In April 2023, 54-year-old hacker Gary Bowser was released after serving 14 months of a 40-month sentence. His good behavior reduced his time behind bars, but now his options are limited, writes The Guardian.

He was a Canadian who belonged to the hacker group Team Xecuter. He is known for hacking into Nintendo consoles, for which he received a prison sentence.

He was ordered by the court to pay $14.5 million in damages to the company. He managed to pay $175 of this amount while in prison. He will apparently pay the rest for the rest of his life.

Before the Nintendo story, Gary Bowser ran an Internet cafe and made a living repairing computers. But in 2010, he moved to the Dominican Republic and later became involved with Team Xecuter.

“I started becoming a middleman in between the people doing the development work, and the people actually owning the mod chips, playing the games,” he says. “I would get feedback from the testers, and then I would send it to the developers … I can handle people, and that’s why I ended up getting more involved.”

The hacker was arrested in the fall of 2020. He recalled that it happened at four o’clock in the morning. When he woke up, he saw three people pointing rifles at his head. They dragged Gary Bowser out of the house, put him in the back of a pickup truck and drove him to the Interpol office.

The hacker was in several prisons. All this happened at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the security measures taken, Gary Bowser still fell seriously ill.

His case was meant to draw attention and serve as a warning to others about the severe penalties for illegal actions. However, according to the hacker, he could have fought the charges, but it cost a lot of money and time. Therefore, it was easier to plead guilty and face two charges.

Now Gary Bowser has managed to find a place to live. And after paying the rent, he has a few hundred dollars left over for food and other needs. Despite his difficult situation, he says things could have been much worse. For example, at the age of 20, he was homeless.

At the same time, the hacker is looking for work. On his website, he lists the services he can provide. According to him, it’s hard to find a long-term job, given his history with Nintendo.

But for now, he is returning to his first “love” – retro technology – and working with old-school Texas Instruments calculators. Legally, he is not allowed to deal with modern gaming equipment.