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GameSurge celebrates 6th birthday

GameSurge, a network that is mainly catering to gamers, is celebrating its 6th birthday on the 3rd of February.

In the announcement on their homepage they write that they are “pleased to announce that on February 3, 2010, we will be celebrating our 6th birthday” and that the “continuous success of this network is all in part due to you, our loyal user base. To show our deep appreciation for your support, we will be giving away numerous prizes to lucky, random users on Friday, February 5, 2010 6PM Pacific time.”

To take part in the drawing you “MUST be at least 14 years of age and MUST be in #gamesurge on the day and time of the draw. If you are selected, you will be required to provide proof of age” so prepare to show some sort of ID if you win.

Happy 6th birthday GameSurge – all the best from IRC-Junkie :)

GameSurge turns 5

The GameSurge network turns 5 years today as admin pb announces on their homepage.

But, as they write in the announcement “unlike your birthday (we hope, anyway), instead of you giving US presents, well, we’re giving YOU some!”.

He continues to write that they will have “a little party on IRC in #5thAnniversary” and that they’re “doing random giveaways”. Those will consist of “a ton of Left4Dead swag or some RazerZone gear” and he says that you “can’t go wrong no matter what”.

Their contest page has a little more information about the upcoming and planned events:

In addition to the small random giveaways on IRC, we have two different contests lined up, each with multiple (bigger) prizes, and yes, you may enter both of them. Both contests are open to all people who are 13 or older (Sorry, kids), not currently banned from GameSurge for breaking the rules, and living in the US (or anywhere else in the world if you’re willing to pay for shipping if you win – my minimum wage job won’t cover a bunch of packages to Europe, sorry).

The first contest will be limited to “simply a random drawing” held on IRC and is open to “AuthServ accounts over 30 days old” with “one entry per household” and of course “multiple entries will result in your disqualification”.

The grand prize is “an assortment of Left4Dead swag from Valve, including a very large mouse pad, a long-sleeved L4D shirt, L4D hat, L4D stickers, poster, and whatever else will fit in the package”. Second, Third and other places in this contest will get “a shirt and/or hat, stickers, and posters until I run out, all in all there being about 10 prizes total from this contest”.

The second contest is “is open to AuthServ accounts of any age” and is said to be “a little trickier”.

This time, it’s creativity that counts. They want you to “submit a story, draw a picture, make a video, sing a song, etc. Just show us something that creatively tells about your experiences on GameSurge”. Winners in this contest “will receive a copy of Valve’s Left4Dead for the XBox 360, as well as the same grand prize package from the other drawing” and the “runners up in this contest will also get something similar to the other contest, mostly consisting of shirts and/or hats, stickers, posters, but also TF2 collectible card packs”.

So join in but be aware of that last sentence in the announcement that likes you to “note that anybody who rick rolls the judging team will be disqualified, most likely G-Lined, and possibly voodoo hexed as well”.

Good luck to all participants!

GameSurge Wants You!

Over the past month GameSurge (ranked #9 by have started to actively recruit new support staff. IRC-Junkie finds out what it takes to become an active member on this network.

The end of January the network posted an article on their website requesting people from European timezones to apply for support staff member. Last week a second request went out for all timezones.

“We originally requested only European applicants because were having problems supporting our userbase from those time zones”, Human Resources Manager Michael Rossi explained to IRC-Junkie. ” We received a decent response from the Europeans. We hired 10 European staff members.  After we hired them, however, we realized at that point that we could also use some more help in our American time zones.”

Although other timezones were covered pretty well, the target of a maximum of 2 minutes waiting time was not always guaranteed so a second request went out for non-EU timezones.

The network has been restructuring its support system, and is now being led by Support Director Cradly. While this process was ongoing the network did not wanted to hire in new staff with the risk that they would need to learn new policies right after learning the old ones.

