Hacker Smackers

A discussion about hacking / cheating and why it's bad, mmmkay?

Hacker smackers, hackers are jerks and they ruin games for no reason. It's weird to think that people desire to hack or cheat in online games or even cheating in single player games. Full disclosure: I do believe in cheating in single player games, but only to remove tedious farming. If it takes 5 hours to grind out a specific set of cash repeating content, then I'm totally okay with hacking up some cash to avoid the unfun time sink. 

In an online game though, it's different. You don’t hack an online game because all of the fun is from actually "playing" the game right. It's all about actually participating in it. Farming for five hours in an online game participates in a virtual environment and hacking anything in an online game is pretty much the same as hacking life: wrong. 

I'm not talking specific lifehacks here, but like robbing a store. In a lot of games, the fun comes from the journey. It's the idea that everyone has the same level playing field and those who make the most out of it get the most prestige. We can break this argument back down into the age old casual vs. hardcore debate, where hardcore players aren't specifically more skilled, they just have a greater amount of time to play the game. We're not debating that today, but instead, the select few who decide to give themselves an unfair advantage. 

It showcases itself in different games in different ways. For example, in shooters like Counter Strike: Global Agenda, it appears in the form of aimbots and match fixing, with the aim assist being a big point of Dreamhack 2014, and the recent match fixing becoming a big part of the news this week. In other games, like H1Z1, hackers use aimbots and teleport hacks to gain an unfair advantage. In MMOs, like ArcheAge, players use exploits like bots and hacks to purchase land unfairly to turn the tides in their favor. 

No matter the game, anytime you play with more than one, cheating is the most uncool thing you can do. Super uncool not fun thing, that's for sure. In a world of single player games, it makes sense to "cheat" because you're just modifying the parameters of a game you enjoy - see almost every Skyrim mod that makes the game easier, but for those ner'do'wells they want to make the online environment, where such actions are prohibited, less fun. 

It's silly to cheat in an online game. If you ever, ever, think about doing it - consider this for a moment. Why are you playing the game? No one is going to like your ill-gotten gains. No one. There isn't anyone who is going to high five you for exploiting some teleport bug and getting some ill gotten amount of cash. Most players get offended and cut off communication after discovering it, because the risk of them getting involved in a ban wave is way too scary. 

The implications for eSports is even more, honestly, because real money is on the line. Like the recent football scandal with the underinflated footballs, we have to be wary of eSports hacking and match gaming that could possibly occur and make sure that everyone is held to the highest standards of sportsmanship. 

I know I'm not making much of a point here - we all agree that cheating in online games is bad. I just want to echo that voice right now, because without everyone always agreeing to it, there can and will be a slippery slope into ner'do'well land where online cheating is considered to be maybe okay. 

About The Author

Get in the bush with Xerin every week for his column, Respawn, as he analyzes the hottest trends, buzz topics, and absurdities in MMO gaming. With over 10 years of working in the MMO industry and experience with games, Xerin brings his experience to the table to provide interesting thought provoking articles and helpful guides to the MMO masses.
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