Lessons From One Kid’s Destiny Woes

Published on: Mar 3, 2015 @ 17:51

There was quite a hubbub over a Cosmodrome-sized ‘murder’ mystery. An 11 year-old boy was told there was a Destiny glitch that would allow his characters to level faster so he used the PS4 share-play feature to remotely hand over control to a person who claimed they could access this glitch for him.

That person proceeded to murder the 11 year-old’s characters. Just deleted that level 26 Titan and 31 Warlock to an early grave. POOF! Gone in an instant, never to return.

A video of the incident was uploaded to Youtube by the victim, and many news outlets began an in-depth investigation… because, you know… that’s what news sites do.

Generally I think these sites a bit desperate for Destiny material, which is probably why I rolled my eyes when I came across this Game Informer article (or this one from Polygon).

I’ll admit, my initial thoughts were an icy, “This stuff happens all the time.”

But that was before I tried recalling my pizza-faced 11 year-old-self and my current (far less pizza-faced, but far more pizza-stuffed) 29 year-old self, and what I found, all cynicism aside, was there are some kernels of truth here.

And while they won’t make us better at Destiny, I think they just might make us better at relating to people in Destiny.

From the Mouths of Babes

Prior to being a writer, I was a teacher – a teacher of 4th grade boys much like our 11 year-old victim – and if there’s one thing I learned in the trenches of education, it’s that lessons children learn are often lessons I need drilled into me again. Every smashed LEGO set or veiled jab at another person’s failed mathematics problem is just a tiny version of my own jealousy and bitterness, but without all the benefit of sarcasm and subtlety.

And while I don’t think it worth anyone’s time belaboring the details of what shall henceforth be dubbed “Delete-gate” (because if you add “gate” to anything you have a scandal!), I do think it beneficial to ponder a few lessons learned from this event.

I’d like to look at them from two angles. First, how do people respond to events like this and can we learn something from those responses? And finally, what are we to think of a world where this sort of thing is news worthy at all?

Both of these are things I too am working through, so thoughts from the PlanetDestiny community are, as always, encouraged.

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

Perhaps the most common response I’ve heard goes something like: “It’s just a game. The kid should suck it up and get over it. He’s learned to be more careful the hard way.”

And that’s somewhat true. It is a game, and what we create in games, like so much else, will not last.

My save files from Final Fantasy VII were very dear to me as well, but they don’t exist anymore. It’s just a game – that’s true – and enough time has passed that I’ve gotten over it.

But it’s not all true.

Comic by Stuntmutt
Comic by Stuntmutt

What is not true is that the medium we create in somehow corresponds to the value of that creation, meaning if I pour hours into shaping and relating to my level 31 Hunter (and believe me, I love that little dude), it makes no difference that he’s made of someone else’s polygons wrapped in someone else’s texture map. I still had a hand in creating, and the loss of that created thing is still undeniably painful. It makes no difference what you create from. Creation is creation – it holds the same emotional weight.

So should the kid get over it? That depends. If by “get over it” we mean let time heal that wound, then sure – he should get over it. But if we mean he should miraculously act like the time he poured into that game, which is now suddenly and irrevocably ripped from him, isn’t painful – well, that’s like asking someone who was stabbed to stop bleeding. I don’t see how he could possibly fulfill the request.

What we must remember is that while all things pass away, they don’t all pass away suddenly and without warning. Most things slip by while we busy ourselves with other distractions – we hardly notice the passing. But when something we love now is there one day and gone the next, that hurts. It should hurt, because the attachment and emotions are real.

We should be sensitive to that, because creation makes deep roots in us. When those roots are ripped out suddenly (and we’ve all faced it) – that takes time.

The Space Between Revulsion and Apathy

And then there’s Polygon’s response. I love its headline for this story, which runs: “A horrible person deleted a fifth-grader’s Destiny characters.”