After being accepted as a trainee a 6 month training program starts. The first month the trainee becomes a trial agent. “During this month, the agent will have no access to any information and has to get used to interacting with users as well as the command format.  Whenever the agent needs a command run, he must request that a full support agent run the command for him.  The support agent verifies to see that the commands are correct and that they should be performed and then performs the command for the trial. If the command is not correct or information is missing, the agent corrects the trial and the trial learns the correct way to do things, from running commands to handling complex channel disputes and harassment issues.”

When the initial trial month is over, the training can be extended to the support agent position. This 5 month period will be monitored by a training manager to ensure proper quality of service to the networks’ users.

“We have a number of different things we require/expect from our staff members.  They must be professional at all times when on the network, because not only are they representing themselves, but they’re representing the network as a whole”, Michael explains. “As a trial they have to work in #support for five hours per week and pick up a minimum of 40 requests during that time.”

Reasons for users to become actively involved with their network of choice are many. But once involved one of the rewards is the friendship amongst the rest of the team. “The best part of being on a network’s staff is the bonds you forge with the other members of staff”, Michael starts. “You all share a common interest and have a common goal – making your network a better place and making sure that your users have the most enjoyable experience that they possibly can.”

“The response so far has been amazing, since we’ve reopened applications two weeks ago, we’ve processed over 100 applications and have currently hired 15 trial agents, in addition to welcoming back three returning agents to our ranks.  Most of the applications I’ve read are wonderful, it really says a lot to me that people want to give back to a community that has given them so much enjoyment and I’m proud to be a part of it as well.”

GameSurge/Panda Software Giveaway

“To further the goal of encouraging good security habits, GameSurge has teamed up with Panda Software to host the GameSurge/Panda Software Security Giveaway”, the GameSurge website announced.

Alacard2k (IRC Operator and Support Operator) explained to IRC-Junkie that originally it was Panda Software that contacted the network for advertising possibilities on their website. “As a general rule we don’t place advertisements on our website, so I spoke to them about some alternatives. Eventually we settled on an idea that would be beneficial to everyone, a giveaway.”

The benefit for the network was in finding a new possibility to promote the use of security software amongst its users. “Security has always been a high priority for the network. Most of the security measures we implement are behind the scenes though. Our users don’t get to see them that often.” “Recently we’ve tried to make our users more aware of security threats”, Alacard2k continues. “Generating user awareness is one of the main reasons we partnered with Panda Software to hold this giveaway. We want users to be aware of threats to them, such as viruses people spread on the network. Too often people will simply click on any link they see on IRC and some of them turn out to be malicious.”

To enter the giveaway you need to be a registered GameSurge user. More information about the contest can be found here.

One User Causes Networkwide ISP Ban on GameSurge

“At approximately 5pm PST today all BellSouth hosts were blocked due to inaction by their abuse department. We are currently working with BellSouth support to resolve this issue. Once BellSouth addresses our abuse complaints with them, we will remove the block on BellSouth hosts”, GameSurge admin Cradly announced on the networks’ website.

Major IRC networks are occasionally forced to GLine an entire ISP due to inactivity after abuse reports. This time however, it was a single user. “… it was an actual user who would persistently evade bans and G-lines” another GameSurge admin, Entrope, explained to IRC-Junkie.

Bellsouth is a dynamic ISP, making it hard to GLine a single user, as (s)he can simply reset his connection to gain a new IP.

After the network tried to contact Bellsouth to solve the problem and found no reply, they decided that a ban for the entire ISP was unavoidable. Entrope explains: “The ISP-wide G-line included a contact number for Bellsouth customers to call and let Bellsouth know that the lack of response was causing problems for them.  Once that happened, Bellsouth responded in an admirably quick time, and they have assured us that they will make appropriate efforts to resolve the problem.”

Within three hours after the GLine was put in place, Bellsouth replied and the GLine was removed. “Ideally, ISPs would respond to abuse reports without their users having to call in”, Entrope said.