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Neal Stephenson, Psychic
June 1, 2003 10:28 PM   Subscribe

"Then we realized that somehow an insane god had taken control of our world and was out to kill us all." Subscribers of the multiplayer online game "Shadowbane" were in for a shock Tuesday evening when they realized the game system had been hacked, and the rules fundamentally altered, and not in a good way (unless you happen to like mayhem). While this ended up being a "no harm, no foul" scenario, as everything was eventually set right, it was breaking new ground in terms of the uses of hacking. In a world where characters in these games are sold via EBay, and nearly half a million people subscribe to Everquest, how long before legitimate (non "fun and games") version of what just happened occurs?
posted by jonson (17 comments total)

 
The newbie blood, it was flowing like a river! Hilarious.
posted by bargle at 10:36 PM on June 1, 2003


These kids are psychos. Who wants to destroy their (obviously promising) future by spending 10 years in prison for such a pointless and highly illegal practical joke?
posted by dgaicun at 11:11 PM on June 1, 2003


Har-har, time in prison. My two cents says Ubi Soft is currently offering them jobs as we speak...
posted by cohappy at 12:08 AM on June 2, 2003


Yes, much as Adobe hired Dmitry Sklyarov when he cracked their EBook reader encryption. While it's nice to think corporations would reward "innovative" thinkers who point out holes in their systems in non or even semi malicious ways, the reality is dgaicun's two cents seem more likely, these days.
posted by jonson at 12:19 AM on June 2, 2003


dgaicun - I doubt that occured to them, actually. They thought "pointless silly prank" and the corporation thought "omg omg loosing millions of dollars oh jesus save me".
posted by kavasa at 12:35 AM on June 2, 2003


"...an insane god had taken control of our world and was out to kill us all."

Sounds like a potent metaphor to me.
posted by Shane at 5:06 AM on June 2, 2003


Oh, that's just beautiful.
posted by Yossarian at 6:04 AM on June 2, 2003


The .hackers are on the loose.
posted by son_of_minya at 7:28 AM on June 2, 2003


This is some sort of beautiful work of art.
posted by xmutex at 8:57 AM on June 2, 2003


How does hacking get you more time in prison than violent crime? What the hell is wrong with this world?
posted by Space Coyote at 9:08 AM on June 2, 2003


"Hallelujah, I was dead and now I'm not," said player Brian Buttoloer. "This is way better than real life. Let the games begin … again."

How does this guy pronounce his last name? Is the press quoting Heywood Jablome again?
posted by quercus at 11:11 AM on June 2, 2003


The population of an entire Shadowbane town was forcibly moved to the bottom of the sea, where they drowned. City guards turned feral and attacked town residents. Mobs of never-before-seen superpowerful creatures, seemingly spontaneously spawned from the ether, began to prowl the streets unchecked, killing characters in the most painful way possible.

The population of America was forcibly stripped of their civil liberties. Elected representatives turned hawkish and attacked other nations unprovoked. Mobs of never-before-seen superpowerful lies, seemingly spontaneously spawned from the ether, began to prowl the newsmedia unchecked, killing the truth in the most damaging way possible.

Somebody's hacked America!
posted by eustacescrubb at 11:18 AM on June 2, 2003


"working with law enforcement and we promise all of you that these individuals will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."

vs

"Hallelujah, I was dead and now I'm not," said player Brian Buttoloer. "This is way better than real life. Let the games begin … again."

plus

The game was "rolled back" -- everything and every player reverted to their status shortly before the attacks.

If only more MMOGs offered this much chaotic, yet entirely safe harmless fun, and didn't concentrate so much on turning you into a fucking rat with a wirehead.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 11:31 AM on June 2, 2003


hahah, awsome.
posted by delmoi at 5:15 AM on June 3, 2003


"...an insane god had taken control of our world and was out to kill us all."

Would this insane god happen to be called Jehovah? [ punitive, caprcious and violent Republican god of choice. ]

Kids have an uncanny sense of satire.
posted by troutfishing at 6:35 AM on June 3, 2003


eustacescrubb, that was sublime!
posted by quonsar at 8:15 AM on June 3, 2003


Thanks eustacescrubb, because there's not enough random, pointless bitching about U.S. politics on Metafilter.

Oh, and hey! Ruining other people's fun is important and praiseworthy!
posted by Snyder at 8:56 AM on June 3, 2003


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