Halo Reach Credit Cheaters Get Rollbacks, Bans

October 5, 2010 -

Halo Reach cheaters and hooligans (you know who you are) are being put in their place as Bungie resets Reach credits. In a post on Friday Bungie announced that thousands of players who have exploited a glitch in the game will have their credits reset. Some players have earned bans too.

"We are in the process of applying credit resets to approximately 15,000 users who we have identified as the most egregious Challenge Reset abusers," a post on Bungie.net read.

More sweeps of questionable player activity are happening this week as well. The exploit in question allowed players to manipulate their network connections to play Challenge mode 20 or more times and earn buckets of credits. Naturally, some users say that they were unfairly targeted because they did not know about the glitch and did not use the exploit knowingly.

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Baseball Player Wants His Halo

September 14, 2010 -

A Chicago White Sox player was so excited about the release of Halo: Reach that he stood in a line at a Chicago store waiting for the midnight release.

Brent Lillibridge, a second baseman for the Sox, tweeted from his place in line that he was channeling his inner nerd, according to a story on ESPN:

"Most important night of the year Halo coming out at 12 tonight and yes I'm in a line to get it... Jokes please," Lillibridge tweeted at approximately 11 p.m. (CT) Monday.

Needless to say, teammate Mark Teahan wasn't amused and responded with his own tweet:

"Brent, get to bed. Take Gavin, Thornton & Putz with you. Halo will survive the night without you," Teahen tweeted, referring to pitchers Gavin Floyd, Matt Thornton and J.J. Putz.

Lillibridge was unfazed:

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Unauthorized Halo: Reach Players Get Permabanned

August 24, 2010 -

Gamespot is reporting that Microsoft is mass-banning individuals who are playing illegal copies of Halo Reach on Xbox Live. This report is based on a Microsoft policy document obtained by website MaxConsole. The story began earlier this month when a group of modders managed to grab an early version of Bungie's last Halo game via Microsoft's virtual marketplace. While this group of modders did not intend to release the game (allegedly), it ultimately ended up on file-sharing sites.

Now Microsoft is cleaning the barn; anyone caught playing the unauthorized version of the game will be banned. The language in the policy document is bad news for anyone that gets banned, because apparently it is permanent - though whether that ban is specific to Gamertag or system is not known. The most important thing from the document is the following:

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Iraq War Vet, Halo Gamer Succumbs to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

September 1, 2009 -

…another in an occasional series of reports about gamers who gave their all:

Jacob Blaylock wasn't killed during his tour in Iraq, but a pair of his close buddies were. After he rotated back home, Blaylock, like so many other combat veterans, struggled with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. In a moving report, the Indianapolis Star chronicles Blaylock's troubles and eventual suicide:

Blaylock was known as a more than competent soldier in Iraq, a popular guy who smoked three packs of Marlboros a day and played the video game "Halo" to relax between the many missions logged.

After his death, family members came across a blog entry written by Blaylock:

I am well past gone. I don't care what anyone says, cause they just don't know. They don't understand, and I can't expect them to. I want to remember. I want peace. I want to be happy. All I want to do is live.

The New York Times has a much more detailed report on Blaylock's downward spiral, including gut-wrenching video footage.

GP: Why do we cover these stories? Because this generation of gamers has suffered war like none before it. We hope to honor their sacrifice.

27 comments

TV News Has Video Report on Sentencing of Teen Halo 3 Killer

June 17, 2009 -

Cleveland's Fox 8 has a video report (not embeddable, unfortunately) - including courtroom footage - on yesterday's sentencing of Daniel Petric.

The 17-year-old was sentenced by Judge James Burge from 23 years to life in prison for the 2007 murder of his mother and wounding of his father. The incident was apparently sparked over the parents refusal to permit their son to play Halo 3.

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Halo 3 Teen Killer Gets Life in Murder of Mom... Parole in 23 Years

June 16, 2009 -

Daniel Petric, who shot his mother to death and badly wounded his father after they banned him from playing Halo 3 in a 2007 incident, has been sentenced to life in prison by an Ohio judge. Under the terms of the sentence, Petric will be eligible for parole in 23 years.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that an emotional Petric  (left) tried to address the court but was unable to speak.

While delivering his verdict in the case in January, Judge James Burge seemed to blame violent video games:

This Court's opinion is that we don't know enough about these video games...

 

It's my firm belief that after a while the same physiological responses occur that occur in the ingestion of some drugs. And I believe that an addiction to these games can do the same thing...

 

The other dangerous thing about these games, in my opinion, is that when these changes occur, they occur in an environment that is delusional. Because you can shoot these aliens, and they're there again the next day. You have to shoot them again. And I firmly believe that Daniel Petric had no idea, at the time he hatched this plot, that if he killed his parents, they would be dead forever.

