ASCII by Jason Scott

Jason Scott's Weblog

Haloooooooooooooooooooooooooh. —

DELICIOUS GHOST SANDWICH

To everyone I have ever played a game of Halo with, who was spectacularly good when their levels indicated they had barely started within the game; to all those folks whose profile implied they were but mere novices in the Halo 3 universe and yet showed surgeon-like precision in playing against me, utilizing tricks I’d never seen before… I apologize.

I thought you were playing the game. To that end, starting over with a new account so that you would be matched against folks slowly gaining in rank and skill and who were unbelievably overmatched by your tsunami of Halo-induced terror.. well, that would be a dick move.

But today, while talking with a young sprite I’d been matched up against in a doubles match, and faced against two users whose names were, I am not kidding, you can get and it on ebay, a new perspective was foisted upon me.

They’re playing for money.

I know I will sound sarcastic and mean here, but I’m not: this explains everything. It’s a total load off my mind. I was trying to figure out this insane, bizzare behavior by some of these guys. They would have 20 games under their belt and be just massively ranked up. And when they played, well, fuck. They’d run through deadly power drains, run straight at me, drop down from high heights to crack my shit up. It was like fighting The Alien over and over, and I kept wondering what joy there was in playing like an insane kamikaze in a game that encourages, at least peripherally, some strategy.

But see, if it’s for money, then it all makes sense.

What they do is get the accounts up to the top tier (Level 50) as fast as possible, and then sell it on Ebay. Go do a search for “Halo” and “50″ and you will see “Halo 50 for Sale” and “We do Halo 50s” and even the scratched out beginnings of a competitive market, with laudings of “we do any variant” and throwing around words like “guaranteed” and “ready to go“, indicating they have, of all things, a stock.

Oh, the confusion and anger that has drained away from me.  These aren’t players, these are wage slaves. They’re not playing a game, they’re at their second job. With this cash, all manner of pot, beer, road trip, food and accessory money is being made. They’re hustling. I can get behind hustling.

Shit, son. Do you know how I made money from 1993-1995? Let’s make that one clear. I used to draw caricatures while dressed in a cow suit. I should make a whole weblog entry on that, but let me just say, that when I was out there at 10pm, dressed like a moron and taking it from crazy college drunks, hangin’ with the homeless and listening to that completely burnt out musician play “No Woman No Cry” for the hundredth fucking time, it was because I’d walk home with a couple hundred bucks. Money I used to pay rent, or be able to take my date out to a nice place, or otherwise get myself a little something to get through the day. That’s right. I’d buy 100-packs of 3.5″ floppies for my Amiga.

I know, I know, a lot of you are going duhhhhhh but that’s because I didn’t think it through. I play Halo because it is a game. I forgot how far things had gone. They’ve gone quite far indeed.

I’ll let you guys have a pass next time. After all, times are tough. And when you’re at the bottom of the wage barrel in an online sweatshop, a little hand up anywhere probably makes your day.


Categorised as: jason his own self

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6 Comments

  1. tyger says:

    Odd, I thought you were in game with me the day someone was trying to sell a level 50 character in the pre-game chat.

    I wonder how many newbs out there are running around with level 50 losing skill levels slowly ’cause they didn’t earn it.

  2. Church says:

    “I used to draw caricatures while dressed in a cow suit. I should make a whole weblog entry on that…”

    I think that’s called ‘burying the lede.’

    (Also, Marathon FTW!)

  3. Flack says:

    Huh, I had no idea this underworld existed. I knew about the MMORPG stuff (characters and items) but … uh … I don’t even get why anyone would want to buy a, uh, Halo 3 ranked account? I’m trying to think what kind of person that would impress, and worse, what kind of person would want to impress that person? I’m imagining a lot of pimples.

    In seventh grade I made money by printing out Print Shop banners on my dad’s computer for kids at school. I think my going rate was twenty-five cents per letter and fifty-five cents for the cool icon/graphics that you could put at each end — something like that. The business came to a crashing halt when dad said something to the effect of, “What the fuck happened to all my paper and the printing ribbon!?!”

    I’ve never worn a cow costume but I did wear a pig outfit to help advertise the grand opening of the mother-in-law’s BBQ stand. Six bucks an hour to stand around in a pig costume holding a sign that said “KISS THE PIG AT LIZ’S BBQ.” I know, even I am surprised I got out of the business.

  4. Imnotabot says:

    Hey Jason, I am waiting to meet you on the IRC, but I just wanted to show you this link:

    http://www.chinesegoldfarmers.com/

    This guy is making a pretty cool documentory that I wanted you to check out.

  5. JayP says:

    I saw this in the late 90′s with the PS1 and Gran Turismo. Selling memory cards on Ebay with 98% of the game complete or with some hacks creating RWD Civics.

    Every so often I spot a WoW character for sale on the local Craigslist. Good luck to them.

  6. mroblivious1bmf says:

    i’ve been playing warcraft for a number of years. selling ACCTS is very common place, especially among the hardcore raiders. they can sell one character from an acct for about $600+

    now with the ‘recruit a friend’ system wow has, these people can buy several accounts, control them all with readily avaliable software and level them up at amazing speed.

    they run multiple instances or use multiple computers and control 5 accts at a time.