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Jax Goss
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The first story for my Patreon is up. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. :) If you want to read it, go and throw a dollar in the tip jar to unlock it. ;) (Or more, if you are so inclined, but a dollar is all it takes.)
And thanks to those who already have for the support. <3
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An idea with merit, imo.
Hello, +Niantic - we may have a solution for your spoofer problem: Web-Of-Trust. The verification of real people, and crowdsourcing it to your player-base.

Obviously some of us get together and either organize or participate in things: First Saturday, Mission Day, Anomalies. These are real people who hang around with other real people who they can verify. Ideally verification can only done by verified players, plus must include verification by players from the opposing team. AKA they've all met at least a couple of times in x-faction-style events.

Your number of verified people can start from a seed that you already know and have dealt with: people who've organized badges for remote anomaly participants, or mission days, or the like. There are a few in each major city. They can start verifying those they play with. Get a number of players from both teams who say "this is a real person" and they become verified, can then join in the chain-reaction.

If someone verified goes off the rails, those verified on their own team can mass-unverify them as well (this is different from marking them as a spoofer, below).

A spoofer comes along. Verified members of the same team are alerted by the opposing team (to prevent abuse). They check the spoofer out - mark him as a spoofer. Enough marks and bam softbanned or hardbanned. Owned portals go neutral, resonators are deleted - immediately or at leisure, whichever works.

Best part: once this has been set up, the game community becomes self-policing. Niantic doesn't have to lift a finger to deal with any of it.

Sure, spoofers will cause some damage - at some ungodly hour of the morning. They won't be running riot for days/weeks/months though.
A further refinement of this concept: two worlds, limbo and the real world. Everyone starts in limbo, as they meet and play with other players they become verified and eventually graduate to the real world. What happens in limbo stays in limbo, though it is possible to talk between the two (to offer training and advice).

Spoofers and bots of course never get out of limbo. In-game advertising becomes pointless because it's not possible to throw the gear into the real world - only limbo. Second accounts (mules and spies) remain stuck in limbo and become useless. Players who go off the rails can be unverified and thrown back into limbo until they get it together again.

Again, self-policing.

To make players want to graduate into the real world: limit things in limbo. No higher level than 8/whatever. Better gear found in the real world. Better game dynamics. Only the public channel visible in limbo, not the faction channel. Missions and anomalies only available in the real world.

It could even be done to split the two worlds to their own servers. Yes, it would cost a little more. However, there would be more dedicated server-power for things like anomalies. This gives your paying customers a better game-experience.

It might even lure people back to playing and spending on stuff to help keep the servers going.
Thank you for your attention, hopefully these spark some constructive and more lateral ways to deal with the issue of spoofers and game-cheats.

TL/DR: Focusing on how to figure out heuristically who is a cheat? Save your energy, crowdsource it to the player-base by letting them flag the obvious ones - and banning automatically when the flags hit a certain number.
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An Open Letter to Spoofers

My darling Spoofy McSpooferson.

Let's not beat around the bush, shall we? We know who you are. And you know we know who you are. I am not going to name names because that is usually what craven little attention seeking babies thrive on. But we know. And you know we do.

Let me tell you about the warriors of Ingress. They are the ones who get up in the morning after all their strategic portals are spoofed down overnight and go out and BAF the entire region. They are the ones who drive and walk miles to make amazing things happen. They are the ones who fight hard in the field and then go and drink mead together afterwards, Valhalla style. Those are warriors.

You and your little minions style yourselves as warriors, but the truth is, my sweet, that you are not worthy to even walk in the shadows of those people. You titter behind your keyboards and your bots, thinking you're such gloriously clever little trolls, when the simple truth is you're scum. No, you're worse than scum, you're the maggots that feed on the scum.

You're the spotty fifteen year old who's pissed because the other kids won't play with you, without ever for one second considering that perhaps the reason the other kids won't play with you is because you're a cheating little scum sucker who has proven that the only joy you pursue is the pain and sadness of others. So you find other maggots just like you and cleave together in your dank holes thinking up plots to hurt the warriors you wish you could be.

But where any decent human outgrows that phase, does some self-reflection and works on turning themselves into something admirable, you're stuck being fifteen and bitter forever. An adult owns their actions; an adult knows that winning by cheating isn't winning. An adult recognises that the pursuit of real joy can never involve tearing others down just for fun. That's playground bully thinking, but I guess you never managed to outgrow that stage. Which is a shame, but it does provide us with excellent vengeance.

Because our vengeance, you pestilent piece of excrement, is simply this: you get to be you. Our revenge is that we see you for what you are. Our revenge is that you will never be more than a maggot feeding on scum because you have made it abundantly clear that you are incapable of raising yourself higher than that. Our vengeance is that for all your tittering and self-congratulation, you will never experience the thrill of a well-earned achievement.

It's kind of beautiful really. You have created your own prison. The things you crave - recognition, attention and admiration - are the very things your own actions have made impossible. You will remain a pasty worm hiding from the sun while the rest of us walk in the free air and turn our faces to the light.

I'm sure you're very proud of yourself today. I am certain you and your little cronies are congratulating each other on how terribly clever you are. But I watched the real warriors in this game rally against that and get out and fight back. And do it legitimately. So as you toast yourselves over your pondscum, or whatever it is maggots drink at celebrations, remember this:

Joy is not gained by tearing others down. Success is measured by courage and achievement. Even Captain Hook, one of the most iconic villains in literature, understood that you couldn't win by cheating, that it "didn't count", that it was "bad form". You lack legitimacy.

