Spaff originally called the site "Free the Pedos" - but it was Aristotle, long before Kipling, who taught us the formula, "that is another story."
Even when people weren't perverting the LucasArts games in a sexual manner, they could still be using them in highly inappropriate ways. The music you hear when you're being chased by the cook in Monkey Island 2 was never meant as a form of torture. It was certainly never meant to be triggered on Remi's machine, by Huz, on IRC, when Remi couldn't find a way of stopping it .
And though he is not LucasArts related, a character called Joey the Fish terrorised the Mojo forums for a while, picking intellectual fights with the users, and likewise harassing people on IRC. The battle culminated when Joey "hacked" The SCUMM Bar, placing his fish image over the logo, and causing the owner of the site, Skyfox, to exclaim "holy Manchester!!"
Sometimes users were supposed to annoy and insult each other, though: such was the case with Mojo hosted site, The Monkey Island Sword Club. The idea here was to go on IRC and act out insult sword fighting in real time, with original insults, and someone refereeing. Outside of the sword club, when people were being insulting or just stupid, there was always Remi's Pipbluff for the forums and Q-ball's Lamer Files for IRC.
Of course, Mojo has been creative in areas other than mere communication. The site gave hosting to Neil Cicierega's Animutations, and it was on the Mojo forums that Cicierega was first inspired to invent the semi-famous Animutation video style (after someone posted Hatten är din). One of his first Animutations featured Simon Jeffery, president of LucasArts, making a "meeeeab" noise. When Mojo staffers met Simon, they of course asked him to make the noise (he giggled hysterically, but declined).
In addition, Neil Cicierega (or "Trapezoid") made some excellent fan music, some of which featured the original vocal talent of Dominic Armato repeatedly saying "visit big whoop. Do it right now!" or "uh-huh."
Mojo staffers also tried their hand at the old creativity thing, and combined their awesome powers to create an adventure game. You can read a plot summary here. The game was never finished, though a demo version was once left on Tim Schafer's desk. Mojo guru Jake Rodkin has this to say about the game, nick-named "Wonky":
Wonky, or WONKY (Wacked Out eNgine for Knackered Yobbos - DJG's attempt to force a bunch of "UK slang" he found off of some site into an acronum) was Mojo's attempt to create a simple adventure game. The hope was that we could create a "fan game" that wasn't actually some work of fan fiction, but was a game by and about fans.
The general premise (lifted wholly from the Beavis and Butthead movie) was that, after waking up from a horrible dream about an MS Paint adventure being made out of his life, Spaff discovers that his computer has been stolen, and goes on a quest to find it. This entailed walking around a few locations in England, eventually winding up in a piece of background art lifted from Monkey Island, which caused him to get dragged away by Lucas Legal.
The second portion of the game - the one part that was actually designed - was about escaping from within the LucasArts compound by burning a bunch of concept art you took off the walls to set off the fire alarm. Peter Chan's skeleton, found stuffed in a flat file by Chris Miles was somehow involved, as was a bucket of mud found in the "prop room," which was supposed to be a room full of nothing but in-jokes. The end of the game centered around a secret lair under DJG's house, where you discovered that the entire Mojo staff's PCs were stolen by a cloned DJG, which the regular DJG had developed to deal with all the Mojo hosted site server and maintenance requests that took up all his life.
The clone had hoped to steal all Mojo staffer's PCs in an attempt to take over the world -- a horribly misguided attempt because, as he had never stepped outside the LucasArts fan community, his impression of the importance of Mojo was blown way out of proportion and in the end all he had done was cause some site downtime. I'm glad we didn't make this game.
DJG actually built the basics of a 2D point and click engine just for the game. You could get Spaff out of a dumpster, walk him around in a few screens, and use his visitors badge to jimmy a lock. I think dialog trees and rudimentary interactive music worked as well. The game didn't get finished because as it got further along it became a ton more work than we imagined... plus I can't draw to save my life, and DJG went to college. We talked to Paco and Dan Lee about doing background art, and they both agreed on the condition that we actually fully designed out the game and provided lists of all environments that would be necessary. Like most things Mojo, that was way more work than anyone could be bothered with, so it finally died completely.
