D0708 T1623 Y2007Do you know where your Xbox has been?

If you are up on your gizmo gossip, you might have heard the one about the gamer who bought a used Xbox 360, only to find out that it was forever banned as a viable portal for Xbox Live. The backlash is so obvious; you don’t even need to read the whole article. There go the binary bullies at big, bad Microsoft; doing everything they can to crush the dreams of the little guy! Again!

Microsoft is an easy target for the pedestrian hater. When you go to shoot those guns of non-conformism, you aim high. It’s usually the industry leader who gets shot in the back, after all; since they are the ones out in front of the pack.

This bloggergamer would like to take a moment to salute the manufacturers of the Xbox for executing bolder maneuvers in the interest of making the world safe for the respectable gamer. Since its earliest inception on a stock Blogger.com template, ‘Tied the Leader’ has sought to unify the voices of gamers who play the game for love of the game. Despite our boldest efforts, we continue to be a vocal minority. There is, however, hope for the war effort.

Anyone who has played more than three games of Halo 2 on Xbox Live knows all too well the sort of behavior that results in an Xbox becoming forever banished from the realms of Halo 2 – and other “fine” games. Prior to the implementation of these more drastic measures, the practice of combatting the scum of Xbox Live was about as successful as pulling weeds or busting your friendly neighborhood smack dealer on their corner of choice. No sooner was a gamertag banned, than a new one grew back in its place.

With a gaming market flooded with free vouchers to try Xbox Live, we enjoyed these personalities three months at a time. It was all too easy for a new head to grow back on the victim that was hounded from our midst. The Community of Grief seemed to enjoy a seemingly endless population of replacement soldiers.

Banning one gamertag was obviously too small a penalty. The worst case scenario behind that tactic was the loss of a $50 value. To the people who perpetrated that destruction, trashing the online multiplayer experience for the fans of Halo 2 was apparently a pastime that was worth $50 – numerous times over, even.

That war has escalated, friends. You want to eliminate crime from the streets of Turf? You gotta go straight to the source. What are you prepared to do? They pull a modded map? You pull a banhammer. They send one of yours to the blue screen? You send one of theirs to Best Buy. That’s the Chicago Way. And that’s how you get Capone!

In making this move, Microsoft stands a good chance of completely alienating a viable segment of their market. The same business entity that is often described as a soulless juggernaut has decided to risk some diminished financial returns in search of something called “quality”. In this case, we are talking about quality of community. They know who their loyal consumers are, and they are smart enough to know that they are not the spoiled little brats that abuse a gadget until it is replaced for them.

The only thing that will sustain the health of an online community is enforced accountability. Gamers will only be so concerned about their Xbox Live Reputation. If they are the sort that is not concerned about reputation in real life, you can’t very well assume that they will give a rat’s ass that you are cursing their assumed name in the upload screen. There must be consequences. You know what you get in a society without consequences? You get Anarchy. It’s punk rock to think Anarchy is cool. It’s also Punk Rock to choke on your own vomit before you are 30. Hint: Both of those things are bad.

For those gamers that are irate over the purchase of an impotent Xbox 360, we can only advise that you should have bought your Xbox fresh. There are some things in this life that you just do not buy used. If it’s worth owning, it is worth owning clean and new! This includes handguns, napkins, chewing gum, undergarments, toothbrushes, handguns, bandages, produce, shoe inserts, all forms of contraception, beverages, matresses, snorkeling equipment, batteries, orthodontia, plungers, lightbulbs, artificial organs, cigarettes, cotton swabs, pre-fabbed sexual partners, movie tickets, roll-on toiletries, handguns, and yes… your very own Xbox Gaming System. Don’t get me wrong. I think Al Gore is a swell guy, but there are some things that you just don’t recycle.

Think about it. Take any of those aforementioned products and insert it into the following sentence:

“Hey, check it out, I picked myself up a used ___________ !”

The response would be laced with shock and revulsion.

“Do you know who used that ________ last?”

To make a long story short [too late], the moral is this…
You don’t want to inherit someone else’s problems.

