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In brief: Finding success in Guitar Hero – and later, Rock Band – is about as close to becoming an actual rock star as most of us would ever get. The music rhythm games offered loads of entertainment at parties and gatherings from their launch in the mid-2000s, but eventually the novelty wore off as most moved on to other games. A select few, however, kept playing their plastic instruments years after the games fell out of vogue. A community was formed, and one player slowly climbed the proverbial leaderboards in hopes of becoming the best in the world.
Schmooey was regarded by many as an elite Guitar Hero player, despite the fact that occasionally, minor questionable things would crop up in his gameplay videos. Nobody ever really took the time to investigate the matters with a fine tooth comb. But that would change in December 2021 when Schmooey posted a video of a run of the song 9 Patterns of Eternal Pain without missing a single note.
This feat had never been accomplished before, and that fact alone made some suspicious of his accomplishment. One user took a closer look and realized that the finger patterns Schmooey was using didn’t match the notes being hit in the game, meaning his technique wouldn’t have resulted in every note being hit perfectly as portrayed.
There was also something else weird about the video. At the very end, a Windows Media Player overlay appeared, suggesting it wasn’t a live recording but a recording of another video.
When there’s smoke, there’s usually fire, and now the community had reason to doubt Schmooey’s past achievements. They went to work, looking for suspicious activity in past videos and found that the player had been faking accomplishments for years.
Schmooey, when confronted by members of the community, admitted to faking a handful of videos. The community persisted, and eventually realized that nearly every video he had uploaded online was faked. Eventually, a full confession was made, where he admitted to using a cheat engine, video editing program, auto strum and more. He also confessed to playing songs at 0.75 speed then speeding it up in post production.
Schmooey also paid back all of the money he had won through bounties, awards for achieving certain milestones in the game. He also removed all of his video from YouTube and went private on social media.
What’s sad about the whole thing is that Schmooey was a really good player. He may not have been the very best in the world, but he was far better than anyone I’ve ever known to play the game. It seems the lure of being the best simply got to him and led him to try and be number one by any means necessary.