Microsoft killed the Gamerscore of an autistic child and has labeled him a cheater for an unknown reason.
Unlike Nintendo, achievements mean the world to 11-year-old Julius Jackson. Jackson is autistic and uses his Xbox 360 as his primary form of entertainment. Unfortunately, that outlet has been severely marred by his recent labeling as a “Cheater” on Xbox Live.
When Microsoft discovers that Xbox Live users have improperly boosted their Gamerscores, it puts “Cheater” by their name and takes away every single one of their achievements, which is exactly what happened to Jackson. “Everybody thinks I’m a cheater,” Jackson sadly told Q13 Fox News. “They stole my achievements that I got and it took me like 200 days.”
Jackson’s mother, Jennifer Zdenek, claims he never did anything to deserve the label, and cannot get it removed despite repeated contact with Microsoft. Microsoft says it’s confident that someone tampered with Jackson’s account to boost his score in an illegitimate manner, and doesn’t currently plan to give him his achievements back. The company told Q13 Fox News that Jackson can “still legitimately gain future achievements,” but apparently has him labeled as a “Cheater” for good.
Zdenek wants the label off of her son’s Xbox Live name so he can go back to doing what he loves. “It disgusts me that they did this to my child,” she said.
While I definitely feel for Jackson and hope the situation can be resolved, I wonder if Zdenek is telling the whole story here. Microsoft could have made a huge mistake, but it’s possible that someone, or even Jackson, may have cheated to boost his score too. Ideally, Microsoft will investigate the matter to the best of its ability so that Jackson can go back to doing what he loves.
Update: Microsoft’s team did indeed investigate this matter thoroughly, according to tweets from Xbox Live Director of Policy and Enforcement Stephen Toulouse. “I confirmed that achievements were illegitimately modified on the account and contacted the customer directly w/ specifics,” Toulouse said. Unfortunately, he also said that “the only person who gets the proof is the mom,” so we won’t be able to figure out exactly why the kid was banned unless the mother shares the information with us. Thanks for the heads up D_987!