Earlier this month, an 11-year-old Destiny player gave control of his PlayStation 4 to a stranger who was supposed to help him. Instead, using the PS4 Share Play feature, the other Destiny player deleted two out of three of his characters, and the awkward moment was caught live on Twitch.
The apparent evildoer was supposed to demonstrate a glitch that could help level the fifth-grader’s characters. Instead, he navigated to the character selection menu to do his dirty work. The horrifying moments begin at about 14 minutes into the video below, where one-by-one, the troll deletes a level 31 Warlock and a level 26 Titan, leaving only a level 23 Hunter. Then the troll started deleting his exotic weapons.
Cajoled into walking away from his console, the young Destiny player returned, realized what was happening and turned off his PS4 — but but not before the damage was done. At the end of the video, you can hear the 11-year-old Destiny player weeping.
“He was playing with people he knew,” the video’s YouTube description reads, “one of his friends invited these two into the group because they had earned his trust. Trolls are everywhere.”
That video appears to have been posted by the young Destiny player’s mother.
“As Henry’s parents, we are constantly reminding him to be careful, to never share your personal information, to always be on the lookout,” the victim’s mother told Eurogamer. “But the truth is, no matter how many times a parent says this to a kid, when you’re in the actual situation, it’s easier to trust people you think are your friends because someone you actually know in real life vouches for them.”
She also told the publication that she contacted Destiny developer Bungie, who said it was unable to help. Doing so would go against a policy it didn’t wish to break and, technically, the fifth-grader willingly turned over control of his PS4.
Bungie even embedded the video in its most recent weekly update with a note of caution.
“Please be careful out there, kids,” the post reads. “Bungie has some ideas for how we can make regrettable deletions like these less permanent. While we plan the right course of action (and build out new game features), protect your Guardians from sleazy online jerks — or dogs that step on your controller.”
“Why would someone do that?”
Game Informer reports that one of the people whose PSN username appears in the video says it wasn’t him using the console at the time. He speculates that, as he was convalescing from severe injuries, someone used his PS4 while he was unaware.
“I wish I knew who it was,” he said. “I don’t. I was so sleepy half the time from pain medication. Why would someone do that? I guess you have to be pretty stupid or just don’t give a damn about people to do that. Glad I don’t know who it is. I am so mad and stressed for what he did to me by using my account.”
He also says that, since the incident, people have said they want him and his family dead and that they wish he would get cancer. The latter is particularly painful to him, given that his sister succumbed to the disease in 2011.
Share Play arrived with the PS4’s 2.0 system software update last year. The feature allows users to hand control of their systems over to another PS4 player remotely and share their games over the internet.