There was a time in this bad old world when honesty was merely a given; now, such honorable acts are rewarded. Rewarded with hats.
Team Fortress 2 maker Valve has recently witnessed a spate of cheating on the PC version of its popular online shooter, with many players using "external idling applications" to get sweet items. Said applications make the game think players have been in a server, when they've actually been doing SOMETHING ELSE, the cheek. The apps can be left running idly for weeks at a time, thus ensuring the user snags any random item that appears in that time period.
Valve isn't too chuffed about this, so has announced that it will be stripping any unfairly gained items from the culprits. Valve's Erik Johnson warns:
"Due to us not having a policy in place prior to today, this time we're only removing the items earned through cheating the system. Going forward, if we find users using external applications, we'll remove all of their items."That's not the end of the matter, however. According to Valve, 4.5% of players cheated, so the other 95.5% will be getting a reward: a new hat, a halo that floats above your avatar's head (see above). A cute idea, in my opinion.
Sadly, because the Valve fanbase contains some of the pickiest wretches you're ever likely to meet, this inoffensive freebie has caused a big fuss: over at the Steam forums, various protest groups (such as HealersAgainstHalos, who refuse to heal halo wearers) have been formed. Someone call the wah-mbulance already.