When is Video-Game a Bad Thing?
The debate on where the moral lines can be drawn in gaming exploits
The big question really is: When one says “cheating at video games”, what exactly does that action entail. The phrase is broad and is cause for some sure debate.
There are many ways one can 'cheat' in a video game. From the illegal hacks created, secret codes, and mod-created cheats for online communities, the list of ways to find an edge in gaming is nearly endless.
If the developers allow for cheating, and/or even create the cheat itself, can it really be said to be cheating at all? Furthermore, if one finds a way to bypass certain supposed parameters, is it cheating or simply being more adept at adaptation.
Using a game cheat has been available for some time. Those who remember the SNES days can remember seeking out gaming booklets or the “Game Genie” that allowed for overrides on particular games.
The question comes when one uses the cheats to defeat another player, rather than besting the game. The culture of competition is to create some level of an even playing field at the start, and then allowing individuals to improve and become great on their own prowess and ability. Cheating immediately removed the dynamic.
Companies like EA and THQ, who have worked on sporting games, attempt to remove cheats and exploits from the games altogether. However, such companies have found the task quite difficult.
Cheats/exploits do give players extra incentive to play games. A sort of fail-safe is created in case of failure and frustration, but the hardline becomes that if one uses such concepts against other players, one has clearly created an immoral act. Still, the line becomes blurred when one uses a useable exploit that reaps high-percentage rewards. While being technically legal, some can be so effective it renders competition uninteresting to the average player.
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