Cheaters branded on Xbox Live, Gamerscores reset

The problems with cheating on services like Xbox Live are myriad, but our biggest problem is that, if we lose – which, of course, is almost statistically impossible and would likely cause a chrono-rift in the space-time continuum – we assume the other party was cheating ... especially if the other party's gamertag is an illegible gaggle of letters and numbers, flanked by various capitalizations of 'x'.

Well, now there's a far simpler way: Microsoft will label them "cheater." The Xbox Live Sheriff has begun targeting players who "gain achievements through avoiding game play and the use of external tools" and, as a punishment, resetting their gamerscores to zero, making them "unable to regain all previously earned achievements," and lastly (though, most deliciously), permanently labeling them "as a 'cheater' for the community to view." And, since the "gamerscore correction will remain permanent without any way to appeal" there's a good chance we'll have yet another easy way of identifying cheaters on Xbox Live: the tinny static of their whimpering sobs.

PS - Anyone know of any real accounts flagged "cheater" (besides CheaterMcCheat)? If so, point 'em out in the comments so we can all point and laugh.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.