Ah headlines – so grabby, so refreshingly simple. But I can’t help but ask if this kid really qualifies as a “horrible person.”

I mean, how many of us as kids didn’t do some pretty horrendous things? I made my teacher cry by essentially telling her she was terrible at everything, and it was years before I even considered apologizing. But in my defense, she wasn’t a very good teacher. I’m beginning to realize that maybe I’m a horrible person, but I digress.

The point is, we all do things we only regret much later in life, and immature children are far more susceptible to shortsightedness – ignoring the consequences of their choices – than we are.

Perhaps this boy will look back in a few years, realize what a crummy thing he did, and apologize – that choice is on him. However, we have a choice as well. A choice about how we react to such things.

delete-gate response

The issue we face is this dichotomy between repulsion and apathy. Public response seems to jump from aloof disregard to cries for vengeance, and the middle ground is so easily lost. Death threats have been thrown about, journalists talk as though a criminal were being built before our eyes, and everyone else… well, we’ve just got better things to do with our time.

But a middle ground is necessary when dealing with children (especially for parents). We are expected to respond, but respond with eyes unclouded. To see issues between the spectrum of revulsion and apathy, to care enough without caring too much – that’s far more helpful than gut reactions. A T.S. Eliot line fits well here as a summary:

“Teach us to care and not to care. Teach us to sit still.”

And that’s exactly our responsibility – to care the right amount. Some battles are worth fighting for, but they aren’t worth burning down everyone and everything in our way. That’s the challenge: finding the middle ground.

Safety First, or Trust?

It will also be said, “Serves him right. Will teach him not to trust strangers online.” And while I can’t put my finger on it, something about that response disturbs me. I ask here because I genuinely don’t know: what do we favor? Safety or trust?

Getting burned is sometimes good. One mistake teaches us more than many successes, and this boy was certainly burned. I seriously doubt he’ll make the same mistake anytime soon.

My inner conflict comes from the fear that we value security so much that trust gets short shrift. And I’m also guilty. You won’t find a person who errs on the side of caution more than me – hell, I buckle my belt when driving a single block down the street.

Again, I ask because I think it worth questioning: what do we lose when we erect barricades every time someone harms us? Do we lose out on something richer – some opportunity to meet people who are helpful and interesting? And the Destiny community is full fascinating people. We’ve met them. We know they’re out there.

No matter how much I consider the lessons I’d want to give this 11 year-old, I can’t with good conscience say one of them would be, “Don’t trust people.” Sure, it might go, “Be careful how much power you yield to strangers,” but the thin line separating those two just might be more significant than we think.

Though it makes me seem soft (and guilty as charged), I end with a stanza from Robert Frost’s poem Mending Wall:

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out

And to whom I was like to give offense.

But that’s enough for deep life lessons. Let’s turn to the question really plaguing me: Why is this news at all?

All the News Fit for Print

We’ve all been there. Turn on the television or pull up your favorite news site and see some of the enticing headlines. You might begin to wonder, “How did this survive the cutting floor?” You might be asking that of this very article – who can say?

Because that’s certainly what I asked when Game Informer not only printed this story, but then proceeded to investigate it so thoroughly. If I’m honest, I despaired a bit about the state of the news – and video game news especially. It just felt so… inconsequential.

But I’ve had a change of heart.

You see, I remembered this kid is a person. While he might be a small person, he is a person who had something very real and very personal taken from him.

destiny character-gate

Is that story worthy of the news? Does it somehow merit space in the vast expanse of the Internet?

Well sure, why not?

If we can glean anything from the story of a bright-eyed kid handing over more power than was prudent to a 17 year-old, as he watched everything he’d built over weeks and months get flushed down the drain, then it’s worth printing.

Because there’s no harm in flooding the Internet with one more reminder of the human condition. It’s a lesson, regardless of our intelligence, that just doesn’t seem to stick.

And I for one could use a good refresher.

