King Avatar’s Cookies

A Modern Myth


Janie Fox
Spring 2013

 . . .  just above the Internet clouds lived His Royal Majesty, King Avatar. As ruler of the Virtual Kingdom, Avatar’s job was to provide good information for all the children of the world. However, as the Kingdom grew so did the number of its Citizens. He soon found it necessary to enlist the aid of helpers. His first helper was a young Information Manager named Oswald.

   Oswald was very good at providing quality information except like to sneak in scary things on the Internet because he thought it funny to frighten the Citizens. His habit soon grew into an obsession of power over the Citizens. 

When King Avatar found out Oswald’s treachery, he was outraged and ordered Oswald banished from the Kingdom. As Oswald was escorted out, he proclaimed himself Lord of the Internet Underworld and swore revenge on King Avatar and all the children of the world.

    In hopes of teaching young Oswald to be kind and forgiving, the King dismissed Oswald’s threats as a temporary reaction. But in the back of his mind, the King feared losing control and commanded the Palace guards, “Prepare for the possible dangers that lay ahead.”

King Avatar’s Cookies

    THE MOMENT that the first window to the Internet opened, the world changed. A great blessing took place when King Avatar and Good Queen Netiquette announced the birth of their infant daughter, Crown Princess Lily of Password. To celebrate the birth, personal computers were hard wired around the world. The Business Community celebrated with public displays of affection, handing out free software with every new computer.

    The Opportunities seemed endless. Great plans were put into place for the various labyrinths needed for great treasures to come to fruition. Celebration and the amassing of gold coins abounded! The King, in his great happiness, forgot about Oswald’s threat and pronounced the Kingdom a safe environment in which to live.

    Soon the Princess had grown in beauty to the age of five. One day, King Avatar held his beautiful daughter in his arms and looked over his Virtual Kingdom. He saw yet again that it was good and full of joy. This pleased him greatly. “What shall we do for our Citizens next, sweet Princess?”

    “We could give them cookies?”


    “Yes, Father. All Citizens love cookies.”

    With a hearty chuckle, King Avatar hugged his young daughter and kissed her cheek. “What a wonderful idea!” Then, the princess wriggled out of her father’s arms.

    “Pardon me, Your Royal Majesty,” interrupted Doctor Earnest Firewall, “I just received a message from Duchess Emily Email stating that Princess Lily must perform her security scans. We certainly don’t want that sweet girl vulnerable to  viruses. Do we, Princess?”

    Without looking up at the doctor, Princess Lily pouted her bottom lip and said in a monotone,  “No, Uncle Earnest.”

    Within no time at all, two decades had passed. Technology had begun to move at the speed of light. The beautiful Princess Lily had grown into a sleek wifi capable embodiment of dedication and commitment. King Avatar again looked over his Kingdom and remembered that because he had taken the advice of his daughter many years before, most of Earth’s residents were connected to his Virtual Kingdom.

    Nevertheless, there were still some residents who weren’t connected to his finely woven web. This displeased the King, who asked his daughter, “Why would anyone not want to participate in all the care and loving kindness that we offer them?”

    “I don’t know, Father, but those few Hardcopy residents seem truly happy.  Just look at them.”

    King Avatar observed the joyous behaviors of the Hardcopies for a time. He watched as they worked hard, building homes and planting beautiful gardens, while the children played outdoors. “We have no way of communicating with these Hardcopies, do we?”

“No Father. But we will, someday.”

    But the King began to fear that the Citizens under his control might somehow learn of the happy existence of the Hardcopies, unplug, and head outdoors to their own green pastures, where they were sure to discover joy and love without need of his Kingdom!

    Feeling threatened, King Avatar consulted with his wife. But, alas, Good Queen Netiquette had no interest in Kingdom affairs. Her only concern was teaching online etiquette to the Internet trolls. So, again, the King turned to his beloved daughter. As heir to the Kingdom, it was important that Lily learn good decision-making skills. Due to a rising interest in self-promotion within the Social Communities, evidenced by the number of username and password requests Princess Lily received, along with private email messages she had begun receiving from a new online Friend, she felt she had knowledge that the  King did not.

    Lily advised her father with great confidence, “Dearest and Most Wise Father, I suggest we develop social networking websites that will both protect the integrity of the Kingdom and offer the Citizens social freedoms they have never before experienced. If we improve the three C’s of quality of the Social Communities provided by Kingdom Services, then we will have a better chance of keeping them connected to Ourselves and, who knows,  they might recruit the Hardcopies into the Kingdom!”

