back to article Microsoft insists autistic Xboxer is a cheat

Jennifer Zdenek, the mother of an 11-year-old autistic boy, is outraged at Microsoft's Xbox Live for labelling her son a cheat and taking back all his online achievements, which she claims were earned fairly. Zdenek said her son, Julias Jackson, only seems to have cheated because he's so good at playing Xbox games. She …


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  1. The Indomitable Gall

    "Looks like someone is getting a PS3 for his next birthday"

    "Looks like someone is getting a PS3 for his next birthday"

    f Sony's marketing team are on the ball, he shouldn't have to wait that long....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I'd imagine that Sony really want to be seen attracting cheaters to their network, that'd be great for publicity.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Think of the children

    Always nice to see footage of an 11 year old boy playing an 18 rated game.

    But I guess it is only zombies being mutilated by a variety of household implements.

    I love Dead Rising 2 but it is not a kids game. Still at least Fox will have something else to bang on about when the kid is proven to be a cheat.

  3. rodster

    Autistic or no, it looks like he was cheating.

    It was a case of cheated achievements, rather than a gifted deathmatcher.

    1. Paul_Murphy

      It seems

      That you can upload achievements from a card? anyway 'dozens of achievements in 5 minutes' does seem to be stretching the limits of 'good player' somewhat.


  4. Anonymous Coward

    So how does she know?

    Did she sit over him all the time, knowing cheating when she saw it? Or more likely, under the illusion that here little darling would never cheat and lie?

    I don't think getting a PS3 will fix things, a cheater is a cheater and he will get his PSN account suspended for the same reason....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This kid could be the pinball wizard.for all we know.

    Has Microsoft bothered to send somebody to watch this kid play?

  6. Dave 52

    F*** YOU MICROSOFT!!!!

    You're no better than those noobs in Battlefield 1942 that claimed I was cheating because I could shoot their Japenese Zero out of the sky, with a destroyer's artillery gun while at full speed, at half a km. Yeah, it seemed impossible, and i even amazed myself, but if you do nothing but play games sooner or later you'll tune your movements to the optimal way of playing, and slaughtering everyone in sight.

    What next, kicking people off the servers because some whining camper claims it's cheating to shoot him while he thinks he's hidden? Or maybe kicking people because they know how to circle strafe around players, that are too stupid to return the favour? I'd bet dollars to donuts, some bitch at MS got his ass handed to him by this kid, and the only way he could get back is have his stats reset. You're lucky that kid's autistic, because if it was me, I'd spin kick you in the throat!

    Instead of resetting all the guys stats, why don't one of you fatasses get off the couch you're glued to, and drive to Seattle to see if he's actually that good. It's right in your backyard you fat fucks!

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon


      "if it was me, I'd spin kick you in the throat!"

      Would you say it was society, or perhaps your homelife that has made you sound so violent?

      I hope to hell it isn't all the fucking shoot'em ups your playing because that would just suck to realise all the nanny-staters were right all along!

  7. Fuzzysteve

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    apparently he got online only achievements, while offline.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, considering I have a son with Autism

    I'd be taking MS to court. Pure discriminatory practices that singled out a particular achiever.

    Canceling your subscription? Please. Embarressing them is the only way you get anywhere - accuse them of discriminating against a mentally disabled underage player.

  9. Anonymous Coward


    surely microsoft can post some sort of system log if required with their "evidence" that the kid is a cheater.

    could go either way... just 'cos the kid's autistic doesn't mean he isn't a cheater or it could be a microsoft snafu... interesting to find out either way...

  10. Studley

    Achievement Unlocked: Parental Naïvety

    Microsoft's gamerscore cheat detection is pretty advanced - otherwise they'd be banning hardcore gamers all the time. As I understand, it's based on detecting achievements that couldn't possibly have been gained simultaneously - for instance, if on Monday I have 0 gamerscore on Super Gunfighter Noobs, and on Tuesday I log on and unlock the "Played your first online game" and "Play 50,000 online games" achievements at the same time, something's probably afoot. Repeat this pattern across multiple games and you've likely got yourself a cheater. (Complicated slightly if you play offline a lot - but he's a Gold subscriber and a game addict, so not applicable.)

