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Archive for the 'Girl Gamer' Category

Blizzard Foreign Account Department: Engrish

Friday, February 26th, 2010

You know, back in the day scammers and hackers at least had integrity - now they're  just insulting my intelligence. /s

No, seriously, I had to laugh when I got the following email - another from the infamous "wowaccountadmin" or some other combination thereof.  It's yet another attempt to scam people into giving up their World of Warcraft account information, but something tells me this one won't snag too many fish...

In view of recent, we have received too many from other players on your complaint we must to verify your account.please login http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/ as soon as possible with our current inspection or we will lock your account, forever.

I remember a day - not so long ago - when scammers at least attempted to come across as legitimate.  Now, they're not even trying anymore.

I’ve Been Banned, Bitches

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

On December 13 I wrote a post about World of Warcraft email spam and detailed how scammers will attempt to get your log-on information so that they can steal your account and use it for farming or spamming.  Last night I learned that I had been banned from my World of Warcraft account.  Yes, you read that right, I have been permanently banned because - apparently - some hacker got my information and was using my account to spam up the chat channels in Azeroth with offers of third-party crap (likely gold).

Isn't it ironic, don't you think?

I had noticed something was up with my account back when Blizzard made us create a new account over at Battle.net.  Every time I tried to logon to WoW after that, it would not accept my password.  Miffed, I would go log into the website and reset my password; it never crossed my mind that perhaps my account had been hacked and someone was changing my password.  Doh!

This stopped after awhile and I had no more problems and thought no more of it.  Granted, I have not signed into WoW in a few weeks but when I tried to last night I got the message that I was in serious trouble.  I clicked the link they gave me (that onimously ended with banned.html) and it told me to look for an email.  Sure enough, I had gotten one on January 11:

****Notice of Account Closure****

Account Name: SKATOOLAKI

Account Action: Closure
Reason for Action: In-Game Chat Policy Violation - Advertisement and Spamming

This account was closed because a character on the account repeatedly abused World of Warcraft's in-game chat system. This abuse includes advertising third party services/websites and repeatedly spamming in-game chat channels. Abuse of this nature pollutes chat channels shared by all players and harms the game environment as a whole.

You may not perform activity that we consider to be damaging to World of Warcraft. Engaging in such activity violates the World of Warcraft Terms of Use (http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/legal/termsofuse.html).

Any recurring subscriptions on this account have been suspended to prevent further monetary charges. For any concerns or disputes regarding this action, please reply directly to this e-mail.

Regards,

Account Administration
Blizzard Entertainment
www.worldofwarcraft.com

Lovely, no?

Obviously I am not a spammer or a scammer or a hacker.  I responded with the following:

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to dispute the claim of in-game chat policy violation.  I, personally, have not signed into my WoW account in a few weeks.  As well, I have been a subscriber in good standing since 2004; a look at my records will confirm this.  I am not affiliated with any third-party software or companies and do not - and would not - engage in any type of spamming behavior.

I have not noticed anything unusual with my account in the last month, however, when we created the Battle.net accounts, I noticed that every time I tried to log into World of Warcraft, it would not take my password.  Probably 3-4x's, I had to log on to the website and change my password.  After awhile this stopped, and I thought no more of it but I realize now it is possible that my account was being hacked into at that time and the hackers were changing my password.

Please let me know what needs to be done to remedy this situation and have my account reinstated.

Sincerely,
Shanna
'skatoolaki'

We'll see where it goes from here.  I would think that they could check my records and see that I have been a subscriber since 2004; why would I all of a sudden start spamming?

Hopefully my characters are all still there and intact.  I have this nightmare of signing on to find they've sold all of my gear or deleted my characters or even sold them (not that they're worth much to anyone but me).  There's no telling what they've been doing with my account or how/if they were using my characters for it.  I don't think they were because had one of my characters been signed on, someone in the guild (which is all family) would have noticed it.  They probably made some Level 1 character to stand there in the middle of the city and hawk spam gold crap like they normally do.

Whatever happens, I'll let you know.  I hope I do not lose my account for good and I hope my characters are all okay.

More Like Writer’s Apathy

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

Every day I wake up and want to write here in my blog, and every day I open up the WP dashboard and stare at a blank "Write Post" block.

It's not that there aren't things to write about. My life has been full and busy lately; just that I don't think anyone would care or I don't feel it worthy of a write somehow (which is odd, because some of it has been landmark stuff). I don't necessarily have "writer's block", it's more like "writer's apathy". I think about writing and then go, "Eh..."

I can't explain it. There's this burning desire inside of me to write - anything on any of my blogs. Yet when I set out to, it's "Eh...", and nothing gets written.