Taylor Bair

I write about the intersection between the games we love and the lives we live. When I’m not working on websites and marketing projects, I’m writing with a hot cup of chai tea in one hand and a computer in the other. Makes typing exceedingly difficult, let me tell you.

  • NLK3

    To delete my characters after putting 6 months into them is like deleting the time I spent in those 6 months from me. To me, it’s not different from how some people would say “it’s just a computer” or “it’s just a TGI Friday’s meal”. I don’t care! Stealing even those is the same as stealing the time/money I spent on them. Stealing my computer is the same as stealing $1400 from me, or stealing a TGI Friday’s meal is like stealing $10-20 from me. It may just be a game, but I spent my time on that, sacrificing other fun or important things for it, and nobody is gonna say “Well you should have dome something else” without being a hypocrite. We all want to have fun, not just live for the sake of survival, and deleting those characters, to me, was like stealing that kid’s time. You can get more money, but you can never get more time.

    • Time is definitely valuable

    • insanetrasher

      While I do agree on all you said, the kid learned a big life lesson that day so he didn’t lost everything.

  • BBSlayer

    I guess my main issue with the victim is that he was told about a ‘glitch’ that would boost his character’s level in a way that was not intended by Bungie. He willingly accepted to ‘cheese’ the level system. It is not like the kid asked a stranger to run his character through Crota hard to get the necessary gear, he wanted to cheat the system. Is this fair for some players who have also put tons of hours into this game to get the highest light level possible? I guess you can see it as a Raid or Nightfall cheese; there are those who use spots that guarantee success, and then you get the players who play the game Bungie intended (which I am curious how in some circumstances like the Mars Strike).

    Now just because I say this doesn’t mean I feel the kid deserved what he got; he didn’t. It really sucks to have this happen to someone. I personally would not be happy with having all my characters reset after I have put a ton of my time since release into this game.

    • Frostweasel

      Do we know how much pressure the other guy put on him though? “Everyone is doing it” “I do it all the time” “go on it will really help you out” those types of peer pressure are extraordinarily powerful to children. At 11 years old if you’ve just made a new friend you often over emphasise the importance of agreeing with them, you are yet to realise the value of friends with diverse opinions. My point is I haven’t witnessed the original discussion between the perpetrator and victim, there is no doubt however that the perpetrator was setting out to dupe someone and delete their characters.

      • BBSlayer

        I do believe pressure could have been a factor. We don’t have the actual conversation though, but it is highly likely.
        If my post gave off a negative vibe, I apologize as I didn’t mean to. I just wanted to address a possible idea; whether it is true or not we will be unable to know.

      • Justingoska

        The game is rated T though. If the kid was not playing a game that was not deemed appropriate for his age, this would not have happened.
        ESRB realized that the level of social interaction with strangers was not appropriate for small children.
        Good thing his new friend wasn’t a pedophile rapist that pressured him to meet up or something
        .

    • Finlay Jones

      So you never went to loot cave, heavy ammo glitch, shoot to loot to get double ammo, cheesing bridge, cheesing atheon, cheesing templar, cheesing oracles… never? not once?

      It’s a long fall from that high horse.

    • The Big Donkey

      In reference to the Cerberus Vae III Strike and facing Valus Tau’arc, we need that bunker, otherwise it’s close to impossible when it’s the Nightfall.

  • Reading that someone did this to that kid really rubs me the wrong way. If I had my characters deleted I’d be furious. I’ve had Destiny since release, so that’s MONTHS of game play. Not hours, not days, MONTHS. At that point it’s not “just a game” it’s a life style. We’re gamers. We work hard for what we get. Sure it may not be physical labor but its mental labor.

    Now to say “the kid deserved it” or “the kid had it coming” just shows how ignorant people can be. We don’t know what the kid exactly did. Maybe they were friends and had a falling out. Maybe the 11 year old did something to the other to make him desire some sort of revenge. We don’t know. Do these scenarios make what happened to this 11 year old right? Of course not!

