The gaming community gets a bad rap. For every statistic regarding toxicity in multiplayer games or report of anti-social pranking, there are hundreds of players outside of the spotlight who genuinely mean well. Whether they’re speedrunning games for charity or simply helping out hapless newbies, gamers are, for the most part, good people. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few malcontents out there, and almost every popular game attracts its fair share of bad apples. Just look at Destiny. With over 16 million players, not everybody on Destiny’s servers is going to be a saint. That’s what Henry, a fifth grader who uses the handle Cuckooknight HD, learned the other day, when he fell victim to one of the cruelest pranks in Destiny history.
It all started when Henry received a message from kermitTHEfrog, a fellow player, while roaming Destiny’s virtual world. Kermit told Henry that he knew a trick that could boost Henry’s characters to level 32, Destiny’s current max. All Henry had to do was give Kermit control of his game using the PlayStation 4’s collaborative Share Play feature. Despite how shady that sounds, Henry agreed. Kermit took over Henry’s game, and Henry left the screen unattended for just a few seconds.
And a few seconds was all it took. Immediately after Share Play kicked in, Kermit pulled up Henry’s character list and started deleting everything. Henry’s level 31 Warlock? Gone. His level 26 Titan? Also gone. Kermit also managed to delete Henry’s Plan C exotic fusion rifle before Henry came back and turned off the console. Henry initially played it cool, messaging Kermit to tell him that he didn’t really want the rifle anyway, but burst into tears when he realized that his high-level characters were also missing. Most heartbreaking of all, the whole thing was captured on video, which ends to the sound of Henry’s pained sobs.
This isn’t the first time that kermitTHEfrog has pulled this stunt, and members of the Destiny community are hoping that Bungie can take steps to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. Sadly, it’s not clear what, if anything, Bungie can actually do. In the weekly Destiny update, Bungie tells players to “protect your Guardians from sleazy online jerks – or dogs that step on your controller,” but they’re still figuring out “the right course of action” when dealing with these kinds of pranks.
This anti-social behavior is particularly concerning given that an upcoming Destiny update will force players to team-up with strangers if there aren’t enough players available to participate in the game’s weekly heroic strikes. Playing with friends is almost always fun; as Henry learned, playing with strangers is more of a gamble.
Still, while Bungie’s hands might be tied, the Destiny community is stepping up, with many players offering to help Henry re-build his lost characters. Chalk this one up as a life lesson: people can be jerks, but when push comes to shove, most of them aren’t really all that bad.