Well I started writing a response here last night, but my internet page lost
the 8 long paragraphs I had written, so I, frustrated, just went to bed haha.
Dennis, I think Hatred's post is referring less to bringing in individual
sighted gamers, and is more about actually exposing this community to the
sighted world. There is a difference. It also seems like this community has
seen some trouble makers, but it still doesn't seem like it has ever
encountered the kinds of people Hatred, and I, are worried about.
Someone who spams messages in the forum, someone who cheats to make themselves
invincible in audio quake, or someone who intentionally causes arguments with
everyone, is a pest, but not any serious threat. For the most part, they are
an annoyance, and they can be gotten rid of fairly easily. The people we need
to worry about, are the ones who are skilled, and will actively try new things
until they accomplish their goal of breaking everything. It is a little like
comparing a neighborhood thug, to a terrorist who blows buildings up.
To cite examples that I've seen myself, see how the mind set of these people
differs from what you're used to. We are used to seeing occasional spam bots,
that posts 1 to 5 messages, and then move on. They are here to try to promote
some website or product, and they can be removed with a few steps to add them
to a ban list. I've been on forums that were targeted by the wrong sort of
people. They wrote software to post automatically on the board, bypassing
capchas and other security, that posted literally thousands of gibberish posts
every few minutes! You've never come to the board seeing 40,000 new posts, but
that's real, not just some hypothetical situation. Finally an admin finds a
way to remove all posts by that user, so a few days later it happens again, but
this time it is spread out over a thousand randomly generated accounts. When
admins find a way to remove those, it happens again but using different ip
addresses. I've seen at least 1
message board where the people hacked into the administrator controls so they
could simply remove the whole board. This is a far far cry from spam bots, or
the occasional community member who has stirred up trouble in the past.
When it comes to gaming, we've all dealt with the player who spammed messages
or cheated so he had an advantage during the game. Sure that is annoying, but
that's not the kind of thing Hatred and I are talking about. More times than I
can remember, I've been in games where suddenly the server crashes and everyone
has to wait for an administrator to restart it. Of course, the same person
would crash it as soon as he realized it was going again. So, the combat this,
the developers worked on ways to patch the ways they using to bring the servers
down. None lasted for more than a week before servers were crashing again. To
help things, they remade the servers so that they automatically restarted
whenever they crashed, so that people didn't have to wait around for hours,
before an admin noticed they were down. Of course, this took much of the fun
out of crashing the servers, so they came up with a new attack. Instead of
crashing, everything crawled
and lagged to a halt. The server freezes and no one can play, and because it
is frozen and not crashed, it never restarts.
I have been in gaming communities where people's computers were hacked, and
damaged. I've been in some where email accounts were listed along with
player's profiles, so to scare away the game's players, the hackers broke in to
their email addresses and changed the passwords. Of course not everyone's
email, but even having it happen to a few people, who probably didn't have
strong passwords, was enough to scare away many players. It is all a mix of
programming attacks, and social intimidation. And for some reason, this is how
these people get their thrills. They don't stop until the players have left,
and the game is considered dead. These are the people Hatred is referring to.
It is true that the majority of mainstream gamers will be fun loving people,
who would be great to play games with, but the more people we gain, the bigger
the target we become for someone who wants to cause havoc. And if anyone
things it is only the larger games that get attacked, that isn't true, because
I have personally had one of my own indie games targeted years ago.
We probably both sound extremely negative, but we just want to bring attention
to the threats that Are! out there. Since it is what the community wants, I
will do what I can to push for attracting sighted players to our games, I just
wanted to make sure everyone knew the long term risks. It isn't fair for
people to find out about these kinds of people, when they're faced with servers
that don't work, email account that they can't get in to, and a message board
with 40,000 spam topics. Haha!
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