But why stop with Jake talking about WONKY? Who better than to offer reflection on the site's history as a whole? Thus:
Is the old cartsys.com account still working?
It is! You can still visit my old Monkey Island site here.
Is it true that Remi drunkenly advised you to shave all your hair off on MSN one night?
I told him I was going to do it, and he strongly encouraged that I follow through. I vaguely remember sending him a jpg of the results.
How do you think the community and the site has changed since you first visited? (Spaff said that the community was more fractured than it was. Do you agree?)
Spaff is a hater. May he die alone and forgotten. Neither Spaff or I pay much attention to the Mojo community so I don't think either of us can really comment on it. I mean, at this point I sort of feel like the old guy on the bench at the mall, saying "Look at the clothes these kids today are wearing, will you?! In my day things were better - things made sense!"
Granted, there isn't one company and one sort of unifying game design vision and set of expectations that people can rally around anymore, now that LucasArts is off on a two-decade quest to find itself or whatever, but Mojo keeps getting updated, and people keep reading it -- and the whole network managed to crash and get erased the exact day Sam & Max Episode One came out -- so things can't be that different.
What's been the highlight of your Mojo career so far?
The hilight of my Mojo career is probably my retiring from it, to go work on Idle Thumbs and eventually at Telltale Games.
And were there any lowpoints?
The cancellation of Sam & Max Freelance Police was a decently low point, but it had the upside of finally allowing everyone in the community to let off some steam and stamp around for a while.
Any disagreements with other staff members? I remember something about Telarium doing nothing but update the news about Star Wars screenshots, or some such thing.
Yeah, at the time we thought he was taking his job too seriously, and that nobody wanted to see Jedi Starfighter screenshots or whatever. But, in hindsight, who cares? It's Mojo! The whole point is that you can put up LucasArts-and-friends news that interests you, and probably other people will find it interesting as well.
We had aspirations for Mojo sort of having an "editorial voice" of some sort -- of doing some kind of informal and humor-focused news that was still serious and not just a bunch of parody stories or something, and I think we did that for a bit, but in the end nobody could really be bothered. Spaff, Marek, and I tried taking that to a slightly higher level with Idle Thumbs, but like most multiple-person free time projects with any sort of aspirations, it had a good run for a few years and then imploded.
What happened to The Ultimate Contest?
Regarding the Ultimate Contest... it was going to be awesome, but would require way more site infrastructure than we had. The initial idea was to start with the code that DJG wrote for the "Create a Banner" contest, which allowed entrants to upload an image, then placed it on a page that other users could visit and leave comments on. We wanted to expand that idea out to a general "Make Something Awesome" contest, where users could upload fan art, movies, writing, or music. Users with Mojo accounts could comment and vote on their favorites, and we'd give out large prize packs based on the best entry in each category, both picked by Mojo staff (and hopefully some Celebrity Judges), and a readers' choice award.
The biggest plans for the contes were laid right around the time Mojo 8 got totally erased and hacked by the Brazilian kid, which obliterated all records of everything but the most core Mojo code. All the contest code, all the article management code, the MojoMessenger private messaging system, any forum integration, and most importantly in this case, all of DJG's contest backend stuff all got lost with that server wipe, and by the time it all came back and we were running a site, well, nobody really cared about LucasArts adventure games anymore. The community was still rebuilding after the crash, the last adventure game in anyone's memory from LEC was the PlayStation 2 version of Escape from Monkey Island, so, heh!
We put up as much as we could with the current version of Mojo. Remi rewrote the article system, and worked with DJG and Doug Tabacco to get the basics of the game database up on its feet, but after that development sort of stopped. I ran out of spare time to design new art for the site, DJG disappeared into breakdancing classes or something, and Doug's free time got taken up by Adventure Gamers and Idle Thumbs, where he was the lead web programmer. Remi insists that he would have done all the work it would take, but I don't believe him. There are still tons of broken parts in the current site, and his "Mojo 9.5" total CSS-based redesign featuring an all new content management system never emerged. By doing no work whatsoever, and only making vague promises that I never really showed anyone, I came out fairly clean. Especially now that I've managed to blame everyone but myself in this interview.
If only all web-sites could be as successful as Pedro's Monkey Island Page! (Truly, the best thing ever.)
