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Xbox engineer fixes old Gamerpic bug

Xbox engineer fixes old Gamerpic bug

A viral Twitter thread of someone’s old Gamertag profile picture on Xbox 360 getting weirdly cropped with every new Xbox console prompted an Xbox engineer to go ahead and… fix the issue.

As I mentioned the edgeTwitter user Noukon bought Pac-Man’s ghost avatar years ago and has kept it as a profile picture ever since. According to Nocon, they purchased Gamerpic for 80 points on Xbox in 2006, and it would be “a problem if there wasn’t the best dollar you ever spent until the seas overflowed.”

Unfortunately, developments in the Xbox UI mean that the 2006 profile picture now looks like a small square surrounded by an empty gray circle. Fortunately, Aiden Marie, Xbox engineer, saw Nokoun’s tweet and decided to go ahead with fixing the issue, calling it his “personal mission to fix this issue.”

Marie posted an entire thread on Twitter about her process, starting with purchasing the same profile picture package as Noukon (premium $2.38), before starting to diagnose and eventually fix the problem.

According to Marie, “A long time ago, someone decided that no matter how big a Gamerpic we wanted to display, a 360 Gamerpic would only be 72 x 72 pixels. “The rest of the background is filled with a faint enlarged version of herself,” Marie explains.

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The solution, in the end, was the Xbox Dashboard’s ability to recognize transparent PNG files. This allowed Mari to take a small 360-era Gamerpic square and place it in a transparent circle and adjust the dimensions, resulting in a consistent and completely natural Pac-Man avatar for Noukon.

Marie was able to solve the problem during what’s called exploration time, where members of the Experience Team can spend half a day each week tackling random things in the product. “This week I definitely chose to use it to save ghosts,” Marie wrote on Twitter.

Who knows, maybe the next time you encounter a strange problem on Xbox Live, an Xbox engineer with some spare time can solve your problem for you?

Matt TM Kim is the editor in chief of IGN. You can reach it Tweet embed.