Cheating for Fun (and Sanity)

[youtube id=”Hr7IE6ntB9o” align=”center”]Cheating in gaming has acquired an often undeserved negative reputation. With early console games, cheating codes were a part of almost every game. I’ve never meet anyone who beat Contra without entering the Konami code. Today, with so much gaming being multiplayer in nature, cheating in gaming is given the blanket reaction of “evil.”

Where cheating gained this reputation was large in part from online FPSs. Aim bots, wall hacks, and ESP, to name a few, became common in early PC games like Counter Strike, Quake and Unreal Tournament. But what of the “single player,” what is he/she to do? While as a child there were magazines dedicated to cheat codes, single player cheats today are all but gone. For reasons other than competitive multiplayer, developers stopped including these codes in their games. This is possibly because of the increased cost of development and tighter publisher control of gaming content.

So why do I bring all this up? Because I have a confession. I’m a cheater. I dirty, pond-scum-sucking cheater. No, I’m not busting out infinite score-streaks in BlackOps. I’m talking about single player. Most commonly in RPGs, I find myself cheating to remove anything I feel is taking fun out of the game. The biggest offender I would have to say is inventory. The very first mod I installed for Oblivion was a Bag of Holding you could find in a dungeon as soon as you left the sewer. It’s no fun having to make multiple trips to haul loot to a vendor just so you can afford better gear, or having to choose between two awesome swords because you only have room for one. Luckily, most RPGs have inventory increasing mods or ways to do it through modifying the settings files.

Another common cheat would be for currency. Money, gold, credits, gil; whatever it is, it’s used as a pacing or gating mechanism in games. But the thing is, I’m forced to grind in multiplayer games for these resources – it’s even considered part of the content. But in single player RPGs were you can easily put  in 60 hours, I don’t need my gaming time to be stretched out. The first Dragon Age had a merchant in the prologue that had unique items that you only had access to when you had no money. One console command later and I have a nice new spiffy staff.

One commonly stated downside to this kind of cheating is that it makes the game too easy… but you will never catch me saying that. Divinity 2 was a punishing game early on: I was dying with every corner I turned. A little skill point memory hacking to put me slightly ahead of the curve and the game whole game opened up for me. It went from frustrating to fun.

The final common reason I cheat is for fun. After you have played through a game multiple times and have done it all but still are loving it, what do you do? You turn on infinite ammo and no recoil and go to town. You turn on god mode and proceed to kill that pain-in-the-ass boss a dozen times with big-ass smile on your face.

So yeah, I’m a cheater. How about you?

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