What if the idea of playing chess while wearing headphones was so outlandish that no one actually tried?
Well, if you’re in that situation, you’re not alone.
In February, former US Army Sergeant James L. Bales was sentenced to 40 years in prison for a 2013 scheme that involved using his personal computer to play the game.
In addition to his 40 years, he received a life term plus a possible 10 years for his role in the conspiracy.
He was the second US soldier to be sentenced for the same crime in less than a year.
The sentence was announced on the eve of the world’s biggest chess tournament, the 2018 World Championship, which begins on February 10 in Moscow.
Bales had admitted participating in the scheme but maintained that he didn’t know he was breaking the law.
The sentencing comes as the US government considers how to crack down on the use of illegal headsets in gaming, after the US Federal Trade Commission issued a statement last week that said there are no rules on what constitutes “safe use” of headsets.
The FTC said in a statement that the agency will look into whether headsets “should be regulated by the FTC as an unapproved consumer product or if they should be regulated in a more narrowly defined way.
The US government has already fined several companies for using headphones in games, including Razer and Oculus, which have faced pressure to stop selling them.
But Bales, who was known to be extremely loud and aggressive in his gaming sessions, was not a fan of the headset debate.”
I was just a loud guy, and I’m not the loudest guy in the room,” Bales told CNN.”
You could argue that my game might have been more enjoyable if I wasn’t so loud, but the fact is I’m the loud guy.
“I was the one that set off the alarm bells in the office, I got the word out that he was going to be using his headset.
I got his mom to call me, and he just blew up at me.”
Bales was arrested in March, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
He was released from jail on January 19.
“My only problem with him being in the US is he’s a guy that has no respect for the rules,” his attorney, Paul Schott, told CNN, referring to Bales’ frequent use of the term “militia” and “military”.
Schott added that the fact that Bales had been able to walk out of jail “without facing a conviction” had “a chilling effect” on others.””
He was a criminal who was going around shooting people.”
Schott added that the fact that Bales had been able to walk out of jail “without facing a conviction” had “a chilling effect” on others.
“He’s now a free man.
I think it’s unfortunate,” he said.”
It makes it much harder to recruit and it makes it more difficult to get involved in other things that people might enjoy doing.””
It’s a dangerous thing to do.
There are no restrictions on it.”
Schotts defence team argued that Bews criminal history, which includes drug and weapon convictions, showed that he would have been a good candidate for rehabilitation if released from prison.
Bates’ sentencing was one of several US cases brought against gaming companies in recent months, as regulators sought to crack back on the growing use of headsets in the gaming industry.
The gaming industry has been hit hard by the rise in headset use, with the popularity of headsets increasing by about 40% in the last five years.
In March, a US court fined two companies more than $200,000 for allegedly violating federal law by failing to take steps to warn consumers of the dangers of using headphones.
The Justice Department has also opened an investigation into gaming headset use after reports surfaced in 2016 that a large number of people were experiencing seizures and other medical issues after playing online games with headphones plugged into their headsets.
In October, the Federal Trade Commision said that it would be investigating whether companies were charging consumers too much for headsets.
“We have a responsibility to ensure that consumers are not being charged for products that may not be available at the time,” FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez said.
The agency also launched a task force to look at how to prevent the use and misuse of headsets, including “safeguarding consumer confidence in the safety and efficacy of headsets”.