I’m a gamer. I’ve been playing games for something around 30 years or so (honestly can’t remember how old I was when I first played). But when it comes to online play I’m actually relatively new to the scene. I have had My XBL account for close to 5 years and that’s really it when it comes to online games. Sure back in the late 90’s I tried my hand at some Heavy Gear online but my slow ass computer and dial up connection (gasp! Dial up? How archaic!) just didn’t hack it. In fact even though I had an original Xbox, I didn’t play on XBL until I got my 360, and I didn’t get Live until way after launch.

Now I’ve also had credit cards stolen. It sucks. There is no worse feeling then getting a bill for thousands of dollars that you didn’t spend. Sure a phone call to the credit card company can clear it up, most of the time. But it still sucks and is a huge pain in the ass to deal with.

What does this all have to do with anything? Hackers. Hackers are doing nothing but ruining it for the rest of us honest folk. Sony, Nintendo, Sega, Epic and Bethesda have all recently been hacked. Sega just announced that 1.3 million people had their information stolen when Sega Pass was hacked. That’s a lot of people who now have to deal with that. Of course the Sony hacking was the biggest news recently with the PSN network being down until Sony could sort itself out, and honestly we still don’t know how secure they really are now. Even XBL with arguably the most secure online service around isn’t immune with XBL’s Major Nelson and Xbox security chief Stephen “Stepto” Toulouse both having their accounts hacked.

So what does it all mean? Well back in the 90’s there was this movie came out called “Hackers” (it co-starred a not so well known as now Angelina Jolie) and in the movie a bunch of teenagers end up using their hacking skills to fight off the bad guys and save the day. Well this is real life and these hackers are not saving anybody, despite the fact they claim they are “trying to force security to be beefed up”. What it really means is they are messing with a system that you and I, the regular customers pay for. Sony’s PSN might be free, but you still have to pay for the hardware to play on it. It means that yes hackers are forcing companies to beef up security, but they are also causing all sorts of people undue stress and anxiety, not to mention the people who have to deal with stolen information that gets used for ill purpose. But what it really means is money, in the end it’s going to cost all of us more money to improve the system to stop this, but it’s also going to cost us more tax dollars when these people get caught and end up in jail.

So to me this hacking stuff is bullshit, because really you’re messing with my stuff, whether it’s directly or not. You know instead of showing us how great you are and how 1337 your skills are, why don’t you get a job putting that talent to use to better society? Do it before the law catches you and locks your dumb ass up, because unlike the movies, they will catch you eventually, and all your great hacking skills won’t mean shit to Bubba when you’re in jail.

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