The other moral to the story is that Microsoft puts the good guys first. You can always tell who they are. They are ones who say “Good Game!”

Even if it wasn’t.

Posted by XerxdeeJ

Comment 17

  1. #LINK D0709 T0043
    TTL Pheonix Sam wrote...

    Hey now, there’s nothing wrong with used hand-guns, and long as there’s a back-ground check… and every gun is fired before sold… yeesh. I got a joke to send you, by the way. Keep an eye on your in-box.

    To the topic at hand, however…

    I bought my X-box refurbished. It lasted longer than the X-box’s owned by two of my friends. To me, a refurbished X-box should be made “new” again, and should not have felt the effects of this “Ban.”

    As for a 360 sold on the street, I support the ban. It’s “traded goods,” and in effect, MS loses money and the true number of sales in not represented.

    I’ve often wondered if the “buy/sell/trade” game shops that have popped up everywhere have effected the price of games. As most of the money made by MS is done through their ames (and not the system), it seems to me that these markets are undercutting the ame producers.

    If this is true, I believe that the same is true for consoles.

    However… I will be buying a second console for my girlfriend for when H3 comes out (too good for split-screen, for sure) and I’d like to take advantage of the consoles sold for “Elite” upgrades.

    It is a tricky argument, though I am glad to hear that Ban’s are permanant. I’ve experienced only a few games other than Halo 2 online—while most of the cheaters I’ve met wre on Halo 2, every game has had a fair share of cheaters.

  2. #LINK D0709 T0616
    TTL Demag0gue wrote...

    I always try to buy my electronics new, as much as possible – especially gaming consoles. I’ve had bad experiences with refurbished electronics in the past, experiences I don’t wish to repeat. So, fresh from the box is the only way to go for me.

  3. #LINK D0709 T0935
    Stuicide wrote...

    It’s worth it if just one cheating 13 year old kid has to explain to his mom why he’s got to sell his 360 and buy a new one.

  4. #LINK D0709 T1009
    Locke wrote...

    Excellent write up.

    This was definitely a bold move by M$.

    @ Sam, if refurbished consoles were able to be cleaned of cheating bans, what would prevent the Timmies from simply exploiting that?

    Picking a used console is just like picking a used car. Know exactly what you’re getting before you buy, and you should be alright.

  5. #LINK D0709 T1122
    Deadguy wrote...

    What’ the problem here? Someone sold a misrepresented 360. They should be liable for that.

    Unless Microsoft wants to offer us a “serial number check” kinda’ like car facts. Run the VIN and find out if the car has been damaged in such a way that it’ll affect you later.

    Also, it’s possible that a banned 360 could be banned on the server end, not on the unit itself. In theory, a legitimate reciept thats dated to a point AFTER a ban was placed, should allow microsoft to lift that ban.

    Unless of course, we’re talking about a modded Xbox, which goes back to being an item that’s been misrepresented by the seller.

    Yes, there’s a way to explioit the “provide-a-receipt-clear-the-ban” system.. so don’t do that.

    Sorry you bought a 360 that is not “LIVE-enabled”. Perhap you should seek reparations from the seller, or be a sucker, identify that the 360 is “LIVE-disabled” and resell it, to recoup some of your money.

    Unless, of course, you don’t use LIVE, like 50% of my friends.

  6. #LINK D0709 T1129
    Spartan Jag wrote...

    Heck yes! I think MS finally decided to give us our money’s worth (for Live) and started getting rid of the punks that ruin it for us! And I started reading the comments in that article—one guy said he had the same problem, but returned his console to EB and got a new, fully working one NO. QUESTIONS. ASKED. Maybe the guy it happened to should try that instead of a call to arms against the ‘evil juggernaut’ that is MS.

    “You know what you get in a society without consequences? You get Anarchy. It’s punk rock to think Anarchy is cool. It’s also Punk Rock to choke on your own vomit before you are 30. Hint: Both of those things are bad”

    ^ Gold.

  7. #LINK D0709 T1257
    TTL zeuz patter wrote...

