“Red keycard? Shit, where am I supposed to find that? I haven’t shot anything in at least 30 seconds and my ctrl finger is getting itchy … bugger it: i-d-k-f-a and I’m on my way!”
I’d reckon anyone old enough to recognise that internal monologue had the exact same discussion with themselves at some point. Something dawned on me recently that made me think about it again: the relationship between games and cheating has changed a hell of a lot since I first started playing.
Once upon a time it seemed pretty much every game had cheats built into it – all you had to do was find the right keystroke combination, probably from the cheats and codes pages of your favourite gaming magazine.
The thing that really made me start thinking about this was the recent blowup over Starcraft II players being banned from the game for life for using hacks and trainers in the game’s single-player campaign mode and Blizzard’s threats of legal action against some of the people responsible for developing them.
I’ll get back to that later but in the meantime, what’s changed? At what point did we decide that, actually, we don’t like cheats any more?