Cheating. One of the most hotly debated topics within any sporting or gaming community. It is a word that has mostly negative connotations. By definition cheating is the practice of going against the established rules of something. This can be within a game or sport or even within the confines of a romantic relationship.
But within the world of video games the word cheating hasn’t always necessarily been a bad thing. The subject of cheating within video games is a complex one, with valid arguments appearing on both sides of the debate. So we are going to dive deep into the subject today and examine if cheating is becoming more accepted in the gaming community.
The Golden Age of Cheats
Cheating and video games have a long history together. But to fully understand it we need to go back to the early days of gaming. Before the ability to play games online with random people the only multiplayer formats were in person. Which meant that cheating was a different thing entirely.
Back then game developers would actually include cheats in the programming of their game. These cheats could be activated by inputting a special code. The most famous example of this is the Konami code. These cheats were designed to help players who were struggling or simply to add a layer of wacky fun to the game with crazy stuff such as giant heads.
This meant that cheating in a competitive environment was impossible since any ranked matches needed to be played in person. And inputting the cheats back then would alert the other player. So during this age cheats were not only accepted within the gaming world, but praised as a fantastic innovation.
The Rise of Online Multiplayer
But the attitude towards cheating shifted massively during the rise of online multiplayer. Now players could game with one another without being in the same room. And this opened up a whole new avenue for cheaters. But they were faced with another issue.
A lot of games disabled the use of cheats in online multiplayer. Especially in competitive environments. But it didn’t take long before a few clever people created a range of hacks for different games. These were programs that forcefully changed the game’s code to allow the user to gain an advantage.
Eventually modern developers stopped creating cheats for their games entirely. Fast forward to today and it is very rare to find a game with any funny cheat codes built in. But that hasn’t stopped modders and hackers from creating their own.
The Good and the Bad
It is very important to note that not everyone who uses cheats is doing so to gain a competitive edge. There are a huge number of reasons someone might use cheats. A great example of this is those who use them to lower the difficulty on certain games.
Take the Dark Souls series for one. The game is very difficult and very old. Some would even call it dated. So a lot of people use quality game enhancers to make the game run smoother and make it easier to complete. Another community that often uses cheats are disabled gamers. Many people in this community already have a distinct disadvantage. So they use cheats and hacks to level the playing field.
Of course we can’t ignore those that use cheats in a malicious way. Everyday there are hundreds of gamers attempting to use aimbots or wallhacks to climb their way up the ranked ladders in modern FPS games like Call of Duty. This is extremely unfair to those who have worked hard to hone their skills and climb the ranked ladder fairly.
Over the last two or so years we have seen people in the gaming community relax their views on cheating, if the cheats are used for positive reasons. They still don’t agree with them being used maliciously. But gamers are more understanding of the issues faced by disabled gamers or those who struggle with some single player games.
As gaming continues to evolve so will the community’s views on cheating. It is also worth diving into various gaming forums to see what peoples views are on the subject.