    There is lack of maturity on both sides here:

    1) The 11 year old is 11 YEARS OLD! He’s bound to make mistakes. This should be a life lesson to him: To never to be easy to trust someone. I’m not saying he should never trust anyone just that “trust” is something that should be built up over time. Trust shouldn’t be treated like “Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me maybe” – That’s absurd.

    2) It was stated the other kid was 17. In a year, or months/days (etc.), they will be considered an adult. There for they should start to act like one. Adults, mature adults, don’t go around doing things like this. Is he horrible for doing this? No. Is he a bad person? In my opinion yes. I don’t care who you are or what your reason is, it’s unacceptable.

    • Justingoska

      The reason people say he deserved it because he just trying to take advantage of a glitch in the game to cheat.
      Bungie would have locked him out of account anyways if they found out he was cheating.

      • loafsta

        And there are numerous reasons that’s a terrible argument. One being that it’s not another gamer’s job to punish cheating. Another being that this kid doesn’t seem to have been looking to cheat, but was convinced by an unscrupulous, cruel jerk that he should cheat so that jerk could get access to the kid’s game and arbitrarily erase his hard earned progress. (Should he have just said no? That’s where his age is particularly important – the balance of power in a relationship between an 11 year old and a 17 year old skews heavily toward the 17 year old). Another being that the punishment doesn’t fit the crime – which was, at best, a very badly failed attempt at cheating (and I suspect that Bungie would have taken a similar view if he had been successful and perhaps suspended his account or taken some other lesser action instead of banning him outright, given his age and the circumstances). Another being that it improperly puts Kirmit in the role of some western-style vigilante lawman, bringing justice to the PS4, when its pretty clear he’s just a prick who likes hurting other people. But in my opinion, the main reason that argument sucks balls is because it gives a pass to the obvious bad guy here and focuses blame on a sad 11 year old who was devastated by some prick he thought was helping him out. Anyone who believes that’s the right way to look at this this is not someone I’d want teaching my kids about justice, much less sitting on an actual jury.

        • Justingoska

          They banned players just for logging in from a modified console regardless of age. They didn’t even bother to check if players actually used the console to cheat. If someone was using a glitch to hop up 20 ranks, their account would be banned too.
          I’m not saying Kermit was a good person or even trying to be a vigilante. He’s obviously an asshole. But I don’t think cheating is ok, and while the consequences may have not been proportional, the kid did bring it on himself by trying to cheat.

          • Guest

            If Bungie had banned him, I’d say he brought it on himself, although under the circumstances I still think

          • loafsta

            If Bungie had banned him, I’d say he brought it on himself, although under the circumstances I still think that’s a disproportionate punishment. That’s not what happened here. Some prick took advantage of a kid to wipe his progress. You don’t bring something on yourself if it’s not a reasonably likely outcome of your actions. Kid may have reasonably expected that Bungie would ban him, but I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect that the guy offering to help you is actually going to completely screw you for no reason other than that he is apparently an antisocial (in the clinical sense) prick. Kid should have been more cautious about giving access to Kirmit, but you’re not saying that – you’re saying the kid DESERVED it. That’s not Kirmits call, or your call or my call, it’s Bungie’s and maybe Microsoft’s.

            I also think your example is off the mark. If you go to the trouble of buying a modded deck or modding it yourself, you are basically announcing to the world that you intend to engage in a pattern of cheating. In addition, a well-modded deck gives you advantages over other players in PVP that you don’t get from simply skipping up a few levels. Finally, I’m pretty sure Microsoft requires developers to ban users of modded decks as part of their licensing agreements, since it creates potential DRM issues for MS depending on the mods, so I don’t even think Bungie has the discretion to give a different punishment.

