Valve's been known as a generous, community-friendly developer, and nowhere has this been more present than in their updates for the PC version of Team Fortress 2. They've given players new maps, new game modes, new items, and a little something called hats. These hats are nothing more than cosmetic changes to the character model, such as giving the Heavy a football helmet or the Pyro a fireman's helmet, but they are a customizing tool and are supposed to be rare items.
Naturally, everyone wanted hats, and when Valve implemented random item drops, they thought they would quickly get them all. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a problem: they had been made so super-rare that players were spending hundreds of hours online and not getting one. Thus, there was an anger building until an idea was born amongst some of the users: idling.
Idling was the process by which someone left their Team Fortress 2 game running for hours on end, doing nothing while picking up tons of items. After running into other players angry that they were not contributing and sitting in spawn the whole time, the idlers came up with another idea: create a map to idle on and host it on servers dedicated to running the map 24/7. There would be no fuss and everyone could get what they want. This was the birth of the idling servers. Even at this point, it was only a small portion of the community who were taking part.
That was, until a user named Drunken Fool arrived on the scene with a program he created specifically for idling. The program would trick Team Fortress 2 into thinking you were playing the game when you weren't, collecting hats and other items while not having to physically sit in a server. It encouraged more people to start idling, and while they remained a small group inside the TF2 community, they were a controversial one, considered cheaters by some and heroes by others.
After what seemed like forever, Valve finally spoke up, having known of the idling program and those who used it for a while. Valve's response to the situation was to slightly up the drop rate for hats, take away all hats and items gained through the idling program and give everyone else a special hat to themselves, a little "halo" called Cheater's Lament.