Nice people bot, too, including…

So, I had a whole post written up on this idea, that it’s not just evil gold farmers that use bots. For example, see: RIP Meepmeep. I am thrilled that the mass banning removed a lot of cheaters from the game, but I’m also sorry folks like MBB lost their guildies. Deep down, all of these folks had to know that losing their account was a possibility when they downloaded Glider, however.

I had a paragraph tossing in the idea that just because it was your friend that got banned doesn’t mean they didn’t bot. (And if you began an internet crusade after assuming their innocence, do you think they’d ever come clean after that?) I suggested that the falsely accused aggressively pursue the appeal, and that this would be a lot more effective than blog posts about the situation. I also had a paragraph describing my feelings about Blizzard’s need to protect the details about the kinds of data they collect to sense botting programs, lest the bot designers find new ways to circumvent Blizzard’s attempts to sense them.

And some other stuff along the same lines. Blah blah soapbox blah.

And I sat on it, wondering if I was really interested in entering the fray, as some of the discussions have gotten a bit heated, with most people taking the “Save Ferris” side. In between pondering the post and picking at the text, I started reading around various blogs about the more technical side of the bannings and how Warden works.

I found a blog devoted to Warden, and naturally, the most current article discussed the recent wave of bannings. Overall, the posts haven’t gotten many comments, it seems, but there was one for the most current post, so I clicked to read it. It was by someone called Susan who had just been banned for having Glider on her computer. She said she thought the ban was fair. She knew having the program was against the Terms of Service when she downloaded it, and that it had been a risk. She was taking this opportunity to make a clean break from the game. I’ve seen lots of stories similar to this. I clicked on her profile to see if she had a WoW blog, and she didn’t, but …

Her photo looked familiar. I squinted at it… is that … Susan Olsen? I swear, it looked just like the actress that played Cindy Brady, now an adult. I was a huge Brady Bunch fan when I was a kid. I watched in it syndication, so it was on every single day after school, and I got to know the show so well that I could tell you from the opening scene which episode it was. I’d tuned in for all the Very Brady reunion shows over the years, and followed various Brady actor gossip. My sister even got me a Brady Bunch Cookbook for Christmas one year. (If you come over, I can make you some “Oh My Nose!” Oatmeal Cookies or some Marcia Marcia Marcia Muffins.)

She had two blogs, neither of them with Brady-related titles, but her biographical info listed her age and astrological sign. I went to IMDb, and confirmed not only that the age was the same as the actress’s but the headshot photo was exactly the same as the blogger’s avatar!! 😮

At this point, I began doing various searches for the actress’s name plus WoW. Was it well known that she was a WoW player? She mentioned in her comment about her ban that she ran a guild — did her guildmates know who she really was? I couldn’t find anything anywhere. Her wikipedia page gave the names of her dog and cat, and what blogger doesn’t like to write about their pets? I decided to read through her blogs for evidence of Trevor and Tabitha.

The cat rescue blog seemed like a good place to start. I was browsing over the front page, when I saw in the (very long) About the Author: “Yes, I was also on a popular TV show too. While that’s not what I’ll be talking about here, I’m not going to be a snob about questions or coments {sic} regarding that.”  There are also some references to her pets in the posts.

It is her. Wow. 🙂

So, there you have it. Nice people bot, too, including the actress we knew as Cindy Brady.

=========

I should note — in posting this, I mean nothing against Ms. Olsen and I don’t wish to cause her any trouble. It was just too interesting of a discovery to pass up posting about. I know it’s going to be tempting to come up with all kinds of snappy titles, given her tv character, but I hope people will treat her respectfully in posting about this, should they choose to share the story as well.

Links to all the sites that led me to this after the break!

The blog post from “On Warden.”

Her blogger profile.

Her IMDb page.

Her Wikipedia page.

Her cat rescue blog, verifying that she was on a popular tv show.

That’s just crazy, isn’t it? Detective work is fun!

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5 responses

  1. You’ll probably get a lot of comments on the whole Brady thing so I’m gonna pass. However, I will say that I side with you on the banning situation. Yes, it sucks if your friend gets banned — but isn’t there just the tiniest bit of a chance that they got banned for a reason? I’m not saying you don’t stand by your friends or that Blizzard doesn’t make mistakes, but I think these days there’s a lot of righteous indignation going on everywhere you look, guided by the media’s coverage of such antics. “My boy may be an axe murderer but he’s a good person! Why is he in jail! I love him, I know he wouldn’t do it.” This kind of stuff rubs my fur the wrong way. Case in point: a lot of people I love have done some really dumb-ass things in their lives. I mean REALLY dumb-ass. Like moving your life 8,000 miles from where you live to try to bust up a guy’s marriage that you’re having an affair with. Stupid, stupid stuff. Would I have in a million years thought she was capable of that type of thing? No f-ing way. No way! But she DID. I also, if truth be told have done some really stupid things in my life. Another case: flipping off a guy driving around in a mall parking lot, forgetting that I’m going to park my car and this guy’s going to find me — which he did. Scared the hell out of me, but who do I have to blame? And there you have it. There is no accounting for what people do. I also agree that handling it through proper channels, regardless of how frustrating they may seem, is the best way of going about making change. Companies as large as Blizzard don’t respond to net memes because if they did, they’d have to change corporate policy on an hourly basis. I know what I’m saying is probably not going to make me popular in the blogosphere around which I exist on the fringe, but I’ve never really been all that concerned about doing what everybody else is doing. I’m kinda ornery that way. However, I think if people read what you wrote (and what I just wrote) with an objective, open mind — as if it were about someone else BESIDES their friend — they will probably agree. /end soapbox too.

  2. Hee hee hee… thanks, all. It was pretty fun. I’ll keep you posted if any new cases spring up. 😉

    @Game Dame

    Yeah, I think the only person that really knows the truth is the person that got banned. I found the comment by CaptainHappy in TJ’s blog pretty interesting: “I have four level 70s all levelled properly, am one of my guild’s best healers, well liked (an officer in fact), substantially fill up the guild bank, boost alts, and all the other jazz .. and I started botting for various reasons I won’t get into because it’s not important. … I’m a good person, I just cheat at a video game.” He has two accounts that he plays from the same computer. The one he bots on got banned, the other one didn’t. I think this is pretty good evidence that Blizzard has a sensitive system in place for determining which accounts are breaking the ToS and which aren’t. It’s not just what you have on your computer.

    And, just like with all the reportings of hacked accounts and guild banks thefts that Blizzard has to look into, I’m sure they’ll examine all the appeals as fast as they can. That’s the other thing that’s bothered me in all this… the intimation that Blizzard isn’t doing all they can. Sure, a speedy response would be nice and hopefully people will get that, but expecting an immediate response seems unrealistic to me. (And getting a faster response due to a “call to arms” by the blogging community? I don’t think it will make a bit of difference.) Could Blizzard do better? Perhaps they could. I think they’re a pretty smart company though, and in the effort to keep customers, I imagine they’re doing all they can to restore accounts that were incorrectly banned. I suspect there aren’t quite as many false positives as people are suggesting, however…

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