True, a lot of my creative output is going into two projects I'm working on (both Sims-related). I don't want to talk about them before they're done because that always seems to jinx it and then it will never be complete. I have been spending some idle time re-reading my Syls Empire stuff - thinking about doing something with it or even just expanding it. I know some of my websites, mainly skatoolaki.com and Skasimlaki, need some work & updating. I'd like to write some more on Trick Tracts, or even get back into researching and writing on The Brandon Children. I know I'm spreading myself thin in that respect, but it's like there is so much I want to do that I never actually can settle on any one thing to do.

Pretty much every spare second I've had since The Sims 2: Castaway for the Wii came in, I've been doing that - until I put the radio in my inventory and it disappeared. I've been so distraught (because all I've found online says it's a glitch and you must restart the game) that I haven't touched it since Friday.

And...eh. What else? I'm trying to be more diligent in updating my Twitter. I downloaded Google Desktop for my desktop pc and laptop last night and am (so far) pretty much loving it. I also spent some time customizing my iGoogle homepage; honestly trying to get away from Yahoo! as my homepage but I love the news updates. I love iGoogle and the way I can customize it, but I have this thing about getting all of my worldly & local news updates from Yahoo!. Yet, for whatever reason, I'm ready for a change. I've made Yahoo! my homepage on every computer I've used for the past 10+ years - just ready for something new.

[Sidenote: Cute YouTube vid about the ease of customizing iGoogle homepage]

To my sister and any other Magic 8-Ball fans - if you download Google Desktop (which I recommend), you have to get the AnswerBall gadget! It can be found here.

What else, what else? I finally cleaned out my Mozilla Thunderbird email today. I had, seriously, almost 6,000 messages. It had gotten so bad that I just stopped going to it. All of my email accounts (Yahoo!, Gmail, and any that are connected to my domain names) are all forwarded to my Thunderbird (which, btw, totally kicks MS Outlook's ass...make the switch today). Not only are all of these email accounts forwarded to Thunderbird, there is no organization to it; they just all simply end up in my Inbox. I need to sit and figure out a way to organize them - have different email accounts land in different folders or something, I just haven't sat down to do it. If any Thunderbird users have any ideas, please leave them in the comments.

Hey, this random writing thing isn't so bad...maybe I need to do this more often instead of feeling I have to have something to write about (like hot topics, what's in the news, major life events, so on & so forth).

I suppose that's enough rambling for now. There are some other important topics I want to cover - a graduation, a birth, a special birthday, but for now this will do.

Wii Are Hooked

Friday, May 9th, 2008

So yesterday my stimulus check from the govm't came in - a whopping $600 - and right after work Baret and I headed out and bought my Wii.

Until we un-boxed and set up my own Wii console, I had never even held a Wii remote controller in my hand before, much less attempted to play any games on this new-fangled console. I was giddy with excitement, as only a true gamer can be when trying out an entirely new style of gameplay and learning the ins and outs of a brand new gaming console.

To say I was not disappointed would be putting it lightly. To say I am absolutely, madly in love with my Wii still might not cover the depth of my true feelings.

We had everything hooked up and ready to go around 8pm and, from there on, commenced to play - non-stop - until 3:30am (at which time Baret noted we should probably go to bed considering I needed to be up at 5:00am for work!).

We had so much fun!!!

The console we bought is apparently a "sports edition", and came with a ribbed, clear cover over my Wii remote controller. It also came with Wii Sports; which we played first. Not only were the games fun and engaging, each stage in the "Training" section taught us a little bit more about how to use and control the Wii remote controller (or wiimote, as I've seem some people calling them online).

We also bought an extra wiimote for Baret, and his came with Wii Play; another really fun set of games that, also, teach you the basics of wiimote-control while playing hella fun games.

The only game we purchased (at the time) was Carnival Games. Though one of the main reasons I got a Wii was to play Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, I wanted to have some fun games that Baret and I could play together first to give me time to get used to the controllers (the remote controller and the nunchuk controller). RE4 was difficult enough to play on the PS2; I can only imagine how much difficult its going to be on the Wii!

After paying off regular bills and some I'd had for awhile with my paycheck and stimulus check (they came in within a day of each other), I had a little extra and bought a few components for the Wii - they should all be in Monday and Tuesday of next week (thank you free Amazon 2-day shipping!).

I got a Wii Pool Stick because playing Wii Pool was really difficult - we found - with the controller (pulling back was hard because you kind of just hit your chest and sometimes it wasn't far enough). I got Wii Boxing Gloves because I had so much fun boxing (I love destructive games, heh) and my hits just weren't landing right with the controllers. I also grabbed a set of Wii Ping Pong Paddles so Baret and I can play Table Tennis (essentially ping pong) a little easier (hopefully); we really enjoyed playing against each other on that game but the controllers were hard to use for it (of course, we're still noobs just learning and getting used to the controllers, too).

