Idiot Kids Will Try Anything To Get Out Of An Xbox Live Ban

Total RecallTotal RecallTotal Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends.

Back in the earlier days of Xbox Live, while the Xbox 360 was still in its prime, the platform’s support forums used to allow users to complain about bans they’d received, and Microsoft staff would actually reply. Even if the users were being racist little shits.

It seems a universe away from how platforms are moderated in 2018, and in video game years I guess it is, but it’s still wild looking at this collection of screenshots. The sheer audacity of these kids trying to get out of their bans is almost admirable, but then so is the patience of the people having to deal with them.

Though getting in the odd sick burn looks like it made it all worthwhile.

While this forum is long gone, these screenshots have been saved by Cabel Sasser, co-founder of Panic Inc, the publisher responsible for stuff like Firewatch and the upcoming Asshole Goose Game.


“It was so good, I would read it every day”, he says, “mostly for the schadenfreude of idiot kids playing dumb and getting called out.”

Here are some of the highlights he’s managed to preserve (any shots with an M or X in the “community user level” are reps replying):


And my favourite:


Ah, the good ol’ days.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs

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I’ve banned a lot of people in my 10+ years working video game support, so I’ll submit two stories, both from the same company:

But was it in the Will?

While I don’t know why this person was banned, I do know that in their email to support, they discussed how they used this game to bond with their grandfather. It was what they had in common and it meant a lot to them. Recently, though, their grandfather took ill and he didn’t have much time. When this player went to go see his grandfather on his deathbed, his grandpa looked him in the eyes, and with his final breath said: “Get your <game> account back.” So please... even though the player cheated and even though he broke the rules... can’t we find it in our hearts to grant an old man’s dying wish?

We’ve had a lot of fun here today.

A group of use moderators were crowded around a computer screen, for someone was not just blatantly cheating, but making a show of it. You see, they and their friend were standing on top of a building that you can’t get to without hacking. And from that building, the two of them were shouting to the crowd joyfully, as if putting on a show. And there was a crowd. People swarming the building to gawk at these two joyful bamboozlers who were laughing and mocking the game. It was quite the scene.

After admiring their charisma for a second, we ban one of them. He blips out of the game instantly. The other turns around, looking for just a moment to confirm that he is suddenly alone. Not missing a beat, he faces his “audience” again and does the sit emote, adapting a casual position.

“Friends,” he says. “I’m about to be banned. And before I go, I’d like to say a few things-”. I honestly don’t recall what he said. What I do remember was that it was friendly, upbeat, and with no air of resentment towards us for doing our jobs or the game for this situation. It was a racuously in-spirit goodbye. So we let him finish his grandiose farewell. When it’s done, two of the mods uncloak in front of him, ape the /attack action as if striking him down, and then ban him from the game. No ill feelings from them or the audience. All part of the show.