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XBox (Games) Entertainment Games

Gamerscore Hacking and Its Underground Economy 85

An anonymous reader writes "There's a writeup on SpywareGuide that explores the world of Xbox Gamerscore hacking, and how high Gamerscores are proving to be a big target for hackers and phishers. It also talks about how a recent release of a Gamerscore-altering program onto forums for hacking & cheating is proving to be lucrative business for both eBay sellers and those who want to artificially inflate a Gamerscore before selling that account, or trading it for credit card details."
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Gamerscore Hacking and Its Underground Economy

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  • The buyers... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nagnamer ( 1046654 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @03:55AM (#28848749) Homepage

    ...are taking this thing seriously, too. I can't imagine why anyone would steal accounts if people wouldn't buy them. But I still can't imagine why people would buy them either.

    I used to play games to have fun, and achievement was part of the fun. If I just stole other people's achievements, that wouldn't be fun. Or maybe it's all just about the brag factor?

  • Re:*Sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Haeleth ( 414428 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @03:58AM (#28848767) Journal

    You're not supposed to take anything to do with "gaming" seriously. There's kind of a hint in the name.

  • by Dexter Herbivore ( 1322345 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @04:19AM (#28848869) Journal
    It's still cheating though, and the people that hack and sell these online profiles are likely to also attempt to phish account and credit card details at some time. Play any games with hackable accounts that are worth something? Then you may end up being a target for these idiots.
  • Re:*Sigh* (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Norsefire ( 1494323 ) * on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @04:27AM (#28848913) Journal
    Sport is a game. People take sport seriously.
  • Re:The buyers... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spad ( 470073 ) <> on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @04:27AM (#28848917) Homepage

    Same reason people buy high-level MMO accounts - so they can skip all that tedious playing and get on with the all-important posturing.

  • Re:*Sigh* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Goldberg's Pants ( 139800 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @04:57AM (#28849039) Journal

    What difference does you taking them seriously make? The fact is most console gamers are sensible individuals who like to put a disk in, sit down and play on their big screen TV. No mucking about with drivers, downloading patches etc... Just gaming with ease.

    I have an Xbox 360 myself, and don't understand why people get so hyper about their gamer score. It's basically a number that the higher it is, it says "I have less of a life than you do, and can afford more games than you".

    Didn't even know there was a way you could hack it. I'll get right on that and hack mine (right after I've cured world hunger and ended war.)

  • Re:*Sigh* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @05:02AM (#28849067) Homepage

    If you take sport seriously, can you still call it a game?

  • Re:The buyers... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gravedigger3 ( 888675 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @05:35AM (#28849229)

    No this is stupider than buying MMO accounts. That, although also stupid, I can at least understand. Some people (with more money than time) want to jump into an MMO without all the tedious grinding and have a hi-level avatar that can whoop some ass.

    An XboxLive Gamerscore serves no purpose that I am aware of except to quantify all your wasted time into points that you can use to prove yourself "superior" to other gamers.

    I mean if a high gamerscore gave me extra health in Halo 3 or even special items for offline games I could MAYBE understand. But this is just plain retarded.

  • by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @05:46AM (#28849285) Journal

    I used to make the same argument, but it seems to me like that isn't true any more.

    Ever since they got hard drives, console games routinely get installed to hard drive first. I.e., there goes that "just want to put the disk in and play." It's only true in the same way as for a PC game.

    Second, console games routinely get patches too nowadays.

    Third, since a heck of a lot of games are launched for both PC and consoles nowadays... if you think your XBox copy of Fallout 3 is somehow magically better quality than the PC version, no offense, but then I have some logging rights in Sahara to sell. They're the same codebase, with the same bugs, and if you're lucky they'll get the same patches.

    Fourth, you may not have heard about it, but PC drivers have gotten a lot more stable in the meantime. The days when you had to muck with different driver versions for different games are over, and have been over for some years now. E.g., I don't think I actually installed any new drivers on my gaming rig since I put the GTX 290 graphics card in it. (And I'm not saying that in the sense that I had to do it with the old ATI card either, but merely that that change was a point where I had to install a new driver.) I've yet to see any game which shits itself because I don't have the latest beta + driver release.