I bought Cooking Mama: Cook Off, because I love the Yahoo! cooking games like Cake Mania, Pizza Frenzy, Cooking Quest, Diner Dash, etc. I also ordered Party Games because I enjoy having fun, interactive games Baret and I can compete against one another on, and that we can play with friends when they come over (plus, it has Darts and Beer Pong!). Last but not least, I nabbed My Word Coach, because I am a linguist-lover and really like games that help keep my vocab strong and vast, and my brain on its toes.

There are other games I really wanted much more - Endless Ocean, Tomb Raider Anniversary, Lego Star Wars, to name a few but they were fairly expensive ($40 and up), so we'll save those for a later time.

Tonight, I am going to try and convince Baret that we must go to Best Buy (where much Wii-stuff can be found) and get Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles with a gun controller and the Wii Grand Slam Sports Pack, since we have Wii Sports and Wii Play, which both use a lot of that "sports" equipment.

Yes, I'm going Wii-crazy and if Baret doesn't smack me to death with my own paycheck for buying so much, I'm going to be very happy (and very busy) for some time to come!

(Oh, and we nicknamed our Wii "Naos" (its a star) - but then changed it to "OoGhiJ MiQtxxHA", a joke from our favorite show, Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Baret's Mii is "Baba" and mine is "Izzy"!)

A Pleasant Surprise, And Hope for the Future

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Due, no doubt to my own advancing age, I have become rather disillusioned with the future of the world; especially with those coming behind me that will be responsible for its care once we are gone. As a rule, much more than an exception, young people and children today...disappoint me. What I see is a burgeoning generation of self-absorbed, inconsiderate little cretins. Not all of them, naturally - but a good enough number to cause concern.

I can't say I ever feel encouraged concerning the future when I take time to notice what's going on in the world of television, music, and the Internet. While there are certainly bright spots, the up and coming youth of our world have a decided lack of quality entertainment and brain food at their disposal. Education, also, is a failing institution in these United States and the results are all too painfully obvious. The celebs that young people today look up to and emulate make my stomach turn, and the accepted illiteracy with which they conduct themselves via spoken and written communication are appalling. Common courtesy and common sense have long been abandoned, and young people today spend the majority of their lives with a one ear in a cell phone, the other in an iPod, and a mind on everything but what is actually going on around them - they especially pay no heed to the people in their vicinity. "Thank you" or "excuse me" are foreign words I rarely hear spoken by anyone under the age of thirty. They are too busy and preoccupied with self and their own goings-on to notice anyone else - much less to step around someone, hold a door open, or apologize for bumping into another person.

Again, I want to reiterate that this is not all of today's youth of which I am speaking. Certainly there are number of wonderful, bright, polite, and considerate teens and young adults in today's world. It just seems their less pleasant counterparts are the ones you run into more frequently.  In light of this, it's always a great pleasure for me to come into contact with some of the hopefuls.

This very thing happened to me on Friday evening, when I stopped by a local Best Buy in search of the The Sims 2 FreeTime  game guide.  As I was chatting up the very helpful Best Buy employee, Craig, as we searched - fruitlessly, I'm afraid - for the guide in question, I noted two young men with a The Sims box in their hands.  They queried Craig on whether the old game would work on a Vista-run machine, and I jumped at the chance to help out a possible future-Sims fan.

We struck up a conversation, as I told them about The Sims 2, the newer version that would definitely work on their computers running Windows Vista and extolled on the merits of the game, and how it was infinitely superior to its predecessor.

I would guess that the young brothers were around 18 and 10 or 11.  We ended up chatting about games, computers, and - of course - The Sims 2 for near an hour (in which time, the wonderful Craig was able to find my game guide - woot!).  I learned they were from a small town very near where I had grown up, and I gave the oldest my MySpace name so that we could stay in touch and I could help them if they had any further questions/problems about the game.

I left that store in the happiest of moods.  The two young men were polite, well-spoken, funny, and genuinely just all-around good people.  Me, the ultimate cynic and people-hater, was pleased to have my faith in humanity restored for a moment.  It was also nice to see two boys interested in such a creative, family-inspired game - rather than the usual violent, gory, or sports-only mindset that a lot of young men their age are into.  It isn't to say that they don't play these types of games (hell, I do as well) - but that they were interested in expanding their game-play into the realm of simulation and creative imaginings.  I found that impressive and endearing.

I suppose, then, I would just like to extend a small thanks to Brandon and Hayden for instilling a little renewed faith in our future, and in humanity in general, in this old cynic.  Thank you, guys - I see great things in both of your futures.

To Chris Crocker

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

I am sure you have all seen the now-infamous Chris Crocker YouTube vlbog LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE! - or one of the many parodies or opinions about it online, on the radio, and even on TV.

