For some, cheats are an integral part of games and have been like that forever – just one look at the titles popular in the 80s and 90s with their shortcut codes and wacky cheats that changed the games in ridiculous ways is enough to get that point across. Today though, with the prevalence of online gaming and the widespread nature of discussions about “proper” gaming practices, some have started to bring up the question of how much exactly should cheating be accepted when playing certain titles, and what – if anything – should be done to combat the negative effects.
Stuck in a Single-player Game
There are still plenty of perfectly acceptable use cases for cheats and other forms of external assistance. Getting stuck in a game like The Walking Dead No Man’s Land and checking out some articles at a site like Game Guide World is pretty normal for most people for example, and there are many other games that will often put you in a position where you feel like you have to get some outside help or else you’ll be stuck grinding the same spot forever.
Falling Behind Online
On the other hand, playing an online game changes everything. You’re up against other players in what everyone expects is a fair and balanced environment. Using anything that can give you an extra edge in that case is not only frowned upon, it might get you banned from your favorite titles. In some cases, the ban may even be permanent, so you need to really think through what you’re doing. Some common sense can go a long way here though, as it’s often enough to just ask yourself if you’d feel happy seeing someone use that against you. If you know the answer is no, then simply don’t do it. As a rule of thumb though, if you have to even ask, you’re probably already leaning in that direction.
There’s a gray area in some games – including online ones – involving the use of software bugs to one’s advantage, or “exploiting” the game. This may or may not have negative consequences, and it depends entirely on the context. A harmless bug that allows you to insert colored letters into your character’s name? The developers might reverse the change when they notice it, but they’ll probably not take it beyond that. Something that allows you to get outside the map in a multiplayer game and kill players from an unseen position will likely generate a different response though, and there have been multiple cases of developers treating exploits in their online titles with the same weight as outright cheating.
The point of games is to have fun, and if you want to take shortcuts to get through an annoying area in a single-player title quicker, that should be your right. But when your actions start to interfere with the ability of others to enjoy their own free time, that’s where things get problematic and you need to take a step back – if you’re not concerned with the moral aspect, then remember that you might suffer permanent consequences on your account(s).