    “The three C’s?”

    “Yes, Father. Citizenship, Community, and Conversation,” said Lily. “All Citizens quite enjoy belonging to communities where they can exchange ideas about one another and the Meaning of Life.”

    The King rubbed his round belly in consideration. “Lily, that is a great idea—an idea worthy of Crown Princess Lily of Password! Let’s do it! Order the System Administrators to the mountains and valleys of the Earth and order them to upgrade the systems. Bring in gold coins by the gigabyte!  We will make all in our realm virtually happy!”

    To implement the King’s order, the Royal Platform Product Rollout Team issued a policy announcement and posted it at the gates of the Kingdom for all to read and accept:

The Citizens were quite excited at the King’s great generosity. In their quests for knowledge, social status, and superb entertainment, they felt the King was giving them great power! Especially, that they would receive the power to connect and share their life experiences with the world. Eager to meet the Crown Princess, the Citizens flocked to offer up their usernames and passwords.  They read and clicked to accept the privacy decree and received the scrumptious King Avatar’s Cookies in the millions upon millions!

    As they received their key, true to the announcement, the Citizens were transported past the guards of Protocol Palace and through the private gates of the Kingdom to begin their incredible social journey. They began to frolic in extreme merriment, offering up photographs, videos, documents, opinions, and intimate details of their personal lives. They were emailing and chatting, texting and tweeting, pinning and posting, facebooking and googling, liking and plussing, sharing and blogging, uploading and downloading, joking and teasing, frolicking playfully and uninhibitedly engaging in conversational bliss in what quickly became a worldwide horde of societal obsession.

    While the masses publicly advertised the intimate details of their private lives for the world to see, Oswald watched the frenzy of social activity and took notes. His plan to sway the Princess and infiltrate the Kingdom had begun to work!

    Unbeknownst to the Citizens, at the moment they accepted King Avatar’s Cookies, they gave up their ownership rights to all the information they posted! Before long, they were seeing their possessions and their own words in the mouths of strangers who were getting millions of clicks from outside their own Social Communities, getting higher and higher in the world of Al Gore Rhythms!

    King Avatar’s Cookies were very smart—very smart, indeed. They went straight to work making detailed inquiries and performing gap analyses and systematic examinations of each citizen’s hard drive, identifying the name, gender, date of birth, friends, acquaintances, likes, plugins, locations, websites visited, and other various information owned by the user. Once the Cookies had gleaning all bytes of private and personal information about each Citizen, the data was recorded and locked away in the King’s well-guarded server logs to be maintained and used at the King’s discretion for all future generations to come.

    All was now well in King Avatar’s heart.  His Citizens were safe. And all because of the blessings of his sweet daughter. He rewarded Princess Lily of Password with a new title: “Her Royal Highness Lily, The Princess Royal of The Password, only child of The Virtual Kingdom.” The Royal family then vacationed in the south of France, summering in Cannes.

But while the family feasted and made merry in Cannes, a dark cloud rolled into the Kingdom. Something that the King had put out of mind had happened. His former assistant Oswald, the self-dubbed Overlord of the Internet Underworld, had come to one conclusion: "King Avatar is a fool!”

    Upon King Avatar’s return to the Kingdom, skirmishes had broken out in his previously peace loving countries.  He saw that dEconomy was affecting the lives of both the Citizens and the Hardcopies! Even though he thought it might forever alter the balance of world power, King Avatar vowed to confront the online corruption and stop it.

One day, he received a call from Sir Godfrey Emoticon, leader of the Mounted Cyberdefender Cookies and member of the Security Council of Protocol Palace. “Your Majesty, your former assistant, Oswald, is planning to overthrow the Kingdom! He has written Declarations of Reasonable Doubt about the your abilities to control the Citizens are published on all the Social Communities.”

    King Avatar said, “Ordered an immediate removal of these documents.”

    Sir Godfrey did as the King commanded, but as the administrators would take down one of Oswald’s documents, at least one more would pop up elsewhere. And no matter how many they removed, the documents were so numerous that, eventually, everyone in the Virtual Kingdom knew of them.

    For the first time during the reign of His Majesty King Avatar, he was doubted by his Citizens.