Chris has become the latest Internet phenom, though not in a good way - when ABC News posted his vblog, it quickly garnered world-wide attention as a rabid, devastated Britney fan defending her honor. The backlash hasn't been pretty.

Interestingly enough, I'd been a subscriber to Crocker's YouTube vblogging for a little while now. Though I didn't always agree with everything he said, there were often some enjoyable and enlightening-if-crude dissertations to be found on Chris's profile. Sure, he was sometimes a tad over-the-top, but I haven't met a queenly gay gent yet that wasn't. It's one thing I love about the majority of gay people I know; their candid, often hilarious, approach to things most people consider taboo - including their own acceptance of self in a society that considers them immoral and defective.

As for Chris Crocker and vblogging, I enjoyed his blunt manner of speech and his no-nonsense approach to self-acceptance. He was funny, outspoken, and I felt it took a great set of balls (or preferred lack their of) to be himself - a man who identifies more with his feminine wiles - in such a public setting. He openly spoke about the gender-bias of our society, and challenged ideas of gay and transsexual stereotypes. For that alone, even if I didn't always agree completely with his assessments, I applauded him.

If there's one thing I know and know well, it's that gay men love their pop starlets of choice with a fevered intensity. No, not all gay men have this devotion to the pop tarts of our culture, but many do and they are unfailingly loyal in this adoration. Perhaps that is why Chris's outburst didn't seem too shocking to me. Oh yes, it was a bit much, but I certainly didn't view it with the appalled horror that most Americans seem to be experiencing upon viewing it.

That said, I am all for people having an opinion on Chris's video, his method of presenting his views on the subject, and the views themselves. This is the heart of free speech - and people parodying it and offering up their responses brings the free speech of dissertation to a full, complete and happy circle.

What I am not for and am having trouble swallowing are the hate-filled, fanatical, name-calling and death threats that Chris has swirling around him now. Not agreeing with someone is one thing - saying they are a "stupid queer who needs to be shot" is quite another.

I'm sure Chris is used to his fair share of vitriol and hate-mongering, but the backlash to his video is simply...depressing. It's frightening and disheartening to realize just how much hate, fear, and savageness exists in our society today.

In light of the recent uproar, I have penned a letter to Chris. Rather than have it lost in the mad sea of comments on his vblog, I've decided to put it here in hopes that others may stop and think before they hurl nothing but jeers and cruel words at this young man.

Oh, Chris - you have every right to feel the way you do and to post it online. I just hope you were prepared for this huge backlash.

I dislike Brit and I don't, personally, agree with your views on the subject, but that doesn't mean I don't accept your right to express your feelings and beliefs. The world would be a scary, boring place if we all felt the same and believed the same ways. Whether I agree with what you said, or how you chose to say it, isn't the thing here. Diversity is what makes us unique and beautiful - I suppose my main problem with all of the attention you're getting is the negativity of the majority of it.

The Seth Green parody? Genius; I loved it - and you should enjoy it, too. Who wouldn't want to be parodied by such a talented, funny guy? We have to be able to laugh at ourselves. My point is - disagreeing with you or poking some fun at the presentation of your ideas, while not always nice, is just part of the full circle of free speech. What is not - or should not - be part is the horrible, negative, cruel things people are saying. Laughing is one thing - calling you horrible, bigoted names and wishing you to die is completely another. I don't agree with that and I can't stand by it. I'm really sorry you're having to deal with that aspect of this backlash; truly. My own race makes me ashamed sometimes.

Stay strong - when you throw an impassioned presentation of unpopular views at the world, you're going to get a backlash and some good-natured ribbing. That's okay, and I'm sure you are prepared to deal with that. For the rest of it, however, just stay strong. Weak people who only want to kick you when you're down or use this as a platform for their hate and gay-bashing don't deserve a second of your consideration. Forget them...and keep being yourself; whether the world likes it or not.

GL, sweetie.

Twins, Triplets, & Quads, Oh My!

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a die-hard Sims 2 fan (case in point: SkaSIMlaki).  For some reason, I also love having twins in my game.  Even as a child, the idea of multiple births has always fascinated me.  Remember those little Quints dolls?  *Loved* those.

So I was fairly disappointed when The Sims 2 shipped out with only twins available for Sim parents-to-be.  Just a few months ago, I discovered a triplets/quad hack at MATY that even had a random option (because I like my multiple births to be a surprise).

Since downloading the hack, I have been drowning in multiple-birthed babies!  Pleasantview, last time I played, recorded THREE multiple births, and well-known resident, Brandi Broke, became a grandmother of six boys overnight!  How, you ask?  Her twin daughters had babies...many babies.  Isabel had quads (four boys) and Catelyn had twins (two boys).  Talk about a busy night at the hospital!

But, really, I can't complain because they're so cute:

Samson Harris  Oren Harris