I never once imagined there would be a day where a prolific YouTube troll managed to build an incredibly convincing case against a company funded by the owner of the Boston Red Sox, but it appears the God of Chaos and confusion has chosen to work his magic upon the sim racing community. Of all the people who have taken interest in NASCAR-related video games over the past decade, YouTube personality weregonnalose – a former member of the United States Armed Forces known for his cheeky and ridiculous Xbox Live banter – may have accidentally discovered something that could land iRacing in serious hot water, with the monumental legal ramifications tipped heavily in his favor. We’ve reported on this issue here at PRC.net before – the fact that iRacing can and most certainly will deny you access to the money you’ve spent for no reason at all – but the work WGL has done to expose their absurdity highlights how black and white the problem actually is, something that is sure to throw both iRacing staff members and rabid fanboys into a frenzy. They are clearly in the wrong.
So let’s review this entire scenario from the very beginning, as this is bound to all spiral out of control in the near future, and readers of PRC.net will most likely appreciate a simple explanation to bring them right up to speed.
weregonnalose began his venture into the world of YouTube comedy with the maiden Eutechnyx NASCAR console release in the spring of 2011. Basically, this random guy with a bit too much time on his hands realized his voice was never going to win over the ladies, but he sounded absolutely ridiculous over the Xbox Live headset, and armed with a fairly competent capture card, could use this unholy combination to fuck with people on a level nobody had seen before. weregonnalose would simply show up to random NASCAR The Game public lobbies and engage in the most ridiculous and absurd banter sessions with otherwise unsuspecting individuals, continuing this behavior once the green flag dropped. With screen names such as EARNHARDT_DIED_LOL, and race tactics such as pile driving an opponent into the wall before claiming his controller batteries had died, other players in the lobby quickly lost patience and promptly exploded at the lovable character, who by some act of God managed to stay committed to his ruse throughout the whole ordeal. Obviously, it sucked to accidentally run into this guy when actually playing the game during your own personal time, but his videos are a hidden gem in a sea of bland and uninspired YouTube video game commentaries.
After branching out into newer Eutechnyx NASCAR releases, as well as mainstream sports titles such as the Madden or NHL series – where frustrated teammates begged him to “punt the ball, bro” – weregonnalose finally decided it was time to allow his persona to grace the absolute pinnacle of organized online auto racing – the iRacing.com Motorsport Simulation service. The professional shit disturber lasted less than a week within the highly competitive atmosphere before promptly being removed from the service due to an absolute plethora of user complaints via iRacing’s protest system. However, even more impressive than the original video itself – five minutes and twenty nine seconds of quality trolling which fans claimed to be his best video to date – salty iRacing diehards quickly jumped into action in defense of their beloved title for reasons only God understands. The comments section of the following YouTube video is nothing short of lunacy; rabid iRacing fanboys absolutely lose their minds at the popular YouTube personality, their dreams completely shattered over someone making a literal mockery of the ultra-serious environment. It was hilarious.
But of course, iRacing banned him, and now the sparks have started to fly on a mere technicality, with the odds actually in favor of the infamous YouTube troll. As admittedly dumb as this whole situation is, this motherfucker actually discovered something quite concerning, far more serious than any piece of content he’s ever uploaded to YouTube.
You see, weregonnalose wanted to return to the iRacing service for another attempt at comedy gold. And obviously, since his original account had been permanently banned, he needed to make a new one. This meant whipping out the credit card and going through the lengthy sign-up and tutorial process all over again. iRacing allowed him to register, as well as both download and install the client software onto his system – which wasn’t exactly time consuming, as the essential files weigh in at just over a gigabyte of data. However, when it came time to jump into a session, weregonnalose was immediately locked out of the iRacing.com member’s website, greeted by the classic 403 Error – Account Suspended screen that both myself and Sev have become all too familiar with. Long story short, WGL paid to sign up for iRacing, and can’t actually race.
After spending $7 to see an error screen and told he can’t use the simulator at all, weregonnalose wants his money back, and requests a refund via iRacing.com Support.
For our resident burger flippers hanging out in the comments section of each and every PRC.net article, I want you to try something at work tomorrow. When a customer places an order, don’t actually cook the meal. Don’t put the fries in the bag, don’t fill the drink… Hell, tell your buddy on the hamburger grille to just not make the burger and proceed with the next order. After approximately five minutes pass, and the customer proceeds to shout colorful profanities at you, look him/her/xir directly in the eyes and say “sorry, you’re not welcome at this particular McDonald’s restaurant, and we do not have a refund policy.” Your ass will promptly be fired, because what you’re doing is illegal.
But those are hamburgers we’re talking about, not a computer program. So in iRacing’s case, this all falls under a much different umbrella. We have to actually research a bit to see what they’re doing here to myself, WGL, and anyone else who has been on the receiving end of their strange operational habits – and in my brief research, their behavior actually falls under the legal definition of Mischief.
Mischief in relation to computer data obstructs, interrupts, or interferes with a person in the lawful use of computer data, or denies access to computer data to a person who is entitled to access it. Or, in much simpler terms, when you pay for software, you’re entitled access to said software. And paying the $7 for iRacing data to be downloaded onto your computer, only to be greeted with a screen saying you can’t access the software in its intended form, most certainly does not qualify as accessing the software. In fact, recent changes to the Consumer Rights act actually give people in this situation – regardless of how much of a shithead they’ve been – a right to a full refund if the product is not as advertised – an easy victory for weregonnalose in this situation on multiple levels.
Regardless of your opinion on the guy’s YouTube channel, iRacing simply can’t be doing this to consumers, and it’s incredible that someone who set out with a mission to merely entertain random fuckheads on YouTube accidentally uncovered a major problem with the way iRacing operates from a business perspective. Sorry, resident iRacing fanboys, you can’t ad hominem your way out of this one.