            I agree, cheaters suck. I also think 11 year olds are kids who will do dumb stuff and sometimes need to be punished to learn a lesson. I just don’t think this was a lesson about anything other than how cruel people can be. And this is not the way I’d want any kid to learn that lesson.

          • Justingoska

            Alot of people just mod their systems to increase performance, I.e. increase frame rate and reduce loading times. I don’t think this would really give someone an advantage in pvp though.
            Although since it does open the possibility to cheat or access locked off files (I’m pretty sure a modded console is how destinydb.com gets information), I believe this is why bungie chose to ban those accounts. Its not a Microsoft policy though. Modding your system will void the warranty, but it doesn’t violate the user agreement. As far as I know, Destiny is the only game you’re barred access from, although I wouldn’t be surprised if other games such as call of duty have a similar policy.
            I wouldn’t say having a modded console announces you as a cheater
            I would say posting a YouTube video where you’re demonstrating a method of cheating, does announce to the world that you’re a cheater.

            That being said though, I see your point as well. Having your characters permanently erased probably isn’t a fair punishment for trying to cheat.
            Although I don’t think it was fair either to ban players accounts for logging in on modded consoles without any evidence that they were cheating. I feel like they should just not let you log in from the modded console instead of outright banning you.

  • BaeSuzy

    Woah! The author of this article is 29 years old!? Phew, thank you Taylor Blair for not making me feel old. Great article by the way!

  • ceedoubleyou

    Can’t say I’m much impressed by this writer’s vacillation back and forth on this story. This whole piece felt like he was trying to please both sides while pretending to be the adult in the room.

    As I’ve gotten older I’ve found that, in most cases, the adults in the room have to pick a side of the street.

    • braylien

      i disagree. i appreciate when i find someone that can see both sides of the argument. you dont always have to pick a side. not everything is a competition.

      • ceedoubleyou

        I’m not competing for anything; I’m just stating my opinion.

        And my opinion is that, yes, I agree that it’s important to listen to both sides of things. And I certainly was open to hearing why the 17 year-old did what he did. But when asked whether he’d done it to anyone else, he said “I’ve done it multiple times …I think three? four? I thought it would be funny.” He also has no remorse whatsoever about it and he refused to say he won’t do it again.

        That is pretty clearcut. That is pretty damning.

        Adults look at the evidence, at what has happened and decide what was right, what was wrong. And yes, we all know that some circumstances are hard to judge. But this is not one of those circumstances.

        • loafsta

          Hell yes. Tell it like it is ceedoubleyou.

    • Octus

      I liked his writing, from it you are able to experience more than one point of view. Which is very important as you get older and relationships become deeper. There should be time to reflect before sticking to a side. Its also important to be able to change your stance on a subject and not get caught up in a stubborn mindset, which I am guilty of from time to time.

  • Barrilho

    the kid who lost the characters is within his rights to be mad and upset about it(i mean as a kid i was upset that i lost my progress on shadow of the colossus when i was the one who forgot to plug in the memory card)

    and while your point about safety or trust is valid there is still some middle ground there because you need to evaluate who you trust
    i.e: i have many raid teams and probably all of the members of all those teams are people i’m now friends with and i’d trust them to have my back on any raid or any crucible match but that’s it

    on the other hand there are 3 guys who are my halo team and we’ve known each other for years(1 is my cousin the other is my best friend and the third is literally the first player i ever met on xbox live and since then me my best friend and my cousin have all met him in person many times to the point where even our families find it normal to see him around and his family feels the same) and we trust each other to the point of everyone of us knowing the other’s gamertag password

    and even they decided once to play a joke on me and spend all my halo reach credits on firefight voices(although i wasn’t mad because they knew i wasn’t saving the credits for anything in particular so i just tought “yeah well whatever”)

    just because the kid played with the person in question that doesn’t mean he should give him access to his account(even less so when you can’t be sure that it’s the accounts owner talking to you)

    obviously this shouldn’t be a case of people sending death threats to the troll or thinking the kid should just suck it up but the kid needs to understand that his actions and poor judgement led to these consequences and with that he should learn to be more careful

    i do feel bad for him but that’s just the way things are and i’ve personally lost way more time invested into games than he did just on corrupted save files and fried HDD’s and while i always thought “that sucks” i always saw the silver lining which was that i now had a reason to replay the games i loved