You are cowardly worms. And you will never be any better than that. And that, my dear little pond-scum, is our revenge.

You have to keep being you. It would be pitiful if you didn't deserve it.


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I know I don't post here very often any more, but this is a very special occasion.

The Pledgeme campaign for the book that +Will Whiskey and I have been working on this year has just gone live. We've created a beautiful illustrated anthology that would make an amazing gift for the short story lover in your life. Even if that person is you.

Pre-order it at the link below and help us make printing this gorgeous thing a possibility.

Thanks awesome nerds! <3

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Forgive me, I know many of you will not get the relevance of this. But today I earned this badge in Ingress.

I love Ingress, and while Pokemon is fun it has never grabbed my heart like Ingress has, and this particular badge is pretty damned emblematic of why.

You can't get Illuminator alone. Well, I suppose you probably can, with enough planning and grind, but to do it properly, to do it RIGHT, you need a team behind you, helping you, giving you keys, setting up fields and letting you take the glory for them. It's give and take, of course. I too have handed over keys so that other people could go get fields. I have cleared blockers for others, and so they do it for me. But my point is: out of all the badges, this is the one that for me is all about the teamwork.

And today I got plat. 1000000mu. Because my team have my back. Because Ingress is about teamwork.

I love this game. I love the people I have met through it. I love the friendships I have forged. And I am proud as hell of this particular badge.

Now on to onxy. ;)
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Here's a sneak peak of the cool new thing +Will Thompson and I have been concocting. :) 
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Here is a thing I am doing that may be of some interest to some of you. Especially if you're a left-leaning parent with an interest in the messages and ideologies in kids books. :) 
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Glyph-hacked my graveyard today. It was sunny when I started. Then I watched the storm roll in, a wall of rain. That smell of the first drops hitting tar. Sat in my car and breathed it in. NZ storms are never quite enough but it was still gorgeous. 
Then I drove to Plimmerton and threw 90k MU worth of fields after sitting alone in my car next to a portal awaiting instructions for 15 mins. Have to wonder what the people in the house across the road thought.
Then I drove home, followed my headlights through the dark, back to my door. 
I used to hate driving at night, driving in the rain. Now I love it. Singing along to Glen Hansard at the top of my lungs. 
Good day. Despite everything. 

This post brought to you by my favourite game. #resistanceforever
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I am working on a book this year with Creative Commons NZ about all the truly nifty things people are doing in Aotearoa with CC licensing. We're doing a very small and crowd-funded only print run of the book, and the campaign is live NOW. If you're involved in education, the arts, government data, or any kind of open source/open information in New Zealand, you're going to want a copy, and this campaign will be the ONLY WAY to get a print copy! So get in now while you can. :) 

And do, please, spread the word. Thank you, awesome humans. 
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A friend of mine posted this on FB, but I really want it to get wider circulation. I want every teenage girl to read this. I want every woman to read this. I want every parent to a girl to read this. <3

When you are 13 years old, 
the heat will be turned up too high
and the stars will not be in your favor. 
You will hide behind a bookcase
with your family and everything left behind. 
You will pour an ocean into a diary. 
When they find you, you will be nothing
but a spark above a burning bush, 
still, tell them
Despite everything, I really believe people are good at heart.

When you are 14, 
a voice will call you to greatness. 
When the doubters call you crazy, do not listen.
They don’t know the sound 
of their own God’s whisper. Use your armor, 
use your sword, use your two good hands. 
Do not let their doubting 
drown out the sound of your own heartbeat.
You are the Maid of Untamed Patriotism.
Born to lead armies into victory and unite a nation
like a broken heart.

When you are 15, you will be punished 
for learning too proudly. A man 
will climb onto your school bus and insist 
your sisters name you enemy. 
When you do not hide, 
he will point his gun at your temple 
and fire three times. Three years later, 
in an ocean of words, with no apologies,
you will stand before the leaders of the world 
and tell them your country is burning.

When you are 16 years old, 
you will invent science fiction. 
The story of a man named Frankenstein 
and his creation. Soon after you will learn 
that little girls with big ideas are more terrifying 
than monsters, but don’t worry. 
You will be remembered long after 
they have put down their torches.

When you are 17 years old, 
you will strike out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig
one right after the other. 
Men will be afraid of the lightening 
in your fingertips. A few days later 
you will be fired from the major leagues 
because “Girls are too delicate to play baseball”

You will turn 18 with a baby on your back 
leading Lewis and Clark 
across North America.

You will turn 18 
and become queen of the Nile.

You will turn 18 
and bring justice to journalism.

You are now 18, standing on the precipice,
trembling before your own greatness.

This is your call to leap.

There will always be those 
who say you are too young and delicate 
to make anything happen for yourself. 
They don’t see the part of you that smolders.
Don’t let their doubting drown out the sound 
of your own heartbeat.

You are the first drop of a hurricane.
Your bravery builds beyond you. You are needed
by all the little girls still living in secret, 
writing oceans made of monsters and
throwing like lightening.

You don’t need to grow up to find greatness.
You are stronger than the world has ever believed you to be.
The world is laid out before you to set on fire.

All you have to do
is burn.

— For Teenage Girls With Wild Ambition and Trembling Hearts, Clementine von Radics
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