To make sure he was abiding, he was restricted to the living-room computer, which they could see.
"It was the Big-Brother-eye-over-the-shoulder thing," he says. "There was no way we could check what he was up to if he covered his tracks," his mother admits.
Marcus tried to imagine himself asking his parents for permission to chat with strangers on a site that had made a picture of a guy stretching open his asshole the Net's grossest meme. Or the name of the university where he recently started as a freshman, or where we meet for pizza one night this past fall.
Then again, he thought, maybe it was time he didn't ask permission. He's been feeling paranoid ever since he stumbled upon 3301, which is how he met Marcus.
arcus Wanner needed a little adventure in his life.
Shuttling Marcus between home, church and the Boy Scouts seemed like the best way to keep him away from trouble (and girls). "I didn't get out much." Though Marcus was gifted with computers, his mom and dad, an electrical engineer, also locked him down online.He couldn't send an e-mail or register on a website without their permission.It contained a message written in a thin white font against a black background. "We are looking for highly intelligent individuals. We look forward to meeting the few that will make it all the way through.Good luck." It was signed "3301." For all Marcus knew, it could have been another dumb 4chan prank. With the exception of the Rubik's Cube, which he could solve in under a minute, puzzles were dull. Someone on 4chan had created an Internet Relay Chat channel where people were logging in to discuss the bizarre message.His parents had recently caved in and let him get a laptop.