ARTICLE ENDS HERE.
I hope I've shown that the last ten years have been varied, and active, and colourful, at least in this corner of the web. If you're a new visitor, maybe you've learnt something. If you're an "oldbie" then I hope I've managed to massage your nostalgia glands.
People should not think that I have not dwelled on any "failures" in this article. In my mind there have been no failures in Mojo; every dead-end has led in time to fresh corridors; every mistake has led to fuller maturity. As for the successes – and there are many of these – I should think that these would be obvious: look around you. It's not no small feat that people have kept a project alive for so long. With this in mind...
Thanks to: LucasArts (especially Ronda, Tom Sarris, Simon Jeffery and of course Dan Pettit), Telltale Games, Double Fine Productions, Autumn Moon Entertainment; Tim Schafer, Bill Tiller, Ron Gilbert, Jonathan Ackley; Doug Tabacco, Emily Morganti; Anne "Tabias" Malone, Marek "Maximar" Bronstring, Graeme "Roach" Rocher; Narrative, Rixen, Skyfox and Snesgirl, mercatfat, Swordmaster, Courthold, scabb, Dan Walker, James Hicks, Emma; everyone on #monkey-island; the MIQC, Mojo Wap; Mort-Hog, Mathew Smith, Thrik, Zaarin (both Zaarins) and Mr Mutton; the Internet Archive; Milegend, The SCUMM Bar and The World of Monkey Island; JBRAA, Queztone, bgbennyboy, Paco Vink; whoever invented shifty eyes - and Captain "Muppet" Mystery for first popularising the use of them ¬¬; all staff members, contributors and visitors, past present and future.
Also to PC Zone and PC Gamer magazines, for sometimes linking to the site (always a matter of pride), and also for providing good journalism for us to steal (whether stylistically, or literally with a scanner.)
Personal thanks to Remi Olsen for his coding skills and good humour (and for putting work into the MIGC and the unseen versions of Mojo), to Huz, for being the funniest, and most pleasant, person on the Internet, and to "ElTee" for being the only sane person around here.
APENDIX A: Interview with DJG
[I sent off a few questions to DJG, who worked on the site for a number of years, making things like news systems, forums and polls. I liked his answers so much that I leave them here, in their own separate section.]
What are you doing now? Where are you? Who are you?
DJG stands for Daniel J. Gershman (which happens to be my name). It's also one of those recursive acronyms like 'GNU' and stands for 'DJG's Just Great'
After 'leaving' Mojo about 5 years ago , I started university as a computer science major and quickly realized that after coding CGI for Mojo for so long I was kind of sick of it and then switched over to electrical engineering which is what I got a bachelor's degree in.
After that I spent a year teaching abroad in a small jungle town in Guyana. (Google it, baby!). And in case you are wondering, yes, I did use a local monkey as a wrench to turn off a nearby waterfall to save the village from flooding.
This fall, I just started a PhD program at University of Michigan in Space Science so I'll be there for a while...
Ironically, I never did get away from needing to code for random projects so I guess my plan to permanently avoid it didn't really work. Oh well. :)
Was the air of mystery surrounding the DJG figure intentional? Beneficial?
Well when I started out I was about 13 years old. I was a kid, which is not exactly the impression I wanted to give off since I wanted to get more and more involved in the site (and trusted with more and more passwords, heh) So I just never spread around my age.
Typing using capitalization and punctuation and turning out code every now and then gave the impression that I was older. I never really said otherwise, but I didn't lie!
As for being beneficial, appearing older made me (I was hoping) seem more legit. Way back when, when I randomly e-mailed Simon Jeffery for an interview, I didn't want to appear like some kid. It was funny when I first showed up at the LEC press days.... everyone was wondering who this random kid was. I remember when I walked in, one of the other writers (for one of those real game sites) asked "Are you even old enough to have had a Bar Mitzvah?"
Were you aware that Mojo still runs on a lot of classic DJG code?
Every now and then I check the admin page to see if it's changed. It hasn't. I'm tempted to make some random news update but never have anything mildly amusing to write.
I'm just surprised it lasted this long... you know what they say, "If it ain't broke... DJG hasn't touched it yet."
