Shark Boy!

1 11 2010

Many years ago, I was in a gaming group who ran a game server for EA’s Medal of Honor: Allied Assault.  It was a multi-player World War II shooter, which was very popular at the time.  The players would run around on various battlefields trying to destroy objectives, or simply wipe out the opposite team.  It was a large part of my life for a while.

As with a lot of online games, there were the players who felt that they needed to cheat or use glitches to gain an advantage.  In Allied Assault there was a glitch where if you made your character jump up to particular parts of the terrain which would have almost invisible holes in it.  If done correctly, the player would ‘fall under’ the terrain and be able to run around invisibly, while still being able to see and shoot the other gamers.  You could get the same result by performing some very specific movement commands with a ladder.  It was not unique to Allied Assault, but certainly annoying.   The player hiding underground could sometimes be seen by their shadow, which looked like a fish swimming under the surface of the water.

Someone, somewhere, dubbed the glitch ‘Land Sharking’.

As one of the games administrators, it was our job to catch people cheating and deal with them swiftly, so that the other guests would not feel disadvantaged and everyone could have an enjoyable game.

On one occasion we caught a land sharker, whose name escapes me due to the passing of time.   Once he was banned from the game server, we were contacted via our forum by a young kid claiming to be the one responsible.  He said that he was just fooling around and didn’t mean any harm, and that if his parents found out he had been cheating in the game, he’d be in big trouble.   From memory I think his parents were also gamers and sometimes came to our server.  If the kid were banned, their computer would be unable to connect to us.  After pleading with us not to ban him, we made a deal.

We immediately contacted the kids parents.

The kid’s parents were actually really cool, and agreed to our plan to set the kid straight and give him a life lesson in how to conduct yourself in a public place.

Since he had a penchant for Land Sharking, we got him to dress himself up as a shark, and crawl along the ground, holding a sign up confessing his guilt and apologising to the PMOH game server.

At this point, most people would have told us to go to Hell, and play somewhere else.  The kid, to his credit, took it on the chin and performed admirably.   His parents accepted the terms, everyone was allowed back on the server and no harm was done.

Where-ever Shark Boy is these days, I wish him well.

Land Sharkers...

...will be punished!




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