By this time, Oswald was a multi-billionaire who had used King Avatar’s gifts to game the system, but Oswald wanted more. He called in one of his minions, Lurky Lester, his best Cookie Crumbler. “Get the team together. I want to steal King Avatar’s Cookies to teach him a lesson. I want every computer in the Kingdom to become infected with viruses so that the Citizens will fear accessing the Social Communities. And don’t leave a crumb of evidence. Not one. You got that?”

    Lurky smiled his big lurking smile. “Got it, Boss.” Lurky immediately called in Annie Apps and her well-trained password  Crackers.

    Annie could easily hide behind smokescreens and steal King Avatar’s Cookies, hijacking as much information as possible to gain unauthorized access to all of the official doors of the Kingdom. Excited by the evil plan, she built enticing applications, filled them with Trojan warriors, and presented them as harmless online games and useful gifts in order to persuade the Citizens to install them on their computers and devices. Annie set the Apps to transfer any monies received to an untraceable single bank account!

    The tricky part would be to convince Princess Lily that Annie’s work was simply part of legitimate business. But Annie hoped that the Princess had no idea that a password could be cracked and tracked.

    With Annie’s Apps, the Crackers got right to work breaking into computers, bypassing passwords and licenses for profit, and maliciously taking advantage of the Opportunities afforded by the King’s generous nature on as many computers, cell phones, and other devices in the Kingdom as there were Citizens who would play the games or buy the gifts.

Once that was accomplished, the rest was easy—at least for awhile. But Oswald was displeased with the speed of the results. He called on Lurky again. “It’s not enough. Hire more people. Fast.”

    Lurky thought for a moment before responding. “Boss, why don’t you just build your own avatar and give yourself a new name? Then you can sweet-talk King Avatar’s executive assistant, Emily Email, into sending out a message that will shut down all of the world’s Internet servers except your own. That would give us time to really clean up.”

    Oswald thought Lurky’s idea was quite ingenious, and felt confident that the email project could be a success. He secretly built his own avatar, renamed himself Harry Hacker, dug up a dusty old email program, slid on a cosby-sweater, and splashed on a bit of cologne from the 1990’s. Then, using the legacy email program, he purchased a dozen long-stemmed red roses from his online storefront that Annie had set up and had the roses delivered to Emily’s inbox. Once he received delivery confirmation, he showed up at her home unannounced with a bottle of expensive red wine and gourmet chocolates and pretended to woo her.

    He smiled inwardly when it was surprisingly easy to talk Emily into complying with his plan. Women are suckers for romance, Oswald thought to himself.

    Emily was a quaint and nostalgic older woman. During her youth, she’d been quite successful at her job. She was well experienced with fighting high volume online Crimate activity. But she had become prematurely old due to the stresses of the Y2K nightmare. As the third millennium had drawn near and then sailed quietly past, like a massive email system on a waveless sea of Attachments, she’d sighed with relief.

    But as impressive as Harry’s come-on was, Emily surprised him by saying, “I appreciate your visit and the gifts, Mr. Hacker, but I cannot be a party to your hacking activities.”

    “Can’t or won’t?”

    Can’t. I cannot betray the King, nor can I deceive the Citizens of the Kingdom. It is against my programming.”

    “Well, let’s just find out if you can or not!” Oswald thundered.

    He walked over to Emily’s computer and opened her email program.  She watched in horror as he clicked NEW to open a new message and addressed it to ALL while he kept his other hand at her throat so she could not activate her voice command software. He then pressed the ATTACHMENT icon and clicked on the Trojan warrior files that Annie Apps had developed. And then he slowly hovered over a  zip file full of malicious and dangerous parasiteware.

Emotionally shaken, Emily choked in panic as she heard the click of the mouse and watched him hover the pointer over the SEND icon. She had seen these file types destroy wonderful data systems. If he pressed the icon, it would undermine King Avatar’s future plans for the Social Communities in the Kingdom, intercepting and redirecting all of the hyperlinks and Cookies that were saved in the hard drive of each Citizen’s device, along with poisoning her own legacy systems and destroying everything she had ever worked for.

    “Why... are you doing this?” she managed to say. “ Stop! Please! Stop!”

    Oswald didn’t stop. He laughed and clicked SEND. He almost felt sorry for poor old Emily. Almost.

    In the meantime, Oswald’s Crimates posted a video to all the Social Communities to convince the Citizens that King Avatar’s Cookies were poisoning their computers, asking everyone to share the it, tag it, and comment on it so it would go viral. Once the video appeared on all the main news website pages of the Kingdom, there was no stopping it.

    A near-riot ensued, threatening Chaos in the Kingdom. King Avatar realized that after all his administrators had done to stop Oswald, the only way to win the war was to go public.