See our story from earlier today for more background on the case.

58 comments

Teen Halo 3 Gamer to be Sentenced For Murder of Mom

June 16, 2009 -

Daniel Petric, the Ohio teen convicted of killing his mother and severly wounding his father after his parents banned him from playing Halo 3 in 2007, will be sentenced later today, reports local news station Fox 28.

The case bears watching because Judge James Burge, who presided over Petric's trial and will hand down the sentence, was quite critical of video games in comments delivered from the bench at the time of the verdict. As GamePolitics reported in January, Judge Burge said: 

This Court's opinion is that we don't know enough about these video games. In this particular case, not so much the violence of the game because I believe in the Halo 3, what it amounts to is a contest to see who can shoot the most aliens who attack.

 

It's my firm belief that after a while the same physiological responses occur that occur in the ingestion of some drugs. And I believe that an addiction to these games can do the same thing...

 

The other dangerous thing about these games, in my opinion, is that when these changes occur, they occur in an environment that is delusional. Because you can shoot these aliens, and they're there again the next day. You have to shoot them again. And I firmly believe that Daniel Petric had no idea, at the time he hatched this plot, that if he killed his parents, they would be dead forever.

During the trial, Petric's attorney argued that the teen should be found not guilty by reason of insanity due to what was termed a claimed obsession with Halo 3.

26 comments

Utah Congressman Says He's Way Better at Halo Than Rock Band

May 7, 2009 -

Perhaps more than any freshman congressman in recent memory, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has a knack for getting his name mentioned by the media.

Here at GamePolitics, we've covered Chaffetz for his Rock Band duet with Stephen Colbert. The Republican Congressman is also an active Twitter user (jasoninthehouse) and just a tad to the right of Attila the Hun. After all, he is from Utah.

But his conservative rants got the best of GP yesterday and we couldn't resist sending him a jab via Twitter:

Will you be doing anything with Rock Band again any time soon? Otherwise I may have to stop following your updates.

Chaffetz is nothing if not a good sport. He quickly followed up with a private tweet and we couldn't help but laugh:

I suck at Rock Band. Best if I stick to Halo.

By the way, Chaffetz isn't kidding about his Rock Band suckitude. Check out that 24% score from the Colbert show appearance. In any case, it's reassuring to know that at least one member of Congress enjoys a round of Halo now and again.

21 comments

Judge Comes Down Hard on Video Games in Halo 3 Murder Trial

January 13, 2009 -

As GamePolitics reported yesterday, a judge in Lorain County, Ohio ruled that 17-year-old Daniel Petric was guilty of shooting his parents in a dispute over whether or not the teen could play Halo 3. Petric's mother was killed in the 2007 incident.

A comment made by Judge James Burge during the delivery of his verdict in the case of gamer Petric is getting wide play in both the mainstream and gaming press:

I firmly believe that Daniel Petric had no idea at the time he hatched this plot that if he killed his parents, they would be dead forever.

Pretty negative toward games, right? But Burge's full remarks are much worse. GamePolitics created the transcript below from a video of the sentencingwhich is posted on the website of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

By way of context, Judge Burge explains that expert testimony during Petric's trial failed to establish an insanity defense, forcing him to find Petric guilty as charged. But the judge apparently believes that the young man is deeply troubled and that video games are a primary factor:

The Court must enter a finding of guilty on the counts set forth in the indictment. That being said, it's my firm belief as a human being - and not as a jurist - that Daniel does suffer from a serious defect of the mind.

 

This Court's opinion is that we don't know enough about these video games. In this particular case, not so much the violence of the game because I believe in the Halo 3, what it amounts to is a contest to see who can shoot the most aliens who attack.

 

It's my firm belief that after a while the same physiological responses occur that occur in the ingestion of some drugs. And I believe that an addiction to these games can do the same thing. The dopamine surge, the stimulation  of the nucleus accumbens - the same as an addiction. Such that when you stop, your brain won't stand for it.

 

The other dangerous thing about these games, in my opinion, is that when these changes occur, they occur in an environment that is delusional. Because you can shoot these aliens, and they're there again the next day. You have to shoot them again. And I firmly believe that Daniel Petric had no idea, at the time he hatched this plot, that if he killed his parents, they would be dead forever.

Burge's parting shot seems to indicate a belief on the judge's part that we haven't heard the last of Daniel Petric and his supposed video game issues:

But I believe there is hope here. I believe that it will start here and, uh, at some point when all is known about Daniel and what occurred here we will be able to achieve a greater sense of justice.

142 comments

Defense Blames Game Addiction in Shooting of Parents by Teen

December 17, 2008 -

On Monday GamePolitics noted that a 17-year-old boy was on trial in an Ohio courtroom for shooting his parents after they banned him from playing Halo 3.