  • Ascending Legend

    My maniacal side tells me to laugh at this. But my ‘what if this was me’ side tells me to show some consideration for this kid. In regards to that ‘he should know better then to trust strangers’ argument, one of the articles that are linked say that the person who did this was a friend of the kids friend, so that kind of makes it a bit suss. Also, can’t Bungie sort of ‘restore to last saved data’ so this kid can get his stuff back?

    • Justingoska

      He was trying to cheat, he’s lucky bungie hasn’t banned him after the video got popular.
      Bungie takes cheating very seriously. They’re not going to help someone that lost data trying to cheat with a glitch

  • MrC

    A well written and reflective article that suits try to bring some sort of rationale to what happened. I also share the writer’s insight as I also teach children of this age and can see many parallels in my own children in my class.
    However, I do have a couple of concerns regarding the whole saga and one of them is the child’s age. I know that the age-old response to this is that the parent can decide if a child is mature enough to deal with the game content. However, both Bungie and a classification panel regarded the game as being suitable for teenagers as a minimum… Something that this child isn’t.
    And it’s not just about the content of the game that suits the classification, it is also the online community that surrounds it. If you buy a game for your child that I’d clearly aimed at older teens and adults, then these are the type of people that will be online and the potential for the child to be exploited exists.
    This is me being the censor’s best friend. What I am tired of seeing is young, vulnerable children being exposed to content and images way before they are mature enough to deal with them, e.g. GTA V (which I also play).
    The ‘victim’ here has been naive enough to allow someone unrestricted access to their account whilst out of the room. Would someone who was age appropriate for the game have made the same mistake? I wonder…

    • Will

      I 110% agree, his mind wasn’t ready for the experience of not just the game but the community as well. He was a child and thus was treated like an adult in an environment meant for young adults and adults alike. The blame falls on the parents for early exposure.

  • Paratrooper2000

    I am happy for this young guy. That he now made this poor experience with Destiny. And not in a couple of years with his online banking account… 😉

    • Christian

      That’s true. This sort of stuff is important to experience. It’s like getting kids pets even though you know said pets will die before they are aged 12. It will probably leave them heartbroken, but it shows them what life is about and how it isn’t some magical bubble where “everything will be okay”. Let kids climb trees, let them have the responsibility of accounts. If they mess up, they’ll hurt themselves or loose time, not kill themselves or ruin their lives (if they had done these things at a later date). I 100% agree with you.

      • Niklas bomber

        But mommy said mr. tiddles ran away to the fairy land

        Pfft.

  • Frank

    Just came to say that I really enjoyed reading this article, GJ Taylor

  • braylien

    wow. an inspiring take on a story that could otherwise feel like internet popcorn. thank you

  • DM’s_Minion

    Destiny is rated ‘T for Teen’ right? Perhaps if he was older he would of been more aware of a trick like this?

  • metalman5150

    Great Article Taylor!

  • Gabstep

    To be honest, i think it was a good experience for him since games these days are full of hackers and people with bad intentions. I guess he will learn to not trust anybody with these kind of things. I’ve been hacked a couple times in the past with stupid mistakes of trust in other people when was younger and it made me more careful about that.

    • loafsta

      No personal offense to you – I’ve seen this response to this story all over the Internet and I find it completely infuriating no matter who is saying it. This kid did not have a “good” experience. He had a terrible experience. He learned a lesson from it, yes. You could call that a silver lining, sure. But it was not, in any morally objective way, a “good” experience. It should not have happened, and describing it as “good” only signals to others that the perpetrator was somehow less morally culpable, because the perpetrator gave the victim something of value in exchange for the misery he callously caused. It also happens to demonstrate a stunning lack of compassion for an 11 year old kid.