    What's most likely:

    - Kid gets banned from Xbox Live for cheating

    - Kid sulks to mommy that Microsoft took his ickle points away

    - Mommy knows no better and bleats out cries of discrimination

    What SHOULD (and won't) happen next:

    - Microsoft issues a statement containing multiple illustrations showing with 100% certainty that the child has clearly cheated

    Oh, and the video news report clearly shows this 11-year-old boy playing Dead Rising and Halo, both of which are rated M for Mature in the US. If you're going to insist on whiny finger-pointing, Jennifer Zdenek, why not start closer to home?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I know someone who works for xbox support and he assures me that the parents always say that their sun/daughter couldn't have possibly been cheating and are just good at the games. This guy is lucky not to have been kicked off xbox live, they don't make accusations of cheating without _knowing_ that it has been going on.

    1. CmdrX3
      Thumb Up

      Spot On.

      Good call ;-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Let me guess

        You work for MSoft's XBox customer care center?? Yeah..

  12. Daniel B.
    Thumb Down

    Microsoft FAIL

    How is this possible? I haven't lost any PS3/PSN trophies, or even heard of Sony doing such a thing. So why should MS do such a thing? I thought Achievements/Points were more of a "dick wavering measure unit", in which case MS shouldn't even worry if someone earns points faster or not.

    Good riddance, Zdenek would do well with cancelling XBL service. Paying for "online gaming" already sounds like pimping off gamers, but resetting achievements on a paid service?

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      MS unfail.

      "...or even heard of Sony doing such a thing."

      Sounds like MS actually give a toss about sad griefers fucking it up for everyone else and Sony don't then.

      That sounds like a win for XBL over PSN to me as the latter's bound to become the place where all the tossers hang out if that's true and continues.

  13. unitron
    Gates Horns

    Looks like someone is getting a PS3 for his next birthday.

    ...And if Sony were smart he'd be getting it for free while the local TV station looks on.

  14. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    "through many hours of hard work"

    This *is* 2011.

  15. b 3

    yup PS3!

    one way of dealing with it..i'm mildly autistic and on a good day can be quite good at online games (battlefield mostly) and there's loads of finns that play all winter during the dark hours are they gonna ban all them as well?

    if they can prove it, that's another matter, if not, they have just simply made themselves look fools.

    but we knew that already! :D

  16. Him over there

    Get out more

    Ok, I don't know much about autism but surely any 11 year old, autistic or not, shouldn't have an XBox as their major source of interaction outside of school? Perhaps his mum should stop being so outraged and involve him in some sort of real life social interaction?

    And I say that as an avid gamer with young kids who look destined to be avid gamers themselves - except I don't let them at it everyday. Yes, it would be easier to indulge them and allow them on the console whenever they want but it wouldn't be right.

    1. bean520


      When your autistic, it becomes EXCEPTIONALLY difficult to make friends. And without friends, what is there to do in free time? The kid could even be trying to avoid people because he is being bullied (VERY likely)!

      Given that, spending all day on the Xbox doesn't seem like such a bad proposal to someone like him.

      SOURCE: Spoken from experience - been there done it and have t-shirt

      1. The First Dave


        I am a nerd/geek/whatever, so no surprise that I had no friends as a child.

        And I didn't have an Xbox either, nor even a TV, just a variety of items known as 'toys'...

    2. Jad

      As the father of a boy with an ASD

      Autistic children have problems interacting with others, partly because they don't understand others or the rules of interaction, partly because trying to play by the rules of social interaction is tiring and stressful ...

      Even the most adjusted kids with an ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) need timeouts or space to not be on guard all the time.

      Another big thing about kids with an ASD is the obsessions that they have, you might imagine that you have a fixation on something or someone, but for them it's a case of every breath, every thought, every word is targeted ... It can be very hard to get your child to do anything but that obsession.

      Having said all that my son has to be watched because he can turn aggressive if not given strict times that he is allowed on to the computer/console ... we used to have to physically restrain him when removing him after 1/2 hour of play time so that he didn't hurt himself or the computer that he was using.