A local Ohio newspaper is now reporting that defense attorneys are basing Daniel Petric's defense on video game addiction. According to the Chronicle-Telegram:

“Danny was very mild and meek,” said his paternal grandfather, Michael Broeckel, who [testified] that Daniel was a normal teenager, albeit one addicted to video games.

Holly Petric, Daniel’s other sister, said her brother became obsessed with video games because of a back injury which... limited his physical activity... the infection was so severe that any extreme physical activity could have caused his spine to snap, leaving him paralyzed.

“He’d just play (video games) nonstop whenever he could,” Holly Petric said.

[Daniel's friend] Jon Johnson... said he and Daniel would play video games, particularly “Halo 3,” up to 18 hours a day.

Jon said that while he liked video games, Daniel was addicted, even going so far as to push his friends to play the games when they wanted to do something else.

The case is expected to wrap up today. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has additional coverage.

UPDATE: The Chronicle-Telegram reports that Petric's attorney argued this morning that the teen's supposed obsession with Halo 3 contributed to rendering him insane at the time of the shootings:

Daniel Petric’s attorney argued this morning that his client should be found not guilty by reason of insanity for the shooting death of his mother and wounding of his father last year in part because the 17-year-old was obsessed with the video game “Halo 3.”

 

James Kersey said Daniel, who is being tried as an adult, went looking for the sci-fi video game, not his father’s 9 mm handgun on Oct. 20, 2007. The boy’s parents, Sue and Mark Petric, had taken the game away from the boy less than a month before the shootings.

132 comments

Trial of Teen Who Shot Parents Thrusts Halo 3 into Media Spotlight

December 15, 2008 -

The sorry tale of a 16-year-old who shot his parents and then tried to frame his dad for the crime is currently playing out in an Ohio court room.

Rather undeservedly, Halo 3 seems to be playing a central role in the case. Ironically, the youthful accused killer never got  a chance to actually play the game.

As the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, testimony at the trial of Daniel Petric indicates that the boy shot his parents and tried to make it look like a murder-suicide after he was blocked from playing Halo 3 by his father. The elder Petric had confiscated the game from his son as the teen brought it into the house. Mr. Petric then locked it in a box - right next to his 9mm pistol. His son somehow got into the box and recoved the game - and the gun.

From the newspaper's coverage of testimony:

Mark Petric... testified that before the shooting... [Daniel] came into the room with a question:

"Would you guys close your eyes... I have a surprise for you."

Mark Petric said he expected a pleasant surprise. The next thing he knew... He had been shot in the head...

He said the next thing he remembers is his son shoving the gun in his hand and saying, "Hey Dad, here's your gun. Take it."

In his defense Daniel's lawyers argued that the boy was under an emotional strain at the time of the shootings because an illness had kept him housebound for a year. During that time, his lawyers argued, he had little to do but watch TV and play video games.

Could there be additional video game testimony coming up?

66 comments

Halo Mentioned During High-Profile Atlanta Rampage Trial

October 17, 2008 -

We don't know the full context, but the popular Halo series was mentioned at the trial of a man charged with killing four people and badly injuring several others during during a 2005 escape and rampage in Atlanta.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's coverage of the Brian Nichols trial notes that Army Sgt. Charlie Maurice Sellers, a longtime friend of Nichols, testified:

"[Nichols and his friends] liked to play that Halo video game,” said Nichols’ friend Army Sgt. Charlie Maurice Sellers. Halo is a science-fiction video game that is premised on rebellion and civil war. “The object is … to see who can get the most kills,” Sellers said.

The case generated national publicity. Ashley Smith, a woman kidnapped by Nichols, was eventually credited with helping police capture him.

Nichols is 36.

63 comments

Campaign Smear: Opponent is a Halo Player

October 7, 2008 -

Accusing your opponent of being a flip-flopper? Why, that's practically Politics 101.

But calling out a challenger for playing Halo and blogging? Must be a sign of the times.

In Maricopa County, Arizona, Republican incumbent Fulton Brock has rolled out those allegations and more by way of slinging mud at his Democratic challenger, Ed Hermes (left). Both men are vying for the job of county supervisor.

As Joystiq reports, a campaign mailing sent out by Fulton uses the Halo referenced in an attempt to portray Hermes as young and inexperienced:

Skilled player of popular video game Halo. Hermes was quoted in the ASU student newspaper as saying, "I am addicted to Halo and play almost every night."

 

The anti-Hermes ad also accuses the Democrat of being a student mascot at football games as well as a blogger and a video gamer.

44 comments

Halo Named in Accidental Shooting Death of Wisconsin Boy, 11

September 5, 2008 -

Police in Watertown, Wisconsin believe that an attempt to imitate Halo may have played a role in the death of an 11-year-old boy from an accidental gunshot.

