The lights are on
UPDATE: The mother of the 11-year-old autistic boy who previously insisted her child did not cheat to get achievements has now admitted she was aware of foul play.
Mother Jennifer Zdenek knew that her child, Julius Jackson, gave his Xbox Live Gamertag information to a fellow player in another city, who then used forbidden methods to unlock Halo 3 Recon armor. The mother has now confessed to Q13 Fox News after receiving the following email from head of Xbox Live enforcement, Stephen Toulouse.
"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."
Zdenek admits she knew her son gave his XBL info to another gamer, but doesn't think the child is to blame. "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," she said. Her battle with Microsoft is over, and she's settling for a free month of XBL and fresh Gamertag.
Watch the video below to see how her perception of Xbox Live went from being her son's "only friend" while she had a news channel's attention, to "just a game" when the truth surfaced.
ORIGINAL STORY: There's a bit of a she-said, they-said situation going on near Seattle, with the mom of an 11-year-old boy saying Microsoft reset his gamerscore unfairly and the company saying it was done because he was cheating. Regardless of the truth, the boy has been branded a cheater on Xbox Live and has to earn whatever achievements he had before all over again.
Jennifer Zdenek told Q13 FOX News that her son Julius Jackson went online recently only to discover that his gamerscore had been reset and his account branded as belonging to a cheater. She contacted the company, only to be told that the boy was cheating – which he denies – and that the reset could not be reversed. That's when she took her story to the media.
Zdenek says her son is autistic and that playing games on Xbox Live is his only social outlet. Because of this, she says, he's been devastated by what's happened.
Thanks for the tip, Jeff.
Email the author Jeff Cork, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
Not cool. Sounds like Microsoft needs to do a better job here. I have no problem with penalties for cheaters/hackers but they should be able to reverse it if they screw up or have a better system for investigating for something. I know if my score ever got reset when I didn't do anything to cause it I would be furious. Its not so much the score as it is the record of everything I have accomplished with my time on video games. Its really cool to have.