      Knowing that he has a fixed limit of play time (using a timer that he cannot change) and him being a bit older means that this problem is much improved. Asking _him_ to turn off the computer is much better than _me_ turning off the computer as it leaves him feeling in control.

      Having set limits on time (50 minutes is a kinda maximum before he gets grumpy) and appropriateness (not before bedtime, not when he's tired) and, unlike the mother of this child, I will not let him play on anything above a PG ... he is only 10

      Hoepfully that made sense and wasn't a general ramble.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Hard to tell, but if true then

    It's always hard to know what the deal is with stories like this because we've got so few details to do any real analysis. If the mom's allegations are true, it still doesn't mean that MS a truly evil descriminator against persons with disabilities. It could just be that they're stupid. This *is* the same company that came up with "Bob", after all. Maybe we should all hang our heads in shame for having anything to do with their products. As for the suggestion that someome get the kid a PS3, I'd say either that or a Wii -- mostly because I think the people over at Nintendo are really nice guys and to my knowledge never installed rootkits in their customer's computers.

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    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Now we know you don't like MS, you go on about it enough, but MS are one of the best companies in the world to work for or be a customer of if you have disabilities or are diverse from "normal" in some way.

      Also, you seem to suggest that everyone who is Autistic is some sort of savant, this is considered grossly offensive by the vast majority of autistic spectrum disorder sufferers. I know two Asberger's sufferers, both find interacting with others difficult, both are good with computers, neither is a savant, in fact neither of them know a savant or anyone who does. However, both are quite capable of knowing that cheating is wrong and that there would be consequences if they were caught doing so, this is the situation where most autistic spectrum sufferers find themselves.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    This is the US right?

    Surely she can sue on behalf of her son for defamation

  21. Def Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    Could be a small marketing opportunity for Sony to give him a PS3 for his birthday. Or for next Thursday.

  22. Reality Dysfunction

    If you follow the link....

    If you follow the link.... Then MS advise on how this account was cheating and the mother admits it, where's the story?

  23. Fisher39

    Oh no he isn't... Oh yes he is...

    turns out that MS got it right after all. Not often you'll hear that said...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Looks like someone is getting a PS3 for his next birthday

    And i'll be happy to show him how to root it!!!!!

  25. Rob Moir

    Playing to the peanut gallery

    I don't see why every news site I've seen mentions the fact that he's autistic. Surely that is irrelevant (it certainly isn't an excuse, or proof either way about his guilt or lack of) and it comes down to one thing. Did he cheat or not? If he did then sorry, but Microsoft are in the right. If he didn't then they're not. Discussion over.

  26. Mr Brush
    Gates Halo

    Update on the story

    Turns out the kid handed his account over to someone else to get Recon armour in Halo. That's where the cheating happened.

    Mom backpedals furiously, non-story comes to an end, Microsoft are somehow still the bad guy.

    I've never seen the MS banhammer used incorrectly. There are always cries of injustice and threats to never buy an MS product again, but the truth is MS (and Bungie) don't do this kind of thing on a whim, they have enough data to make the right call.

    If you are a blantant cheat and want to carry on doing it, feel free to go do it on PSN, XBL doesn't want you.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well tbh

    Its not like Autistic people have great social skills and it is quite likely he is lying to his mother.

  28. Paul_Murphy

    Maybe a home visit.

    (or a YouTube video) to see the kid in action might be the answer.

    It seems very unfair to expect him to re-earn everything when Microsoft will, presumably, take it all away again.


  29. Piloti

    Looks like someone is getting a PS3 for his next birthday.....

    .... or a book ?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This is one of those situations where MS was probably right, but not in full possession of the facts, which if they had been, should have resulted in a slap on the wrist.

    But then how could you ever expect them to be, I doubt they have any investigative capability. and they do all this stuff by numbers, because they do it to a cost. If you want a sensitive caring service, then you probably don't want to play on-line gaming, as such a service would be too expensive.

  31. Adam T

    Calm Daan

    Jeez so the kid cheated on his Xbox, it's not like he cheated his school exams, or wife, or taxes or any of the other things people general get caught doing.