      Taken to the extreme: A kid gets badly beaten and hospitalized walking home late at night through a bad neighborhood. You say: “Chin up, kid, that was a good experience for you because now you know to be more careful walking home at night. Your assailant really did you a favor – you’ve learned a valuable life lesson!”

      • Gabstep

        I’m sorry that you’ve understand it like this, i didn’t meant any bad in my comment it just went out wrong. I meant it more like a lesson than a ”good experience” my bad for expressing myself with the wrong words mate. I personnaly have been a victim in these kind of situation and i totally understand this kid misery and frustration and, in any case, doesn’t agree with the perpetrator’s act.

        Sincerely, Gab

        • loafsta

          No worries – I meant it when I said it wasn’t personal. I just get annoyed that so many people seem perfectly happy giving the bad guy here a pass in one way or another. I get what you’re saying and appreciate your clarification.

  • Freelance Foot

    Very well spoken Ryan. I could not have said it better myself. I was wondering if you game solely on PS4 or if you have an Xbox 360 account as well. I’m looking for people to play with that play Destiny on the Xbox 360.

    • Taylor wrote this, but I personally am on X1

  • Great post. I think Bungie/Activision-whomever in charge, could consider holding backups of characters in their servers for this exact circumstance.
    What might be more common is older siblings, friends over at the house getting access to characters and changing things.
    That being said, opening the floodgates on this might allow “nuisance” appeals to Bungie. Perhaps when people do things to their characters,and then regret those actions,and possibly concoct stories to appeal for turning back the clock..and undoing mistakes.

  • Mike S

    These articles are really great, Taylor. Games are about escaping, but I absolutely love discussion around tying them into real life issues / lessons. It makes the gaming experience much more valuable in my opinion. Thank you!

  • FlipFlipadelfia

    There is a difference between trusting someone and giving them full access of your machine. I trust a lot of people irl, but I’d never give them full access to my computer, let alone some stranger I just met on the internet.

    I can see where you are coming from about trusting people in a social setting (face to face), but honestly you should NEVER trust ANYONE on the internet. Growing up, my fiends and I played UO. And I trusted one of my friends with access to my house (in game). He “jokingly” screwed me out of my house. That was someone I’d been friends with for 15 years. Granted not everyone you trust is going to screw you, but would you say that you should trust life long friends and give them your SSN or Financial Information?

    Trusting people doesn’t mean they should know and/or have full access to all of your information/stuff.

  • Sandy Rusli

    What happened to kirmitthefrog ? Did he get banned ? he deservedly so….

  • Foxintoxx

    To me , my characters are more than just some data in a computer . They’re not just´worth the 7 months I spent creating them , it’s more than this . With my Hunter , which is my main character , I have memories , experiences . Its the character with which I first completed a game , had my first nightfalls , completed my first raids . I’ve met some wonderful people as this hunter , and now I believe it is sort of a part of me , of my own personnality . Nothing too extreme of course , but even while 7 months might seem like a small period of time to identify yourself to a fictionnal character , I still do and I believe it’s also the case for many other guardians .

    But there’s something else . For a few people , video games aren’t just a distraction . I’m not talking about youtubers or streamers for whom video games pay their bills and allow them to eat everyday (even though this kid was streaming I doubt he got any money out of it ) . I’m talking about people (mostly children i believe) who are having troubles in their daily lives with their parents or bullying etc. and to whom video games are a sort of loophole , a way for them to forget about their problems , a sort of second life that they can enjoy . Now , hopefully I never happened to be in any of these situations , but maybe this kid IS , and I get how it could be incredibly traumatic to see the only thing that really matters to you get deleted just for “humor” .

