Following a viral Twitter post about an old Xbox 360 Gamertag profile photo being cropped strangely with each new Xbox console, one Xbox programmer decided to fix the bug.
According to The Verge, Twitter user Noukon bought a Pac-Man ghost avatar several years ago and has been using it as their profile picture ever since. They bought the Gamerpic for 80 Xbox Points in 2006, according to Noukon, and he’ll “be f*cked if it won’t remain the best dollar I’ve ever spent until the seas boil over.”
Unfortunately, according to improvements in Xbox’s user interface, the profile picture from 2006 now appears as a tiny square surrounded by an empty gray circle. Fortunately, Xbox engineer Eden Marie read Nokoun’s Tweet and chose to remedy the problem, referring to it as her “personal mission to fix this.”
Marie’s Journey with Gamerpic Bug
Marie documented her entire journey on Twitter, beginning with purchasing the same profile image pack as Noukon (for a higher price of $2.38), before diagnosing and ultimately resolving the problem.
According to Marie, “a long time ago someone decided that no matter how big a Gamerpic we wanted to display, the 360 Gamerpic would never get bigger than 72 x 72 pixels. The rest of the background is filled in with a blown up, faded version of itself,” Marie says.
The capacity of the Xbox dashboard to recognize transparent PNG files proved to be the solution in the end. This allowed Marie to place the small square 360-era Gamerpic in a translucent circle and alter the size, giving Noukon a fixed, completely normal-looking Pac-Man ghost avatar.
Marie was able to resolve the problem during Exploration Time, which allows members of the Experiences team to spend a half-day each week tackling random issues with the product. Marie tweeted, “I love that we do it, and this week I absolutely chose to use it to rescue ghosts.”
A noble cause indeed.