How did you get into coding Mojo?
Back in the olden' days I started messing around with Java (w're talking 1.0, folks!) I made a couple of (really!) crappy games... and sent them to some weird site about Monkey Island called 'Waikikimookau Luv Shack' or something which of course was run by Spaff at the time. I went by 'netzombie' (oh I'm cool). Spaff always got me confused with 'netmonkey.' I eventually upgraded to DJG after that. (I don't like vowels)
After my little Java crazy I started getting to CGI, using Perl. To be honest it's been so long I don't quite remember exactly how I got involved. I think I offered my 'services' to Spaff at one point. He wanted to edit his news script to work with a new design, which I think became Mojo 6 (or was it 5?). Things just kind of escalated after that. I started doing more and more complicated scripts which culminated as Mojo... 8? ( I don't remember these numbers). Once we joined LFN I started doing just any type of technical work related to the network.
Are you suprised that the site is still around and active?
I'm not too surprised. Although I became a bit more apathetic about gaming in general as time went on people like Spaff and Jake haven't lost that passion, and managed to keep the site alive by changing the focus a bit, instead of closing down like the SCUMM Bar ( R.I.P.!)
Plus you have all you younger folk who stepped up to keep the news updated. Honestly, it thrills me to go to www.mixnmojo.com every now and then and see that it's been updated within the last few days.
How has the site and the "community" changed since you first came onto the scene?
Way back in the day #Monkey-Island was THE community 'hangout.' Everyone in the community... who had or worked on a site or who just visited the SCUMM Bar or mojo regularly was in there. Back then it was everyone's dream (not going to lie, mine too at the time) to get Ops in the channel and have a one on one interview with Ron Gilbert or Tim Schafer. Every now and then I go on IRC to check it out and the channel seems pretty dead, which is kind of a shame. It's not like we actually talked about Monkey Island that often....
The community back then was so giddy at the prospect of talking to people who worked at LEC. Interviews were one of the most exciting thing to get... mostly because they hadn't really happened before. Maybe Skyfox got a couple for the SCUMM Bar but that was about it. Now it seems much more common place to hear from the developers that the community is interested it... whether it's Ron Gilbert's blog, Doublefine's website, or just e-mails with random employees.
I think that the big change happened once LucasArts opened up and started to send us screenshots and interviews, and stuff. These days you wouldn't be able to fill an IRC channel just to ask Ron Gilbert or Bill Tiller questions, which was a HUGE deal years ago. Now I think the shine is off the apple. The people who make the games are still very interesting and talented but there's just not that much... I guess you would call it idol worship.
Plus, all the people who grew up playing Monkey Island.... grew up. Now you wouldn't give your 10 year old kid 'The Secret of Monkey Island' to play. He/she would probably refuse to play it because by today's standards it looks 'ugly.' Now, you wouldn't give your 10 year old 'Escape from Monkey Island' to play but for other reasons....
Then again, I'm the first to admit that I could be extremely wrong about all of this. I've been 'out of the game' for years now. I'm just a casual observer these days.
What's been the highlight of your Mojo career so far? 
The highlight(s) were the LEC Press Days where I got to fly out to San Francisco. I got to actually meet a bunch of the 'famous' LEC employees (like Dan Pettit!) Though the big highlight was actually getting to finally meet some of my staff-mates, Jake, telarium, and Doug. Sadly, haven't had the opportunity to actually meet Spaff yet.
Why did you always have a paper bag over your head in the photos?
That was to play up the 'mystery' factor during Press Day to hide the fact that I was still a kid... plus we found it pretty damn amusing. I think ShackNews(?) even referenced our Press Day article as "A preview of LucasArts' upcoming games and pictures of some idiot with a bag on his head."
As I recall, we presented one of the (autographed) bags to Tim Schafer when we went to DoubleFine. He hung it on his wall, though I'm sure it was recycled a loooong time ago. ;)
Any plans to updated the Mojo Quake Map?
Heh. I wish. That and the SCUMM Bar map were frickin' awesome. I don't even have a copy of it anymore....
