Last Wednesday, PSN went down. Rather, someone/s hacked Sony and Sony panicked, pulled their services, and began working around the clock to find out how bad it was. When they couldn't find out exactly, they hired a firm whom also helped working around the clock. Six days later, the extent of the breach was finally coming to light with some horrifying implications. All your personal data may now belong to someone else. During this breach, gamers showed among their most horrifying side to date. Since the impact, this ugliness has been turned up to 11 and frankly, I've never been more ashamed of being a gamer. I feel dirty to even be associated with the behavior that's been displayed around the net.
Let's be clear about one thing, first. This sucks for everyone who has been impacted. Trust me, I know. This will be the fourth time in a little over a year that I've had to look at my credit report. The first time was when Paypal had a breach, nothing was taken, but passwords HAD to be changed. A few months later, my credit card company called me to inform THEY had a breach. Within three days, Gawker got hacked and down that shit went. Thankfully, I felt this sting long ago when, during the Hotmail to MSN turnaround, I had my Hotmail account taken over and the emails within used to open credit cards in my name. I was identify theft'd before it was cool. Since then, I keep a printed list of passwords in a sketchbook hidden somewhere in my apartment and I, when updating, simply mark which password goes where. I learned this technique by getting stung, which sucks. But if my PSN password goes down, oh well, down the list I go. Eventually I'll run out of the 300+ I printed, not anytime soon though. For people who WILL be impacted by this issue, I feel for you and hope you come out the other end unscathed.
Now, you would think, since gamers have a long and storied history of being awesome people (Extra Life, Child's Play, etc) and their history of coming to help a fellow gamer in need, this massive breach and bad times, some sympathy would be going out to people. I don't even mean sympathy going out to Sony but to other gamers. People who couldn't use the games they purchased, they are victims. The developers who now are concerned with the obvious negative impact on sales as faith in PSN is breached to a major degree, they are victims. Think about the programmers who likely spent many an 18-20 hour day trying to figure out just what went wrong and how to recover from it, they are victims. And now, people who may have their identity stolen because of the information that was stolen, they are victims. According to gamers, they deserved it.
What? Think back to when Johnathon Holmes had his stuff stolen. Think about how the gamers of DToid banded together and did the awesome for that dude. Take that exact same scenario, place it in a bubble (removing faces from the crime), make the crime be potentially life altering and done in a fashion where someone could be years into the crime before they knew it was happening, and suddenly this person deserved every bit of the bad things that will happen to them. Why? Because they bought a PS3.
Initially the jokes were cheeky but cruel. "Haha, isn't it funny how sucky PSN got offline and sucked... you get what you payed for." This attitude is tragic: what will happen when Live falls or Steam? I have no illusions as I fully expect the PS3 fanboys to display just as terrible of behavior when/if that happens. Leading security experts are actually waiting to see HOW this was done so that they can secure their own networks. Valve, Microsoft, Nintendo, Apple, Amazon, even Paypal are waiting with baited breath, wondering if they're vulnerable to this because, frankly, this was some all new next level shit and the fact that it hit Sony could have been random (or planned considering Sony focuses on letting people use Big Boy money and not point card based economies).
The major outlets refrained from doing the lowest common denominator bullshit, but gamers themselves were more than happy to celebrate these events. When some people said "it sucks that I can't play Portal 2 online but I guess I can wait," in threads, they were often attacked. Their choice in console was a fail, thus they suck, thus getting locked out of software they payed for was 100% a deserved consequence for their decision. All they wanted to do was play a game, all gamers wanted to do was use these events as evidence that their chosen system is better, holding their argument aloft on the misery of others.
I'm looking around, trying to find SOMETHING redeeming about these events, and I can't help but wonder if THIS behavior, as displayed in gaming communities, at local conventions, in Gamestops, at tournaments, and online anytime you log into a game, is what is pushing me away. I want to play games, but now I loath logging into services. I want to buy games, but the gamers in game stores sicken me. I want to talk about games, but the discussions that break out can hardly be called discussions. Everything I used to enjoy about this hobby is slowly being stolen from me, and judging from similar sentiments I've overheard, I'm not alone. Maybe I'm just overreacting and things really aren't quite that bad. So I just thought, maybe, I'd take one final look...
LOOK WHO CAME: