Gaming

The Nine-Year-Old Who Ran An Organised Crime Ring On ‘Neopets’ Is The Internet’s New Hero

"This story is like Goodfellas, but with 10-year-olds on Neopets."

Neopets organised crime ring story

For a lot of us 10-year-olds growing up, playing mini-games on Neopets was just a nice way to pass the time after school. For others it was a lucrative business platform to make money by illegally running a rare pet-selling ring.

And that’s exactly what Texas-based software artist, Everest Pipkin, says they did when they were nine.

Reminiscing on their tradition of bi-annually emailing Neopets support to request access to their childhood account, Everest decided to just take matters into their own hands after years of no response.

Doing what they do best by working with code, Everest found a 2013 leak of Neopets information that listed passwords, emails, IP addresses, and dates of birth all in plaintext after hours of clicking around sketchy forums.

After searching around for their dad’s old AOL address tied to their Neopets account, Everest found the password but noticed that it had already been changed.

But instead of mulling over the lost account, Everest instead took the opportunity to remember why they were booted off the platform in the first place — for running a self-confessed “organised crime ring”.

For those who don’t remember how the iconic game worked, Neopets was really all about playing games to earn Neopoints to pimp out your pets with fancy colours.

Turns out, Everest created a business by leveraging every pre-teen’s need to flex on all the other kids in the game. By adopting unwanted pets at the “pound” and pimping them out, Everest was able to create a puppy farm of sorts, which made Everest Neopoint profit.

The reason this plan worked so well was that Everest had procured the elusive “Lab Ray“, which could only be accessed after finding nine Lab Map pieces through a long treasure hunt across the lands in game.

But once you had assembled the Lab Map, you were able to “zap” your pets every day for free. This zap could change your Neopet by giving you Lab Ray-exclusive colours, which, of course, would be exactly what a kid would want to flex on their friends with.

Everest would do this zapping every day, sell the Neopet when it finally became a cool colour, then make a new pet to repeat the process. However, as time went on, this time-consuming task became too much for one nine-year-old to handle, so Everest started an invite-only guild to manage workers interested in making some sweet, illegal profit.

To keep the workers in line, Everest provided the team with a Lab Map, and would given them a percentage of the Neopoint adoption profit when the map was returned.

But after running at such a small profit margin with tedious processes, Everest got both Neopoint and power hungry. Requesting to use and babysit friend’s accounts was simply not enough, so Everest begun hacking into accounts that had been abandoned.

Drunk on power, Everest, as a nine-year-old child, had learned the art of hacking and would change passwords and transfer account access to continue the giant scam.

This process of scamming, stealing, zapping and selling continued for months, where Everest’s guild had collated a thousands of probable passwords and account names.

But as their friends stop playing Neopets, Everest decided to give up Painted Pets Adoption to their second-in-command — until PayPal dropped in 2002.

You see, before PayPal, Everest was simply dealing with Neopoints — a form of currency worth nothing outside of the gaming site. But in 2002, someone offered Everest Neopoints in exchange for US dollars, so naturally they jumped on the idea straight away.

However, Everest’s guild did not feel the same way. The guild were certain that involving real money in this covert Neopets trading scam would get the business shut down and those involved booted off the platform.

Drunk off power, Everest decided to take matters into their own hands by redesigning the guild without permission of the team. Totally ignoring that they had given the 2IC full control of the guild six months prior, Everest made their first deal and managed to earn a sweet $10 USD that was deposited right into an unverified PayPal account.

Continuing this process “dozens of times with different Neopians”, it still wasn’t enough. So Everest decided to backstab their 2IC by taking her login information and bleeding her dry after a deal.

This power trip was ultimately Everest’s demise with the 2IC taking evidence of the organised Neopets crime ring to Neopets Support, who swiftly froze all accounts — including the PayPal account that had never been withdrawn from.

But in an act of sweet justice, Neopets had actually frozen all but one account — the account that Everest has so desperately tried to get back into for years. The same one that has since been hacked into itself, with its password changed and lost forever.

Absolute scenes. Honestly, someone call The Social Network cast and crew to start production on this technological thriller RIGHT NOW.