(Jasdev ⇒ Justin, 8/17/20)
Details [about your Halo modding days]. Now.
— Justin, in letter #12.
Having a sheltered childhood — think math, quiz bowl, and track teams — I only got in Big Trouble twice. Once when I learned about Windows’ net send command and sent the message, “shit,” to every computer on the school network during a state-administered exam and twice when I got banned from Xbox Live (Microsoft’s online multiplayer service), for a mod that ensured we won every capture the flag Halo match.
Okay, okay, I should elaborate a bit:
Here was the setup. I swapped out the projectile for Halo 2’s infamous battle rifle with the asset for…a massive gate (pictured below and here’s a video of the specific gate in unmodded action).
I’d then hop onto Xbox Live’s CTF playlist and wait until the single-flag variant came in rotation. The single-flag part was important. The strategy was taking ordinary turns on offense and on defense, beelining it to the nearest battle rifle, heading back to our flag, and firing three to four gates around it — boxing it in from enemy capture. I repeated this and climbed my way to the top of the leaderboards until my account got noticed and understandably banned (modding was beyond warranty voiding after all).
I’m probably too nostalgic about this phase, yet it’s hard not to smile back on the memories it threaded through.
— Andy Kelly
Which feels worth the broken Xbox and burnt soldering holes in the carpet along the way.
Have a story of when you got in trouble as a kid? Or a phase that was in retrospect cringe or formative or the two?