Cheaters in the real world get punished. When caught red-handed, they are ridiculed, taunted and some are even put behind bars. Though the stigma associated with cheating varies per culture, there’s still a considerable backlash involved in cheating.
That being said, cheating in real-world games is taboo. Just think about the likes of cheaters in professional sports.
Everyone remembers Tonya Harding, Barry Bonds and Lance Armstrong not for their achievements but for their cheating infamy. A lot of people are so fanatical about sports that they vilify cheaters who get caught.
Cheating certainly carries a lot of negative weight in sports. But that’s not the case when we talk about cheating in computer and mobile games. In fact, there’s a growing faction among casual gamers who encourage cheating. They argue that there are games that are just impossible to beat and that these games’ gameplay is greatly enhanced through the use of hints, walkthroughs, cheat codes and software hacks.
Let’s delve into the minds of these individuals and find out how they justify cheating in video games:
- Cheating isn’t harmful to anyone AT ALL!
This is the mindset of players who cheat in games that require solo play. They are playing for themselves, so cheating in a mobile game affects no other player. They have their own sets of reasons why they cheat in games (you’ll find some of their reasons to be totally off-tangent). Whatever their reasons are, they feel their acts are justified because they gain an advantage without stepping on someone else’s toes.
- It gives you a unique gaming experience and makes it a bit more fun!
Retro gamers will wax nostalgic when thinking about the uber-popular NES games Contra. Contra was a very difficult game to beat, causing a lot of frustration to its players. The developers from Konami acknowledged their game’s difficulty that’s why they embedded a cheat code players can activate to gain an extra 30 lives. With the extra lives, players were now able to reach and defeat the end-level boss. By introducing the cheat, Contra became one of the most played games in NES history.
- Some games have built in cheat codes (See… They want you to cheat!)
Continuing in the same vein as the previous bullet point, Contra is one of these games with a built in cheat code. Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, A, B, when executed perfectly timed in the joypad produced the extra 30 lives. Now why would game developers leave opportunities to cheat if they didn’t think it was cool for their game’s players to do so?
- You can get rid of the boring parts and get on with the good stuff!
A good example of this is Candy Crush. Now, there are no actual Candy Crush Cheats to speak of. But there’s a method where a player can fast-forward to the best part of Candy Crush—more hearts. To trick the game into giving you a full set of lives when you run out, a Candy Crusher has to manipulate and advance the time settings of his or her mobile device. By doing this, a gamer can save money by not purchasing lives.
- Cheating in online games is an awesome way to express yourself.
A lot of gamers consider cheat codes and hacks as part of gaming culture. They argue that cheating, especially if you discover novel ways to manipulate the game, is a form of self expression. Game hackers are particularly enamored by this concept. They spend a considerable amount of time hacking a game, not just to cheat but to find ways to make it better.
To illustrate an example, Counter Strike wouldn’t have been possible without the hackers who dutifully hacked Half Life to create a mod out of the game. They actually made a better game out of an already very good game.
Cheating without guilt is a phenomenon that’s easy to grasp in the field of video games and mobile games. There are those who are open about it but there are also the purists who scorn at those who cheat. Whatever your views are, it’s undeniable that cheating in video games is now part and parcel of gaming culture.