Well, the message base has been quite busy about the Greybeard thing (mainly since Murm decided, since he couldn’t have a catapult, he’d content himself with a flamethrower) I’d throw in my two gold pieces. Bear in mind that none of us know anything about what’s going on save what’s been posted by admittedly biased participants, but hey, has that ever stopped anyone before?
This is starting to look to me like one of those situations in which everyone involved is just being a terminal fuckup. Here’s why.
First off, Greybeard. Yes, it was hysterical when he broke into the Seekrit El33t smurf channels. It has always been my opinion that one of the fatal flaws (there are many) in the smurf program is a buying into the whole IRC mentality. Anyone with any passing familiarity with IRC culture knows that it encourages pecking orders, power trips, and other random acts of stupidity. Which, coincidentally enough, are also problems which have plagued the smurf program. Go figure.
I think Greybeards busting into #uo-council and cracking skulls was a stunt, and a fairly humorous one. Should it be cause for his being banned as a UO player? Hmm. Well, he interfered with all those horribly, horribly busy smurfs idling away in channel, and in some instances actually booted them off the channel so that they would have to find some other venue to idle away in. So, if you were an idiot, you could make a case that Greybeard interfered with the workings of the Support program. Of course, if you were an idiot, you could also be amused for hours by balancing a spoon on your nose. Idiots have it easier in life.
However, that idiot is probably the only one who believes Greybeard’s protestations of innocence. “I was merely invited there by a friend and popped in looking to do an interview with some OSI staff or counselors for my web site.” WHATever. As his log shows when he joined the channel:
<Aries_AFKish> how did you get into uo-council?
<Greybeard> Same way I am going to get back into it in a moment…
<Aries_AFKish> mmm, mind sharing that with me?
<Greybeard> Well, after I offend a few people I will be happy to
<Aries_AFKish> hmm…ok and a better question would be how are you oped
<Greybeard> That was a pretty good trick no?
<Aries_AFKish> im impressed…
Generally, when I try to land an interview, I keep my offending of people to a reasonably low level. But that’s just me.
Anyway, on from the sublimely ridiculous to the clumsily oafish, we turn to Origin’s response. At some point, Origin decided they didn’t want the author of UOEvil in their game any more. They went to the trouble of looking up his account information after it was changed following the eBay sale (or, more likely, someone narced Greybeard out, since that’s Origin’s standard operating procedure for “detective work”) and, at the highest levels of management, decided that those accounts would be banned, even though there was no actual in-game offense committed by those accounts or their owner. Not one account, but both. They never notified Greybeard of this, but forced him to contact Origin, I presume at his own expense, to eventually find out why they thought he was such a bad boy.
But the truly weird part is that the justification given was that, in this case, IRC was considered part of UO and thus covered by the Terms of Service. We’re kind of going into uncharted territory on this one. By that logic, ANYTHING remotely associated with UO is covered by UO’s terms of service. Including this website. Better not be reading it, or you might be banned. You never know when I might say something The Powers That Be disapprove of.
Origin doesn’t actually NEED a reason of any kind to boot anyone, but the fact that they thought one like this was necessary (as well as accusing him of making racist remarks as another reason for banning, which is pretty amusing considering his wife IRL is African-American) is just pathetic.
Whole lotta power trips going on over in Austin, and the Butt-Naked Avenger got caught in one of them. He wasn’t an angel as he avers, but rape victims don’t need to be virgins to have a case, either.
And, just for delicious irony, it’s funny that OSI sees the need to camp out in public IRC networks in the first place. Isn’t there an IRC-like client in game? What? It doesn’t work very well? Imagine that.