Wednesday, March 31, 2010

So Long, GameFAQs (for now)

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

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I had a friend who had this happen to him, and he was able to get his account back.

    Your account was set to level 2 (locked) and you should be able to get it unlocked by using the feedback system to contact an admin. (may need to register a new account for this)
    Say you want to be contacted from your public email listed from your username (if I understand correctly you aren't locked out of this one?)

    Anyway this process worked for my friend who lost his account that was linked to an old email address which was hacked. Hopefully this helps.


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