someone off-handedly mentioned on a message board that yes, two of the GMs were actually using donation money to pay their rent and pay their bills, which I myself had known for years because I still knew people that played that server in… shall we say, positions of authority.)
Some time later, the server made an attempt at “coming back” with a base of operations in another country, apparently an attempt at circumventing the cease and desist with the actual server’s data being located in another country. However, it could never break a player base of 1,000 people when at one point in time between 3,000 and 4,000 people were logged on at any one time. After awhile, it faded back into obscurity. And to be honest, I did feel bad about reporting the server, because a lot of people did play it, and there were a lot of good players on it. But the corruption with that one server seemed like it would honestly never end, and it seemed like it would not stop getting worse. And since this involved people’s money in the form of donation in… extremely questionable ways, I felt that I had no choice but to report the server to Gravity so that it could get dealt with in an ethical way. I felt like my hands were tied in the matter. This wasn’t just some small screw-up, or even a series of small screw-ups, that was occurring. All of these were really large.