Friday, April 2, 2010

Fixing Stupid

Stupidity knows no bounds.

When a game with a player-base as big as World of Warcraft, it is inevitable that you're going to share time with someone that has "Thinking" as a second or third language. The kind of person who saw no problem with eating paint chips as a child.

Don't stand in the what again?

Then again, you will also meet people who simply don't care about the socially accepted rules of the game. These gems of humanity will do things like ninja-loot gear, gank mobs from you, and otherwise pee all over everyone else's social gaming experience. (Editor's Note: Would they really be considered Ninjas? A Ninja would steal something and you'd never know it was them. Pirates would rob you blind, and do it to your face.)

Also, Pirates can be kinda sexy.

You see these people outside of the game as well. Sometimes you run across a rare specimen that has qualities of both!

Burning Ninjas?

For an example of such a creature, let's put on our safari hat and wade into the thick nerd jungle that was the recent PAX East event. Much as you would expect to find at a gaming industry convention, there are the anxious army of gamers (and probably the funk that goes with it) -

Cosplayers -

Industry panels where players can ask developers and designers questions.

It was at the Enforcement on XBox Live panel that we catch a glimpse at this rare breed of both stupid and arrogant gamer.

At about the forty minute mark of the panel, 20-year-old Justin May approached the mic and asked if his Gamertag could be unbanned. When asked why his tag was banned in the first place, he told the panel that he played Forza 3 "early", and during the minute long discussion it became clear that May obtained his copy of the game "illegally". Mister May should not be expecting to receive his MENSA membership card anytime soon.

Justin May - Criminal Mastermind

Dejected, May did not want to leave PAX East empty-handed. One of the games being showcased at PAX was Atomic Games' upcoming title "Breach", scheduled for a Summer 2010 release. It will be a download-only title for the PC and XBox Live. However, May decided that it would be fun for he and his friends to be able to play the game "early", so he plugged his laptop into their network and started downloading the code for Breach.

"The suspect did admit to us several times, including as he was doing it, that he was stealing the code. He said to myself and several other team members, after being caught, that it was not a big deal, he just really liked the game and wanted to play it with his friends," David Tractenberg, a spokesperson for Atomic, explained.

Perhaps something good can come of this. With someone this witless in custody, one can only hope that Science gets their hands on him. Maybe, with a little luck and a lot more separating into easy to study pieces, May can best serve society as a whole by discovering what makes him tick. With this vital information, one day we might just be able to "fix stupid".

Oh wait, May isn't in custody. He skipped his court date because he was busy playing Modern Warfare 2.

At this rate, May could end up being studied in a way that he'll find most uncomfortable.

At the end of the day, there's more than one way to deal with stupid gamers.