A viral Twitter thread about someone’s old Xbox 360 Gamertag profile picture being cropped weird with each new Xbox console has prompted one Xbox engineer to go ahead and just… fix the problem.
As reported by The Verge, Twitter user Noukon purchased a Pac-Man ghost avatar years ago and has kept it as their profile picture ever since. According to Noukon, they purchased the Gamerpic for 80 Xbox Points in 2006 and he’ll “be f*cked if it won’t remain the best dollar I’ve ever spent until the seas boil over.”
With each passing generation, Xbox tries to shame my Pac-Man ghost avatar by shrinking it ever smaller and smaller. I will not yield. I bought this gamerpic for 80 Xbox Points in 2006, and I’ll be fucked if it won’t remain the best dollar I’ve ever spent until the seas boil over pic.twitter.com/Ji5ttoUVjh
— Gabriel Roland (@noukon) August 19, 2021
Unfortunately, advances in Xbox’s UI means the profile pic from 2006 now looks like a tiny square surrounding by an empty gray circle. Luckily, Xbox engineer Eden Marie saw Nokoun’s Tweet and decided to go ahead and solve the problem, calling it her “personal mission to fix this.”
Marie posted a full Twitter thread of her process, beginning with purchasing the same profile picture pack as Noukon (for a more expensive price of $2.38), before setting out to diagnose and ultimately solve the issue.
Listen, I can’t promise anything, but I’m going to make it my personal mission to fix this https://t.co/o1zYjBBHSd
— Eden Marie (@neonepiphany) August 25, 2021
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 solution, ultimately, lay with the Xbox dashboard’s ability to recognize transparent PNG files. This allowed Marie to take the small square 360-era Gamerpic and put it in a transparent circle and adjust the dimensions, resulting in a fixed, totally normal-looking Pac-Man ghost avatar for Noukon.
Marie was able to fix the issue during something called Exploration Time which is where members of the Experiences team can spend half a day each week to tackle random things within the product. “This week I absolutely chose to use it to rescue ghosts,” Marie tweeted.
It’s a lot of fun, and sometimes, you even learn something new, like… apparently 360 gamerpics supported transparency all along?
— Eden Marie (@neonepiphany) August 27, 2021
Who knows, maybe the next time you’re having a weird issue on Xbox Live, an Xbox engineer with free time can fix your problem for you?
Matt T.M. Kim is IGN’s News Editor. You can reach him @lawoftd.