    Fifth, you can hook a PC to a big screen TV or beamer too, if that's what floats your boat. TV out connectors have been pretty much standard for some years.

    Sixth, it's not the size that matters, it's how you use it. At least that's what my SO keeps telling me;) Ok, joke aside, what matters isn't how big your screen is (except maybe for willy-waving rights), but how much of your FOV it feels. A 20" TFT screen at 3 ft distance fills just as much of your FOV as a 60" screen at 9 ft distance. Things look exactly as big. It's elementary geometry, see?

  • by Nursie ( 632944 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @06:24AM (#28849461)

    1. No they don't, only a small minority of games do that. Even so it doesn't negate the original point, that it's not "does it work with my hardware", "have I got a good enough gfx card", it just works and is a damn sight cheaper than a PC.

    2. So what?

    3. It only has one set of hardware to target. It'll be much more stable and much better tested on my hardware than yours.

    4. Good, glad for you.

    5. Call me when PC games routinely have multi-player through a single machine.

    6. Sure, whatever.

    I'm not trying to say that PC gaming is "inferior" in any way, it's just not the same. There's no technical reason why the cool console stuff with multiplayer local co-op etc couldn't run on my PC either. But it doesn't and there is a huge appeal to having a machine that is dedicated to gaming, comes on in seconds and is (mostly) guaranteed not to choke on the games you feed it.

  • by lyinhart ( 1352173 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @07:52AM (#28849939)
    I think a lot of people are missing the real point of Gamerscore - to keep gamers playing a game. It's a surprisingly effective way of adding replay value to a game without actually adding extra content - earning achievements is akin to collecting baseball cards or Pokemon. Developers can also use multiplayer achievements that take time to unlock so that there's more people playing online. That having been said, the word "achievements" for these things is rather inappropriate, since most of these goals don't require any skill whatsoever. There's no skill involved in running around and collecting things in a 3D world like some of these goals entail. And of course, you can't translate gamerscore into any tangible, real world achievements.
  • Re:The buyers... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jollyreaper ( 513215 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @08:48AM (#28850439)

    Same reason people buy high-level MMO accounts - so they can skip all that tedious playing and get on with the all-important posturing.

    But at least in an MMO the higher accounts can do more. As I understand it, the only possible thing you get from a high gamescore is a bigger e-peen. I suppose there might be some marginal value with having all parts of a game unlocked the moment you plug it in but shit, aren't there already cheat codes for that? The day after GTAIV shipped people were already running around every island. Some of the multiplayer stuff requires a higher score for matchmaking I think but if you aren't good enough to be there in the first place, you're just going to get creamed.

  • by Alarindris ( 1253418 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @09:07AM (#28850661)

    If you take sport seriously, can you still call it a game?

    I hate it when people say this, I hear it all the time (along the lines of "it's just a game").
    Ever play poker for 'fun'? As in m&m's or peanuts instead of money?
    It doesn't work. It's not fun because there is no risk, no 'seriousness'.
    Games are meant to be taken 'seriously'. Competition is what makes them fun.

    I think I understand what you're saying, but that statement is just way too broad.

  • Re:*Sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @09:51AM (#28851201)

    I can see someone trying to achive it for himself and finding accomplishment in being able to run faster, jump higher or lift more (read it up, that's what I wrote). I can not see how someone considers it an achivement if "his" team wins. It's not like he contributed anything (besides maybe buying a ticket to a game or buying some merchandize).

  • Re:*Sigh* (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Greg_D ( 138979 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @11:21AM (#28853057)

    Those who can't, watch.

    And without fan support, there IS no game... certainly not one that brings together world class athletes on a weekly or daily basis. Hence, fans feel they are entitled.

Make it myself? But I'm a physical organic chemist!