Here is a Guest post from CheatHappens. To find out more about them and the cheats, hints and trainers for PC and console games, check them out on their site. In the meantime, enjoy their post and tell us what you think down below.
How many times do you have to smash your head against the virtual wall that’s impeding your run to victory until you decide to skip it all together? How many times can poor little Italian plumbers or spiky blue hedgehogs fall off a massive but strangely abstract cliff to their inevitable doom before you decide that the magic of “infinite lives” is something worth believing in?
Cheating has been around since the earliest days of gaming, and strategy guides have been a mainstay for nearly as long. There are a lot of opinions on the validity of cheating – and whether or not scouring a game guide for how-to’s and hints is the same thing – and what it means if you’re only interested in making the game easier on yourself.
Where Cheaters Become a Problem
In the earliest days of gaming, it really didn’t matter if you managed to get 100 extra lives in Super Mario Bros. You were just playing on your own and trying to rescue a princess. Gamers that use cheats became a more serious problem when the gaming community started to meet online. Suddenly the guy who changes the stats of a simple sword to chop down even the most powerful of Diablo’s minions with a single swing is likely to make more than a few people very upset.
Of course, you don’t even have to meet the cheaters in person for problems to occur. If the game even has a leader board, measures will have to be taken to keep the playing field level. Unfortunately, some of the measures that game companies are taking have started to upset some of the community, and they may be doing more to hinder their game rather than promote it. (Looking at you, Diablo III.)
Using Tips and Tricks
What about those people who find a guide or a walkthrough to take on the Covenant? Are they still cheaters like the people who modify a character file or enter a code for infinite vespian gas?
The simple fact is that someone who takes the time to study a Starcraft 2 guide to discover good strategies is not the same as a cheater. Cheating could be defined as using an unfair advantage that a competitor cannot use the same way. Simply using tips and tricks from a strategy guide is certainly an advantage, but it is not an unfair advantage because anyone, if they apply the same amount of time and dedication, could potentially do the exact same thing. By the same measure, someone who uses a Halo Reach walkthrough is not positioning themselves at the top of a leader board, they are simply trying to see the end of the game.
Achievements are Killing the Cheaters
The most effective deterrent to people who use cheats over the years has not been the addition of hopefully-unbreakable coding and unnecessary DRM. It has been through the simple addition of trophies and achievements. The moment something is done to modify a game’s parameters, the achievements on most games are immediately disabled. You may be able to make it to the end of the level with infinite lives, but you’re not going to get that wonderful little addition to your Gamer Score to prove it happened.
Of course, disabled achievements don’t stop you from taking the time to learn the tips and tricks that will make you a competitive player. They also can’t stop you from looking up the location of that very last treasure in the game. Some people may question whether or not that still makes you a cheater, but at least you’ll have the achievement says you got it done.