Cheating is probably one of the most controversial subjects in the gaming community. I am against cheating, but then I remember that when I used to play Contra back in the NES days I did use “the code” (Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A). “The Code” lets you to start the game with 30 lives instead of 3. This little feature can be considered one of the first attempt by a videogame at adjusting difficulty levels. It allowed me to learn the game, and by the time I was done playing Contra I did not need to enter “The Code” to finish the game. I would say that something that is part of the software for the videogame is more of a feature than a cheat. There are also bugs that are exploited that might not be intended to be there, those in my eyes lean more towards cheating.
Today’s cheating is a lot different than back in the good old days. Today’s cheating involves people actually building software to modify the way a game is played. MMORPG’s (massive multiplayer online role-playing game) might have cheats to get more money, or bots (software that runs on top of the game) that perform different tasks for you, like picking up items faster than a human could click. FPS’s (First Person Shooter) have bots for aiming and other software hacks that allow you to get a lot more kills per round. While I felt that the “the code” in Contra helped me get better at the game, I don’t think any of the cheats that are being used right now will ever help me in any way.
I play games to have fun, not to impress others but to just have a good time. I believe that cheaters really don’t have fun in the end. Sure they might get the best stats or gain some kind of level of popularity, but in the end they will know that it was not accomplished via skill, or practice but just by cheating.
We live in a society obsessed with winning. There is nothing wrong with a winning mentality; I love the idea of capitalism. I just feel that somewhere the notion that you should win by working hard and truly being the best at something got lost. Winning by any means has become the norm for some people. I don’t agree with the statement that the end justifies the mean.
Playing a multiplayer game with a cheater can be a very frustrating experience. It is also so sad that cheating is so rampant that skilled players are not always recognized, but rather have to receive insults and accusations that they are hackers just because they have exceptional skills at a given game. While we could go the easy route and say that immature people are the ones cheating, I think the problem goes beyond that. Cheaters are people without integrity, and the sad part is that some of them don’t even care. Is a game community without cheaters too much to ask for?