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.
What, because the kid is autistic he doesn't have the capability to cheat on XBL? What does him being Autistic HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING?! I'm sure all they did was look at some online only cheevs that he didn't have a date stamp by. This equals cheater. How do you unlock online only cheevs while playing offline. I love the "my child would never do that" parents.
The real question is why that mother is letting her 11 year old play all those violent games.
makes me want to sell my xbox
I don't think an 11 year old kid, especially one that is autistic, should be playing such violent games (I don't know if he was really playing dead rising or if that was just Fox's example). Still, it sucks that Microsoft took away his gamerscore, and I hope the issue is resolved soon.
All these comments saying "How could they!", or anything similar, are ridiculous. So Microsoft punished him unfairly just because he says he wasn't cheating? Just because he's autistic doesn't mean he doesn't know how to cheat or shouldn't be punished for doing so. If MS reset his achievements then he probably did something wrong.
I also don't see how resetting his achievements ruins his "only social outlet". They didn't ban him. It's really not that big of a deal.
Honestly, I think there is something behind both sides. But Microsoft seems to refuse to give any details, either that or they make it almost impossible to get it. But with this going to the media I do believe that something will come out of this. Maybe Microsoft should look into a claim and talk with the accused before labeling them? Or at least notify them before taking away all the achievements. That gives time for contact and possibly an investigation if needed. Or maybe they could just not have the label system for cheaters. It's usually apparent if someone cheats and mods their way through the scores.
How is this considered news?
Not much you can do here. Xbox Live has systems in place to look for suspicious activity. Perhaps his account was being exploited.
Sure the one time M$ does strike back and it's against a boy with mental issues. Shame on you M$, give the kid his score back!
wow, if he wasnt cheating Microsoft should reimburse them. But they should also investigate more throughouly before labeling somebody a cheater
And they can't even PROVE weather he was cheating or not?
I have issues with microsoft AND the mother. First of all, it doesn't seem like microsoft has any evidence of the kid cheating at all. That's a low move. The kid's autistic, and he, let alone the mother, isn't given any info as to why this happened. But this kid's mom needs to find a way to get the kid off the couch. I know he's autistic, but there are other ways for children with autism to spend their time other than just playing video games.