Sir Godfrey Emoticon appeared quite stern-faced as he gathered his troops of Mounted Cyberdefender Cookies and in a statement, he gave this stern warning to the Crackers just before he and the King’s Mounted Cookies whisked away into The Crimate Forest to begin their search, “Whoever you are, wherever you are, we will find you. You can bank on it!”

Leaders of the social networks watched as these brave mounted Cookies risked destruction hoping to infiltrate Oswald’s hideaway to prevent his Crackers from destroying the world as they knew it.

    As the King’s Mounted Cookie’s rode into that forest, a powerful storm hammered down, raining valuable intellectual property from the dark Internet clouds. Yet, they rode bravely into that thick woodland in search of spoofed websites and socially engineered Communities the professional skimmers had established. Palace authorities and its First Responders worked tirelessly to keep the Citizens safe and the Kingdom secure, advising them to take shelter in Two-Step Verification.  They handed out cell phones by the millions and all Citizens took part in saving the Kingdom!

    When Sir Godfrey presented his final report before the King, he proudly stated, “Your  Royal Majesty, we realized we had found their location when we came upon a locked server farm  and a motion-activated sign said: “Gone Phishing.”

    “Millions of zombie computers were found actively eating away at personally identifiable information and fast fluxing it to make it difficult to trace the source of their phishing expedition and thousands more computers were disabled during the violence. Three of Cyberspace’s Most Wanted were imprisoned at an undisclosed location: Oswald Overlord (a.k.a., Harry Hacker), Lurky Lester, and Annie Apps.”

    Though a few Citizens were  injured in the Chaos, all in the Kingdom were saved!

When Princess Lily learned of the treasonous acts of her private online Friend, Oswald, she threw herself at her father’s feet and cried, “Your Royal Majesty, I am so sorry for misleading you. I had beFriended a man named Oswald and he misled me.”

King Avatar reached downed and lifted up his daughter. “Sweet Princess, the fault is mine. Oswald warned me of his intentions decades ago, but I did not heed his warning. We have both learned a lesson of great value.”

    While all were again deliriously happy with the uncontrolled merriment of the mighty Virtual Kingdom, they were none the wiser regarding the spoils of wealth lost at the hand of Oswald. King Avatar decided that the less they knew about Oswald’s  wealth, the better.

A victory celebration was held in honor of King Avatar’s Cookies with an ice cream social on the Great Lawn of Protocol Palace. The menu offered “everything sweet” except cookies. Many of the guests relaxed by a wading pool of whole milk while enjoying music by the band “TMI.” Doc Firewall later revealed to the King that the some guests who ventured into the pool had complained of feeling crummy, while others reported severe bloating.

    In the following years, a great many Hardcopies became Citizens. King Avatar and Princess Lily came to realize that the remaining Hardcopies were an absolute necessary element to the continued existence of The Virtual Kingdom after all, as they were the nuts and bolts of the world.  

    Thanks to the efforts of King Avatar’s Cookies, cyber crime labs were established in hopes of preventing repeated episodes of such violence and disorder. Yet, the challenge remains. Just beyond the heavily protected fortress of the Virtual Kingdom lurks an ever increasing new band of Crimates attempting to climb the walls of Protocol Palace

The End

<Table of Contents

Author Bio:

Janie Fox writes modern day mythology about living in the social era of the third millenium. Her current project is set in a kingdom just above the Internet clouds, where a princess wrongly accused of killing her father struggles to catch the killer while being pursued by the royal police—not to mention a hungry Komodo dragon.

You can reach Janie at the following web site:

Artist:  Juliëtte van Bavel

When Juliëtte van Bavel was interviewed in Society World Magazine(published in Dutch), in 2009, she was described as driven, versatile and full of passion, something that is no surprise to the readers of the Journal this issue!  What an amazing range of expression at her command!

In the interview, she reveals that sculpture is her first love (and you can see pictures of some of her sculptures in Meg Tufano's contribution to this issue (A Critical History of The University).  The photograph at the top of this page won an international award in photography (!) and you can read more about her awards and about amazing woman's life in our Aesthetic Editor's contribution, Drs. Eva Mennes' article about Juliëtte in this issue.

How to cite the above article in APA format:

Fox, Janie (2013).  King Avatar’s Cookies:  A Modern Myth.  The Journal of 

        Social Era Knowledge, Volume 1, Issue 2.  Retrieved from