Turns Out, Microsoft was Right About Autistic Kid Cheating
Color me surprised.
Remember the story I wrote incredulously yesterday about Microsoft labeling an 11-year-old autistic player a cheater on his Xbox Live Gamertag, and stripping him of his gamerscore and achievements? I owe Microsoft an apology (sorry, Microsoft), because it turns out, they were right. Kid cheated.
To be fair, he and his mother may not have been aware he was cheating when Julius Jackson took up another player on the offer to unlock the Recon Armor for him in Halo 3. Microsoft Director of Police and Enforcement Stephen Toulouse wrote an email to his mother, Jennifer Zdenek, explaining Microsoft’s smackdown of her son’s account with the following:
The account Zombie Kill67 transferred from the Xbox it is normally seen on, to an Xbox in another city. The account earned several achievements for Halo-3 that can only be done online and in succession. It was clear they were unlocked out of order and offline. Earning successive online achievements out of order and offline is an impossible feat, not due to skill, but due to the technology of the system. It can only be done by modifying the account and faking the achievements.
But yeah, having someone else earn your achievements for you is called cheating.
Zdenek told Seattle’s Q13 Fox News, “My son did give his Gamertag. I did warn him about this but seeing it wasn’t a bank password or anything big, it’s just a game, we didn’t worry about it too much and the boy just offered to give him Recon Armor, which he did.” By cheating.
I feel sorry for Julius, though, as it sounds like someone just offered to do him a favor and he didn’t realize the consequences the situation might have. Now he’s out his gamerscore and his mom has put him on TV and embarrassed him. Microsoft sent him a month free of Xbox Live in the form of one of those promotional cards, but according to Zdenek, it didn’t work.