Art was never really my thing... anyone from #monkey-island can tell you that. Didn't stop me from making it though. ;) (God bless MSPaint being able to cut and paste image data from screenshots)
APPENDIX B: IRC quotes
[jake|r] grr i hate mojo 8
[Metallus] Let's go outside and ride bikes
[jake|r] its easy to maintain but its no fun
[Metallus] Mojo 11 will win
[The_ED] lets leave aout a few version and cut straight to 15
[Metallus] of course, that's when we merge with theforce.net
[Metallus] and use their template
[Gabez-away] I dreamt that Mojo had added a flash features thing on the main page, like Gamespot has.
[Gabez-away] But they had actually done it really well.
[Gabez] And the way they had done it was to use a gif over the top, to the side. To combine both formats.
[Gabez] Quite a good idea, actually!
[Courthold] you dreamt about mojo? :p
[bgbennyboy] heh ive done things like that
[bgbennyboy] ive dreamt about whole forum threads
[Gabez] Yeah. I also dreamt about my Uncle coming around with a miniature Christmas tree, that was in fact just a bush with some tinsel over it.
[SimplySopa] I dreamt that I was attacked by a bear
[Gabez] Mojo also had a shadowed side thing, like the Brimstone Beach Club has.
[Gabez] And everything was bigger.
[Gabez] All in all it was a pretty cool dream.
(I also remember Mojo running a poll: "have you ever dreamt about the site?" A worrying amount responded in the affirmative.)
[invisibelle] I told Simon to say something exciting, he was supposed to say "Sam and Max 2" but he instead said "Uh er, I can't think of anything"
[invisibelle] which I thought was quite sad
[invisibelle] so we changed it to "booyah"
[telarium] No no, he really did say booyah.
[Metallus] I thought he said booyah
[invisibelle] Oh I mean
[invisibelle] He said booyah.
[Metallus] mixnmojo is the great satan
[telarium] It was funny when we talked to Tom about that at the press event.
[invisibelle] LEC looovvveeewssss Mojo
[telarium] Tom was like, "I was thinking that he would never say that."
[invisibelle] Those crazy wacky kids and their paper bags! Let's give 'em an interview!
[telarium] And then Tom asked us to leave.
[invisibelle] I think Jake is going to quit school so he can go to E3.
[_emma_] Hee, Sarah!
[invisibelle] I'm not joking... :/
[Sumez] just sit back
[Sumez] and enjoy the great intellectual conversation here
[@invisibelle] I still think the small Mixnmojo icon with the yellow makes it look like someone peed on it.
[ElTee] if mojo were still the kind of site where LEC would invite us all over to the annual barbecue, and we got scoops before sites like IGN did, there's no way we'd be able to have jokes on Ron Gilbert on the back page
[ElTee] I mean, we've had so little actual NEWS to report on for so long we've started doing things like making comics on hidden parts of the site, and such
[ElTee] it's got this inmates-taking-over-the-asylum feel to it
*** Wonton-GoodSoup has quit IRC (Quit: Beware With this deamon cannonball i will BOINK ...... OPS! phu it didnt (...) BOOOOOM)
[Flirbnic] That quote isn't very accurate.
[ElTee] haha, remember when I pretended to be Ron Gilbert?
[ElTee] and it was a weak joke, but by coincidence there was this one guy there who was totally new
[ElTee] and he was so angry because everyone was rude to ‘Ron' - like, we pretended you had got me there for a chat
[ElTee] and I was like 'scumm bar is shit' and you started calling me fat and stuff
[ElTee] and this new guy was like :-O
[Gabez] Oh yeah
[Gabez] He kept saying "how dare u"
[Gabez] "How DARE u insult ron gilbert"
Something similar happened another time when I joined a chat-room full of Italian Monkey Island fans, and who was so amazed that I was there, because I was from The SCUMM Bar, and The SCUMM Bar had had contact with Ron Gilbert. I then went away, and Remi joined the chat pretending to be me. The whole thing was like a scene in a William Shakepeare farce. The following quotes are of Remi, as me, joking that he knows Ron Gilbert:
[Gabez] The game will be good though.
[Rave67] What's the tittle?
[Gabez] I don't know.
[Gabez] Parts of it will be in space though, which is kinda strange!
[Gabez] There are some hints in MI2 that MI is actually a space story.
