Kentar, who I believe answered my questions honestly and accurately, had no marks on any of his accounts prior to this incident. He was banned not for an accumulation of various infractions and transgressions, but for this single incident. Whether it was his intent to cause problems for OSI (several folks worked on Christmas Day attempting to verify the incident he posted), or whether he just thought he was being funny, OSI feels that it is a bannable offense. “Intentional or not” is a very broad and very foggy measure to apply to any situation. I can recall thousands upon thousands of updates, rants, posts, and news stories posted by Lum, Jinx, J, Markee Dragon, Ima Newbie, Crossroads, Stratics, Vault Network – every single person associated with any of these sites or individuals could be banned from UO under the rule of “damage [to] the Ultima Online service, no matter if it was intentional or not.”
This very update falls within that category, and before anyone wants to step up and say, “well Arcadian, clearly the writers and websites you mentioned have no intention of causing harm to UO or OSI.” – remember that it is only a very simple tool of editing to remove the words “false information” from the quote above, and using this rule to apply to ANY information that might cause harm to UO and/or OSI.
It is my opinion that the person(s) who called for a ban in this case were irritated by the situation, irked for having to work during the holiday break, and pissed that it turned out to be a hoax. It is my opinion that banning someone for posting fake screenshots, when the account has shown nothing to date to warrant any kind of administrative action against it, is not only heavy-handed – but can be easily called “bully”. And with Kentar banned, I hereby list the following sites for potential banning.
While putting the final touches on this update, some late-breaking information arrived, and it is my responsibility to present it. On December 26th, Kentar posted the following to Crossroads in retaliation to a thread that exposed his pics as fakes:
Never thought this would get this much attention by the morons that play this game. Yes it was real, no I am not permanently banned. If you know me on great lakes I am known for my screen shots. I use a utility with an auto snap shot feature which is how I get some of the best death ever seen..
This has been over analyzed. Wouldn’t have even posted it had I thought that anyone with a brain cell functioning during the holidays would spend the time to jump in my head.
I contacted Kentar and confirmed that he did post this to Crossroads. When I asked him why he claimed his admittedly fake pics were real in-game screenshots, he said, “Ever heard of the word paradox?”
Yes. Ever hear of the word: BUSTED?
The update was written from the perspective that Kentar may have been a poor innocent little cartoon editor who got burned, and within that perspective, I still feel that it was heavy-handed and bullish for OSI to issue a ban to accounts in good standing. The fact that they were correct in their assertion that Kentar was purporting these images to be real for the purpose of causing harm, is a break of good fortune for them. Had Kentar not posted what he did to the Crossroads board, one has to speculate if he would still have been banned. OSI will tell you (or would if they could) that they made the right call, and that the recent proof supports the decision. I cannot argue with that. What I can argue with is the fact that Bans are handed out in a very “Alice in Wonderland” fashion where the queen’s cry has gone from “off with their heads” to “out with their characters.”
If I were given the power of command at OSI, I would issue any form of suspensions, jail time, warnings, what have you, to anyone who violated any policy. A ban would be issued only to those players who displayed a history of violations and all other forms of discipline failed to change a player’s behavior. You just don’t issue bans like the hapless Queen of Hearts. In the words of Alice, “this place is a silly one, with silly people ruling over it. I shall like to go now.”