Earlier this week we posted a story about 11-year-old Julius Zdenek, an autistic boy from Edgewood who loves to play Xbox 360, but was recently labeled a "cheater" by Microsoft and stripped of his online "achievements." Turns out he really did cheat by giving his account info to a third party who cheated for him. At any rate, the story set off an intense conversation about whether Zdenek deserved special treatment, whether he could even comprehend the concept of cheating, and whether his mom should even be letting him play violent video games at all. So which comment was the best?
Not the case with our readers, however. Nearly every comment posted on the story sticks to the topic and seems to offer some kind of point on a complex and sensitive issue. Gamers, parents of autistic children, disabled-rights advocates, and simply interested people all contributed, and we've enjoyed reading everyone's input.
So sorry if I sound a little mushy. I just love our readers so much!
But . . . Since someone deserves the endless fame that comes along with being mentioned on this blog, here's five of our favorites:
yes, autism is a mental illness. my little brother has autism. it messes with his learning funtions, and verbal functions. this is not treatable. this article caught my eye becuase this kid is VERY good with electronics. well, my 7 year old autistic brother put internet on out Wii system. I have no idea how or why,(but its very useful.) but anyway, my little brother has no idea what right from wrong is. why should they blame this kid!?!? IT SO UNFAIR!!! >.<
He's an autistic child, dude. You ever been around an autistic kid? Gaming is probably the one thing that makes this kids life a lot better, and makes him feel a lot better about himself. I guarantee it's a HUGE deal to him.
my son is autistic, you can not imagine how small unimportant things for you can make him happy,sad or angry.
Autism is so complicated, not easy for normal people to understand, we parents of autistic kids do our best to make them happy, because their daily life are miserable because of people like you
Being the parent of a teen with high functioning Autism, you are absolutely correct. These armchair parents have absolutely no clue what we've gone through. My son now goes to university, but also plays FPS games and has a very high k/d ratio. He also won every Warhammer competition he entered, both games as well as trivia. Fortunately, he's blessed with a small gathering of great friends.
Microsoft had better fix this or they can go pound sand.
Microsoft confirmed there was cheating activity on the account. The following is from Xbox Live's Head of Policy Enforcement, Stephen Toulouse (via Twitter):
"I confirmed that achievements were illegitimately modified on the account and contacted the customer directly w/ specifics"
So that answers that. I guess Mom needs to understand that he actually can comprehend the concept of cheating.
What about basic human compassion and sympathy for all the honest players that also pay their monthly fees and have to deal with cheaters and hackers ruining the experience. Why should the quality of service provided be lowered to accommodate cheaters? And why is the 11-year-old CHILD playing Mature-rated games. Xobx policy is that kids under 18 aren't to be playing these or access other Mature content on their service. In fact, one can't even access this content online unless they lie about their age when creating the account. That being so, if they're willing to ignore this clearly stated and well-known ToS rule then what other rules do they feel shouldn't apply to them?
Sounds like Mom needs to stop relying on XBox to babysit her child and do a little more hands-on parenting. Get him out from behind the tv/internet and more involved in the community where he can learned and practice actual useless things like social interactions. Those aren't ever going to improve hiding behind the television set.
Parents want their kids mainstreamed..but then they want special treatment for them as well. Pick one or the other..but don't expect the world to bend over constantly to give both. At some point, everyone needs to learn that there's repercussions for one's actions.