As reported by the Watertown Daily Times, Joshua Nimm apparently took the day off from school to do some gaming:

[Police] said it appeared... that after playing a combat video game called “Halo,” Nimm took the gun and tried to recreate some of the things that had occurred in the game. With an automatic rifle, [Sgt.] Lee said there can sometimes be confusion over whether it contains a magazine or not, and this confusion likely led to Nimm's death.

 

“He took the magazine out and forgot to eject a round that was in the chamber. He probably thought the gun was unloaded,” Lee said.

 

267 comments

GP Book Review: Halo Graphic Novel

September 26, 2006 -



Halo Graphic Novel

-reviewed for GamePolitics by Matt Paprocki

Transcending the world of video games, Halo is a cultural phenomenon.

While the days of seeing video game characters plastered on boxes of kiddie cereal are becoming less common, their more grown-up progress into other mediums is becoming commonplace, like movies and books. Thankfully, the Halo Graphic Novel exists in a realm free from director Uwe Boll’s influence.Entrusted to the hands of comic masters Marvel, this beloved Xbox franchise is in the best of hands.

While a slender volulme, the Halo Graphic Novel is jammed with four separate stories. Multiple authors and artists contribute their work to craft this gorgeous book, including the likes Simon Bisley, Brett Lewis, and Moebius. According to his bio, Lewis doesn’t even own a TV, but was so gripped by the paperbook novelizations of the Halo universe that he ended up contributing some of the graphic novel’s most vivid writing.

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Should 'Hatred' have been removed from Steam Greenlight?:

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MaskedPixelanteSounds like BN was going after an unrelated mod, and took out DSFix in the process. Probably once a counterclaim goes out, this'll all be sorted out.12/22/2014 - 7:04pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=144440299&postcount=1 wtf is namco thinking.......12/22/2014 - 6:17pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/22/read-the-fine-print-ubisoft-free-game-offer-waives-lawsuits/12/22/2014 - 6:00pm
Papa MidnightI kind of liked the movement to have Terry Crews play him instead, but this will do.12/22/2014 - 3:40pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://marvel.com/news/tv/23866/mike_colter_to_star_as_luke_cage_in_marvels_aka_jessica_jones#ixzz3MeuUl63P Mike Colter is Luke Cage.12/22/2014 - 3:23pm
IanCBecause that isn't Max Payne 3. It might have the name, but it isn't an entry in the series.12/22/2014 - 12:48pm
IanCOh theres a Max Payne 3? A proper one, or are we referring to that abomination that Rockstar crapped out a few years ago12/22/2014 - 12:48pm
IanCUpgraded PS3 hard drive to 500gb. Restored 53GB back up. Done the maths, have somehow used up 106GB already?12/22/2014 - 12:44pm
Papa Midnighthttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/12/drm-glitch-leaves-new-max-payne-3-buyers-temporarily-in-the-lurch/12/22/2014 - 11:55am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.kanzenshuu.com/2014/12/22/j-stars-victory-vs-ps3-ps4-vita-international-plus-version/ J-Stars is coming to North America.12/22/2014 - 9:36am
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.businessinsider.com/xbox-one-virtual-reality-headset-will-compete-with-oculus-rift-2014-12 can a xbo even handle doing vr?12/21/2014 - 10:48pm
PHX Corp@Adam802 We'll break out the popcorn in June12/19/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante: I'm itching to start it too but I will wait till the patch goes live. >>12/19/2014 - 7:52pm
Adam802Leland Yee and Jackson get trial date: http://sfbay.ca/2014/12/18/leland-yee-keith-jackson-get-trial-date/12/19/2014 - 5:24pm
MaskedPixelanteNevermind. Turns out when they said "the patch is now live", they meant "it's still in beta".12/19/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelanteSo I bought Dark Souls PC, and it's forcing me to log into GFWL. Did I miss something?12/19/2014 - 5:00pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/republicans-may-have-plan-to-save-internet-providers-from-utility-rules/ this is intreasting. congress may put net nutrality in to law to avoid title 2 classification12/19/2014 - 2:45pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/19/7421953/bullshit-cards-against-humanity-donated-250k-sunlight-foundation I have to admit I like the choice o organization. congrats to CAH.12/19/2014 - 1:51pm
E. Zachary KnightIf you are downloading a copy in order to bypass the DRM, then you are legally in the wrong. Ethically, if you bought the game, it doesn't matter where you download it in the future.12/19/2014 - 12:06pm
InfophileEZK: Certainly better that way, though not foolproof. Makes me think though: does it count as piracy if you download a game you already paid for, just not from the place you paid for it at? Ethically, I'd say no, but legally, probably yes.12/19/2014 - 11:20am
 

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