April 8/10: See most recent entry
On July 28, 2000, I made a stunning discovery - the site I had been hitting for the one hour a day I could use my ISP's dialup internet for grabbing Pokemon guides had message boards. And hey, I recognize one of the posters - it's the guy who wrote that really good FAQ for the Yellow version.
I picked a username that turned out to be, in retrospect, an unintelligble mess ("cmsnrub25") and started posting there. I started on the Yellow and Red boards, went to 217 (the "Pokemon" special interest board) and built up some great relationships with the regulars on the Pokemon Gold/Crystal boards as well that we ended up carrying over to a secret board. I gained the confidence to write FAQs for them and damn near got a job (only stopped by a Chapter 7) because of it.
I made Saturday picks, proved I could handle quadruple-overtime NHL games in Vancouver by posting on the NHL (sorry, "Hockey") board at 4:45am my time and xfd'd the Sharks.
I somehow managed to get invited to a second secret board - so secret that it doesn't exist - and did the right thing for a fellow poster when they were going to get boned over by my former employer. I was even considering getting into an Extreme Warfare Revenge diary.
That won't be happening anymore, thanks to a bit of my own stupidity.
It seems that based on what I'm seeing from people on Twitter, someone managed to guess the e-mail address that I was using to sign into GameFAQs. For the sake of clarification, this was an e-mail account that I signed up for in 1999. It went from my primary account, to a junk mail account, to the point where I switched full-time to Gmail (about 2005) and I stopped using it.
Clearly I let it lay unused for too long, but when the GameFAQs/Gamespot merger happened in 2004 it carried over my private e-mail to being the e-mail tied to my account. I thought it had a reasonably secure password - good length and multiple cases, though in retrospect I probably should've grabbed a GRC password when I first heard about it.
I never thought that someone would know to try password recovery on the account after they picked up the Yahoo e-mail, but they did. And apparently they did and went batshit with inflammatory posts, harassment of a user, etc. Long story short, I get sent a tweet just after my last break at work asking if everything's OK at GameFAQs.
My first thought is "Wait a second, I haven't been on the boards since this morning - just read a couple of FAQs at lunch."
But I get home, check GameFAQs - and I'm suddenly suspended with a modded message history a mile long. Keep in mind, I usually average one or two deleted messages a YEAR. Suddenly I've got 13 and I'm suspended. I go to change my password because it's dawned on me that someone had to have gotten in through the dead e-mail - on the occasion when I've had to log in outside of the same lappy I've used for two years, it's been on PCs I know to be secure.
I can't change the password because what I was using to log in isn't correct, and of course I can't recover the e-mail. So of course, it's gone.
I can't read the posts that were made any more, but to anyone who may have been offended by what I did, I don't expect you to believe a word of this. Just know that I would never post in a fashion like that unless you've basically walked up to me on the street and said you murdered my family. I sincerely apologize, but also accept that it's too late at this point.
I've got a backup account tied to my contributions, so "Donald" on GameFAQs will still be submitting updates assuming I can find that one spreadsheet for the Platinum guide, and hopefully a Platinum and Heart Gold/Soul Silver walkthrough down the road. But I'm done with the boards. I've been looking for an excuse to walk away, and this seems like as good a time as any.
If you're reading this on GameFAQs, I can be reached by e-mail, in the blog - maybe now I'll do more than 3-4 posts a month with my extra time - or on Twitter. I don't use AIM or MSN, and have a Facebook ban that lasts until 12/31/2999 (Protip: Don't replace all your pictures with Zippocat, even if they ruin a Christmas surprise with their advertising service), so those are the best ways to reach me.
- cmsnrub25 out