    The only story here is Microsoft jobsworth employees take themselves too seriously to justify their existence.

    1. Filippo Silver badge

      Re: Calm Daan

      I bet most of those employees would agree with you. The reason Microsoft has to take themselves too seriously is that *gamers* take themselves too seriously. Gamers put so much importance on these stupid achievements that if Microsoft went soft on cheating, it would be a significant marketing and PR issue.

      1. Ragarath
        Thumb Down

        Sigh, why's it different?

        "gamers take themselves too seriously" and "stupid achievements"

        Really why does that bother you? Why is it different than say a game of football or tennis or any other sport / pass-time?

        Would you be happy if you were playing a tennis / football match for a trophy and someone else got it just for turning up with no effort put in?

        I would like to know what your hobbies are. I can then pull them apart and call them stupid if I wanted. I won't because that's just down right childish.

        Achievements exist in every walk of life. That's why they added them to games (and it helps them as people play more.)

    2. Tempest

      Jeez so the kid cheated on his Xbox. Really?

      I thought it was the guy in the other city.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Whats wrong with you people? - who let all the daily fail commentards in?

    becasue the kid is autistic hes innocent? WRONG. stop discriminating! autistic kids can cheat too!

    Read the link he DID cheat he gave his gamer tag and password to someone to unlock a reward armour for him. they cheated to do this Microsoft has proof that the kids account was used on another machine hundreds of miles away from where he lives, and crucially the achievemtns required were unlocked in the wrong order - an impossible order.

    Thsi is why he was banned his mother knows this but wants him to be forgiven and his account given back and all because he's autistic..

    This story disgusts me, one, his mother thinks he should be trated differently, and two, most of the comments here think the kid can do no wrong, all because of his disability.


    1. Sooty

      brilliant time

      to jump in and say that 's proof it wasn't him, why would he give away his details, his account must have been hacked!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sainsburys BSOD

    Doh !!!!

    1. Dave Cradle


      Those images are of a till where the APPLICATION is not starting.

      Neither shows a BSOD.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow, can't believe so many people care...

    ... and are so passionate about g4M3rSc0r35.

    For a minute, I thought I somehow landed on

    I know, URLs are case insensitive, but damn does it look h4rDc0r3. Do I unlock an achievement with this post?

  35. David Cantrell
    Thumb Up

    Pointless title, which must contain letters and/or digits.

    "Xbox Live is supposedly Julias' main source of interaction outside of school"

    So well done Microsoft, you've done him a favour, by trying to encourage him to GET A LIFE.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He cheated....but he didn't

    Because he's autistic. Just like a cat is not "guilty" of killing a bird, because it doesn't understand our system of ethics. Sorry to have to break it to the whinies who say everyone has to play by the same rules or its NOT FAIR!!!

  37. Hakster


    "Sorry to have to break it to the whinies who say everyone has to play by the same rules or its NOT FAIR!!!"

    You mean the rules governed by the ToS when you start using XBL services? The rules that, autistic or not, having reading ability means you can go through? The rules that were willfully and knowingly broken?

    By selecting the "I Agree" bit when you very first ever take your XBL online, you're actually agreeing that a) MS can do what they like, and b) you aren't going to cheat (among other things, like MS being able to scan your Xbox for pics and videos and upload them without notifying you). If someone can't stick by the rules they've agreed to, then, regardless of any other pre-existing issues, they shouldn't partake in the same system as other users who do abide by those rules.

  38. CmdrX3

    Close but no cigar, sorry!!

    My daughter is currently in a mental health hospital, I have a son with ADHD and a nephew with Downs Syndrome, so I am more than aware of the subject. If however any of my children were caught cheating and banned and I went on national television to protest about the "discrimination" when in actual fact they were perfectly justified in being banned, then I too would be a tool.

    This has got sweet FA to do with an Autistic child, it has to do with a parent who acted like a complete wassock and make themselves look like an absolute numpty. So take a chill pill and wind your neck in.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could be worse....

    Player: GMacK65

    Achievement; 'leet haxx0r pentagon edition

    Punishment: XBL account banned, extraordinary rendition to gitmo...

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