[Update] Young Destiny Player Whose Data Was Deleted Shares Mature Response To The Situation
Update #3: We continued to follow up on this story after publishing "Adam's" account (Update #2). After the comments pointing to the dates of other incidents, Adam and his mother reached out to let me know they had determined which of the family's frequent guests was at fault.
We spoke with the teenager by phone. For more, you can read that interview here.
Update #2: We heard back from the owner of the "KirmitTHEfrog" account, and the results were both surprising and heartbreaking. You can read our interview with the young man here.
Update #1: The young gamer pictured in the heartbreaking video below is named Henry, a fifth-grade Destiny fan whose progress was wiped out by a stranger on the internet. He and his mother reached out to us to share some thoughts about the experience.
Henry's mother tells us that one of the members of the young man's clan invited KirmitTHEfrog and another person into a party. They played together for a while, and it was after earning his trust on February 13, that the events of the video below unfolded.
"As you can see in the video, Henry was devastated, so since the piece was recorded, I uploaded it to my YouTube account since it’s the adult account associated with his PS4 account – Henry is in 5th grade," his mother, Courtney Kramer tells us. "The only reason I uploaded it to YouTube was to have a place to host it so I could share the link with the Bungie Help forum in the hopes they would review and restore his characters. We never expected anyone but Bungie to see it. Then Bungie posted it to their weekly newsletter on Wednesday, and the Internet exploded."
Unfortunately, Henry has suffered a backlash for his naiveté, drawing insults. His mother has been accused of being a bad parent for allowing him to play.
Thankfully, members of the community have stepped up to offer support. The Dads of Destiny clan has reached out to Bungie to request assistance for Henry. Others have stepped in to help him level faster.
"Hay (sic) guys my name is actually Henry, I am currently 11 years old and just got a ps4 for Christmas I legitamitly (sic) ranked up my warlock to level 31, some of you are haters but some of you are supporting me, I accept both," Henry wrote in a comment posted to the video below. i indeed was trying to cheat but he convinced me into doing it right before the video started, he currently has a YouTube and does this everyday... I accept the fact that I got 'rekt' not so many people are supporting me so I kind of feel discouraged do (sic) can you please leave out the hurtful comments I tried to cheat yea I deserve it, but it doesn't mean you have to say mean things about me... Thank you for your time."
As you can see at the end of the video, Henry boldly confronts his malefactors immediately after the incident. He doesn't resort to foul language. He treats them with civility. His mother tells us that this is a valuable lesson for Henry and others.
"I think this is a great opportunity to reiterate to the gaming community about the importance of not trusting anyone online, even if you think they are your friends," Kramer says. "Protect your hard work by being cautious. As Henry’s parents, we are constantly reminding him of this, to be careful, never share your personal information, always be on the lookout. But the truth is, no matter how many times a parent says this to a kid, when you’re in the actual situation, it’s easier to trust people you think are your friends because someone you actually know in real life vouches for them."
On a personal note, as the father of a ten-year-old and a six-year-old (who absolutely loves watching me play Destiny), I hope that those who would consider reaching out to insult Henry and his family reconsider. We didn't share this video to ridicule, but to show the potential dangers of using Share Play with strangers.
Hopefully, Bungie is able to make an exception and assist Henry. And for those who might be interested in helping him recover his progress through play, his PSN ID is in the video below.
I have used the PlayStation 4’s Share Play feature exactly once, and it worked perfectly. I was able to let my friend share my screen, and I even passed the controller over.
I would never suggest doing this with someone you don’t know well. I would absolutely never encourage you to hand the controller to someone in a situation where your data is on the line.
This is a lesson that one young gamer learned the hard way.
A young player by the name of “George” (we’re not sure if that’s his real name) handed the controller to someone via Share Play expecting that the other user “KirmitTHEfrog” would help him uncover a glitch to boost his character.
For some reason, “George” walks away from the television and, in a short amount of time, his malefactor deletes two of his characters and wipes the last exotic weapon from the third. “George” was streaming on Twitch at the time (using a capture device, as you can’t both Share Play and stream).
We’ve reached out to both parties in hopes of getting some understanding of what was going through each of their minds. This is a combination of naiveté (and a desire to cheat the system) and pure maliciousness.
And even if this was somehow faked, it serves a purpose as an object lesson. Be safe out there. Don’t entrust your data to anyone you don’t know. And for the love of god, don’t hand the controller to someone over the internet that you don’t trust completely.
And if you're wondering if Bungie is going to make things right for the young man, we have bad news. The company is exploring ways to make bad decisions (and malicious actions) like this "less permanent." For now, you're stuck whether you kill off your characters or let someone else do it.