BioWare Bans Old Republic Player For Using Internet Meme

BioWare Bans Old Republic Player For Using Internet Meme

“I’m 12 and what is this”. If you don’t know what that means, here. Everybody back on the same page? OK, so we can all have a laugh at this poor guy’s expense when he was banned from Star Wars: Old Republic for using the line.

Posting “I’m 12 and what is this” in a forum thread, the user was “permanently suspended” from the game for violating its terms of service, specifically – and deliciously – the fact you have to be aged 13 and over to have an account.

What I find almost as funny is the name of the punishment handed out. A “Permanent suspension”. There’s, uh, no such thing. If it’s permanent, it’s not a suspension!

BioWare is clueless, banned a user based on a meme [Destructoid]


    • Also pretty ridiculous for Destructoid to be calling Bioware clueless. Last time I checked being oblivious of a 4chan meme doesn’t qualify you.

    • Well, it’s in the ToS that you must be over 13 years of age to own an account. I also think it has something to do with Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act that EA/Bioware is bound to uphold.

      Saying your 12, even by a joke (which the moderator in question might not have understood. I didn’t know about that meme until now) is breaking the TOS you agreed to when signing up, and BIoware/EA is bound by law to terminate your account by exposing yourself as a person under the age of 13 in order to protect them.

      • But still, their first recourse is to perma ban the account?
        No investigation? The guy obviously claimed to be a different age above 13 to create the account, what makes a random forum post supercede all other information? I’m pretty sure lying on the forums isn’t against their terms of service. Furthermore, if I saw a comment like that on the forum and thought it was little out of place, first thing would be google the phrase, which surprise surprise comes up with an explanation.

        They may not have been outrageously out of line as the article seems to imply, but it still seems complete overkill, and it does reinforce the more and more apparent ‘act without thinking’ policy EA seem to have these days.

        • Easiest way to avoid a possible law suit from the kid’s parents or child protection groups for allowing said potential 12 year old to sign up to their service. Yes it was harsh, but it also broke that Terms of Service agreement that so many people just “LOL AGREE” to without reading.

          SWTOR actually highlights how many users simply agree to those TOS agreements without actually knowing what they are agreeing to.

        • Weighing up the two conflicting ages, I’d suggest that it’s mroe likely that the signup one would be faked to get to play the game, with the forum post being an unguarded truth (the meme connection aside).

          As others have pointed out, EA / Bioware would have no option but to take it on face value from a legal standpoint. It’s just like joking about holding up a bank or threatenening an airline – they’ll be taken very seriously and authorities won’t see the joke.

        • @sam yes their first response has to be banning (and give a contact avenue), that’s pretty well required by the COPA law in the US.

          They have to abide by it, and are legally exposed if they don’t act the moment they are aware of the issue. again, the law, not their decision.

          yes, US laws suck

  • Man, I remember when I was twelve. I got my first curved sword then. Curved. Sword. Then I took an arrow to the knee while asking a lolcat if I can haz cheeze burger.

    Good luck banning me though, I’m behind over 9000 boxxies.

  • I fully support companies cracking down on people who perpetuate internet memes. Personally I’d have their heads put on pikes too, but banning them from online games is a good start.

  • Wait, so you -certify- that you’re whatever age when you sign up, then for -claiming- to be under that age, they ban you?

    I hate how you guys above think this is a great joke, when it’s a serious consumer rights and corporate policy issue.

    • Due to EA/Bioware being located in the united states, they are bound to uphold the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act which states that they are responsible for protecting the privacy for anyone under 13 years of age. The easiest and most cost effective way for web companies to do this is to simply not allow users under the age of 13 years old to to access their content. It avoids nasty things with lawyers ect.

    • Because people neeeever ever lie when passing an age gate. Sure are a lot of people born on January 1st 1994 watching age-restricted videos, too.

      If the moderators catch wind that an underage user is, well, underage, they’re obliged to suspend the account. The issue here is they hadn’t been aware of the joke, and as 4chan memes go it’s a pretty obscure one.

      So the person will write back, explain the joke, get unsuspended, no harm done. The user learns that BioWare take their ToS very serously. BioWare add another worthless piece of internet detritus to their knowledge banks.

    • The problem is, if it later came to light that the user who had posted this really was under 13, Bioware would be legally responsible for breaking the Childrens Online Privacy Act, a criminal offense. I know it seems like an overreaction to ban them but it’s mandated under the conditions of the act that this has to happen until the account holder is proven to be of legal age. Once it is established the user really is over 12, the account will almost certainly be reinstated.

  • “Posting “I’m 12 and what is this” in a forum thread, the user was “permanently suspended” from the game for violating its terms of service, specifically – and deliciously – the fact you have to be aged 13 and over to have an account.”

    I laughed so hard and loud.

  • I think its hilarious they cant READ a ticket and respond to it (Keep getting auto close “please reply using Seasaw in the body” even when you use Seasaw in the body) but they can ban someone without even cross checking based on a post?

  • Insert pic of Fry with slightly opened eyes and tagline,

    Not sure if trolling or just really stupid. Really its EA ffsake don’t EVER use the forums they have becuase even if your polite helpful and a complete Ned Flanders (minus all the god stuff) someone saying bad words and quoting you will get you banned..

  • I think this is hillarious, looks like the troll got trolled and owned by bioware, maybe next time people will think before spouting stupid internet memes all the time. if i was bioware id keep the account banned and respond with umadbro? SUCKER!

  • This sounds like true EA crap. Thanks EA for ruining Bioware…btw I look forward to pirating ME3 and all it’s DLC. (You should’ve dropped Origin and used Steam…)

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!