    I agree with the move by MS. This is long overdue, but better late than never. Go clim on the one who sold it, not to MS, they are cleaning the webs from cheats.

  8. #LINK D0709 T1401
    TTL Gunslinger wrote...

    An extended, three year warrenty and now this? Those guys on Glen Beck the other night were right…The apocalypse is upon us!

  9. #LINK D0709 T1430
    Quikthnkr wrote...

    I read this story and it said the guy got his money back from the original owner. I agree. Ban for life. Ban ‘em for good. $50 obviously isn’t enough. Ban the machine; make them pony up another $300.

    And if you call 1-800-4my-xbox they can tell you if the box you re thinking about buying has been permanently banned. And they don’t charge $24.99 like Carfax does.

    And I don’t think Gamestop is going to be hurting too much for this. They will probably just guarantee the boxes are Live enabled and label the ones banned seperately. Or they will have a little chat with M$ and get them unbanned. Either way it’s their problem.

    Caveat Emptor

  10. #LINK D0709 T1432
    Quikthnkr wrote...

    I would like to hear what Los has to say about your diatribe against used items though. LOL. ;)

  11. #LINK D0709 T1546
    Some Guy wrote...

    Actually, in Halo 2, modifying a map did not lead to the banning of the console (unless you are particularly amateurish). This was one of the great weaknesses of the system; people could continue to make new accounts on the console and nothing could be done.

    The Xbox 360 on the other hand … is another story. Bungie have the ability to ban offending consoles this time around, and no doubt any potential cheats will get a nasty surprise …

  12. #LINK D0709 T1658
    Thos wrote...

    There are two different things here: Physically altering the Xbox hardware / software, or glitching the game (eg standbying).

    I think a full ban on a hard- or softmodded Xbox is fine. However, for in-game cheats I always thought that a gamertag ban was useless, as the cheats will be back on with another tag within days.

    Far better would be to give the gamertag a hidden ‘cheat’ score. Then, during the game gathering process, cheats will be matched against one another, leaving the rest of us to play fairly.

    How cool would it be for modders to be only playing other modders game after game after game?

  13. #LINK D0709 T2303
    fuck u wrote...

    fuck u fuck u fuck u fuck u all

  14. #LINK D0710 T1426
    poobandit wrote...

    HAHAHAHA…..I love this idea! Thank you Microsoft for banning HALO 2 cheaters! Get raped cheaters….HAHAHAHA! You just got raped by Microsoft!!!!

  15. #LINK D0710 T1925
    Alekat wrote...

    Ahem, now the next step is to place a small explosive in every xbox at the factory. So when you’re caught cheating…


  16. #LINK D0711 T0132
    TTL Pheonix Sam wrote...

    Locke, Quick—The the thing about a refurbished X-box… it’s not purchased from the owner… at least not in my case, in which it was a factory repaired machine and was sold at a discounted price. It even had a little official “rfurbished by Microsoft” sticker on it.

    If a Box is sold first party (from the owner), I could see a “let the buyer beware” attitude persevere, but if the machine returned to the market from Microsoft (which would not return a console to the previous owner, Locke) I beleive that there should be some sort of guarantee or way to fix the banning.

    Still, this sort of ban is a good idea, and has been whispered about for quite a while though one of my friends more dubious friends.

  17. #LINK D0713 T1008
    Excardon wrote...

    Although this may come off as a litle prickish at first, but I don’t under why you would by a used 360 in the first place.

    When I went out a couple months ago to shop for one I found out that the refubrished ones are only $20 less than a brand new one. I could see if your saving $100 or maybe even $50 for a new game, but $20 is hardly worth it when you are already spending $400.

    I heard of Microsoft banning 360 consoles for a while now through one of the workers at my local GameStop. They say they just ship it back to Microsoft however he doesn’t know what Microsoft does or does not do to the 360 once they get it back.

    Cool thing that they are doing this though. I always thought banning the 360 or maybe the purchaser’s credit card number would be a good idea and I’m glad they did one of the two.

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