The Players Ball is a true story of two men’s epic decade-long battle over the ownership of the domain name “sex.com”. The story is set in the backdrop of 90s America, where the internet was just beginning to take off. Gary Kremen, a computer geek turned entrepreneur, bought the domain name with the intention of using it to drive love and connection over the internet. However, his nemesis, Stephen Michael Cohen, a con man and sex addict, stole the domain name and used it to advertise porn, making millions in the process. What followed was a bitter and deadly feud that took both men to the edges of their sanity and almost took their lives.
Their fight is a beautiful metaphor for the relationship between love and sex. The story is not just a rollicking ride through the wild west of the beginnings of the internet, online dating, and porn, but it also speaks to the beginning of a billion-dollar digital marketplace. As virtual property such as NFTs and bitcoin faces similar issues of corruption and fraud that the battle for sex.com started. The story is a slice of history that has so far been overlooked but is key to the history of the online world as we know it.