    Then , regarding what kirmitTHEfrog did , I am quite puzzled . it doesn’t matter wether he is 17, 25 , 56 , 84 or 127 years old , because age isn’t always an indicator of maturity . I’m pretty sure that , in the beginning , he didn’t mean to really “hurt” the kid . It’s this kind of “joke” , like pushing someone off a ledge , thinking it’d be funny , and then see them getting hurt and realising it wasn’t very funny afterall . However , those incredibly stupid jokes are generally impulsive , you don’t plan them in advance while kirmit actually took the time to convince the kid and take advantage of his naivety just for some stupid “joke” .

    Now wether or not the kid learned a lesson is not relevant . you don’t empty someone’s bank account to teach him how vulnerable it is , you just access and show it’s possible . You don’t hack governmental agencies and spread confidential information just to show them they’re vulnerable , you just break in and prove that it’s vulnerable . You don’t break into someone’s house and destroy all of his furniture , you just crack the lock and prove that it’s vulnerable .

  • DangerousDonnyD

    Many things can be said about this situation but anyone here on this website knows the commitment, time invested, and connection they have to their Guardians. The memories that are tied to weapons earned during clutch performances of nightfalls, earning the sweet helmet that could only be obtained by beating hard mode atheon to achieve level 30. It might be strong to say I love my guardians but I really do. It goes far beyond the excistence of a video game but yet the feeling of success, hard work and team work that fuels these memories.

  • This article was way to long to do justice for any sort of point you were trying to get across about ‘deflate-gate’. so I read a few lines and then skipped some, then read a few lines and skipped some more.
    Then I came down here to say that ‘deflate-gate’ is still fucking stupid as shit and the little whiny bitch needs to get over it. You wanna try to cheat and get to max level?… BOOM bye bye to your characters.
    Karma is a bitch. Lesson learned. Don’t trust online people with your shit. Very fucking simple.

  • WWCD

    I think it really sucks that he lost 2 out of the 3 characters, but are we forgetting that he was trying to cheat (a glitch to rank up your characters faster)? Do it the hard way like everyone else – Grind. Yeah, we cheese VoG and Crota, but giving up control to a stranger??? Can this kid really scream bloody murder? I don’t think so. When are we going to stop blaming everyone else and remember something called accountability? Bottom line: a naive kid learned a hard lesson. Get over it, people. Don’t cry him a river. Let him lick his wounds and ponder common sense.

    • Justingoska

      Cheaters never prosper.
      Maybe deleting his characters was just part of the glitch and Kermit just didn’t mention the details of how the glitch was done, lol

  • loafsta

    Thanks for the thoughtful article, Taylor. I’ve got 2 kids younger than the victim here, but I think being a dad made watching that video when I first saw it on the bungie update particularly heart wrenching. Doesn’t matter that Destiny is “just a game”, this kid was clearly devastated, and it was incredibly upsetting for me to think about someone doing something so cruel to one of my kids in a couple of years. One thing we forget as we get older (even only into our teens) is how slowly time passes for kids, which makes the time and effort he probably put into the game that much more significant, and the impact of losing his characters that much more powerful. I turned away from that video thinking it was clear as day who the victim is here, and i give a lot of credit to those in the community who have reached out to this kid to help him out. I think the developing story here, unfortunately, is the willingness of a surprising number of members of the community to blame the victim and give a pass to the bag guy. I’m so disappointed at the lack of compassion – maybe it’s just that the loudest and angriest voices are drowning out the rest, but there seem to be an awful lot of angry and loud voices. I hope articles like yours remind other people to show a little compassion and remember that a kid’s bad judgment doesn’t make what happened to him any less wrong, disgusting and hurtful and certainly doesn’t absolve the guy who did it from blame.

  • ItsJustinTheGame

    I’m impartial. He should have know better, but he might’ve been a kid with parents that wait to let kids play games with guns etc. He couldve only played games like this for a few months when this happened, so he couldnt have know better if that was the case.