[Mar85] the end of the game (star wars reference)?
[bgbennyboy] if Gabez gives away ALL the secrets there will be no exclusives for the scumm bar ;
[Gabez] The Star Wars part, yeah, I think that's it.
[Rave67] what is the secret of Monkey Island
[Gabez] There are some hints in the first 2 games of what the secret is
[Gabez] Look for llama references
The funny thing is, it seems like they took it quite seriously!
APPENDIX C: The Ballard of Mix'n'mojo
This work of art was composed by "JackTheFearest" after The SCUMM Bar (falsely) announced that it was closing for good (an event which Jake suspects was done just to get nice comments from Tim Schafer and Jonathan Ackley). I present it here because it nearly summarises the past ten years of the Mojo community:
The outlook wasn't brilliant for the MI sites that day,
The sites didn't stands, and the fans were whining away.
And then when SCUMMBar died first, and Mojo did the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the fans of those beloved games.
A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast.
They thought, "Even if only SCUMMBar would succed
We'd put up even money now, that everything will be fine indeed.
So upon that stricken multitude, grim melancholy sat;
for there seemed but little chance of SCUMMBar coming back.
But Legend made it back up, to the wonderment of all.
But SCUMMBar looked as if it wouldn't raise from it's fall.
Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
it rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
it pounded through on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat;
for days have gone by, no SCUMMBar, and that was that.
Ten thousand eyes watched intently as the site stayed closed
Five thousand tongues cursed at the Brazilian ugly foes 
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright.
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light.
And, somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout.
(Incidentally, this is the sort of thing that killed Remi's soul. He now works as a prison guard at Azkaban).
APPENDIX D: Archived music, sounds and web-sites
Thanks to Huz for archiving these web-sites.
Complete (?) History of Monkey Island 4 rumours (and COVER-UPS!)
A hilarious review of all the Monkey Island 4 rumours, giving an idea of all the excitement and hype that fans felt. I don't think the same is happening for Thrillville 2.
This genuine breakdancing move was found on Breakdance.com, and subsequently the page was invaded by #monkey-islanders.
Back in the day, Mojo readers enjoyed playing Quake (or "uQarek" as it was affectionately known as), sometimes using maps based on the Monkey Island games.
Joey The FishNET
An archived jem: newsposts, chat logs, poetry. Joey the Fish and Joey the Lemming were two mysterious personalities who hounded IRC and the Mojo posting boards. Brillian stuff. Laugh so hard you'll vomit.
The Monkey Island Fishbar
The SCUMM Bar, as it was when hacked by Joey The Fish. As well as a good April Fools prank, it's also nice just to have a copy of The SCUMM Bar's old main page.
Joey The Lemming
Welcome to Lemming Land. Stories, weapons and midis. They don't make sites like this anymore!
The #monkey-island Christmas Survey-thing 1999
When greasy thirty year olds whisper in your ear - "internet voting polls were better in my day" - this is the sort of thing they mean.
Dodgy #monkey-island Statistics
All the data you could ever want from everyone's favourite IRC channel, 1999 to 2001.
Secret Weapons Over Normandy at E3
Worth hearing for the banter at the start. "How can you work at LucasArts and not be a regular reader of Mix'n'Mojo? It's my homepage!" - "so you're not one of the ones who hate us then?" - "I didn't say that!"
Attack of Simon
Mojo staffers ask Simon Jeffery to "make the noise" from Trapezoid's flash animation. Everyone laughs estatically when he declines, but looking back Jeffers does seem a bit mean. :~
APPENDIX E: Questions and Answers
Question: what happened to Dominic Armato, voice of Guybrush Threepwood and #monkey-island chatter?
Answer: he retired from the voice acting business and now runs a food blog.
Question: isn't a "benny boy" a type of male prostitute?
Answer: Well bgbennyboy has got to clear his university debt somehow!
Question: why was Ian "biggar" and Dan "pettit"?
Answer: because of their shoe sizes, of course.
Next page... there is no "next page." This is it. This is the end: goodbye. Or so Gabez thought. The next page contains all of his dirty secrets over the past ten years, followed by a page listing all his footnotes, since there was no way to preserve them across the pages as they appeared in the original version of the article.