I’m not ashamed of it. I publicise it. Like recreational drugs, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it as long as you don’t hurt anyone else or destroy your internal organs.
Every time I think of cheating, I remember a point when I was still in high school and my big brother’s friend’s mom managed our high school’s computer classes so we could pretty much have free reign there during the weekends. So, we went there and played Diablo from dusk until dawn. And even then I had my hands in it deep and I knew exactly how to break the game’s economy in the player’s favour (the item dupe cheat still worked wonderfully). And one weekend, while we were playing, one of my brother’s friends called me over and asked me to explain to him how I cheated. He explained his philosophy on that. He said, that he finished the game, through and through, the way it was intended and now he was interested in doing it another way. And that’s completely ok. And there are also other reasons.
Right now, I cheat in games for two reasons: the main one is that I don’t have a lot of time. I’m a working man (or as one might put it, a workaholic) and I have a wife and so my gaming time is usually limited to maybe an hour before bed, an hour or two in the morning and a bit more during the weekends. I can no longer come home and spend 6 to 8 hours trying to do a perfect run of Dragon’s Lair. Right now, “grind” is a time killer I can’t stand. So I cheat, mostly for the money in games. And so, if Terraria tells me that I’ve found Titanium but I have to go scour the bowls of the earth to find enough for the full armour set, I say “Screw you, Terraria”, go edit the save file and make sure I have enough of it.
The second reason I do it is because I find it fun. Figuring out a way to pass game obfuscation tech and figure out the weird ways some games save data or sometimes just messing with the game data so that my Luftrauser fires thousands of fire and forget missiles while making anything it touches explode is just hilarious to me.
But again, I never do it to gain an unfair advantage over other people, only over the game. I mod Torchlight so I can have five-slotted, infinitely enchanted legendary sets but I’ll never take my super-duper Vault Hunter into a PvP match. Because I still have respect for the proper way to play the game and I keep my cheating to myself (unless I can give someone else one of those legendaries, because it’s the nice thing to do).
I’m talking about all of this now because I’ve recently read a Gamasutra article about cheating in Candy Crush Saga. They interviewed plenty of people about what they do, how they cheat and what they consider moral and immoral, right and wrong, good and evil…
If this subject interests you, it’s a worthwhile read. And while it can be debated whether cheating at Candy Crush is hurting someone, I’m still not ashamed of it and I don’t believe it’s something that must be kept hush hush in polite society. It’s like some might say that to truly experience The Witcher I must play on the Dark difficulty. I don’t have time to slog through the difficult and complex combat encounters but I would still like to experience the world and the story, so I play on a lower difficulty setting. And it’s why I don’t play Dark Souls. I can understand why some people want to, even if they technically spend about a hundred times the time it will take to do flawless run of the game. I don’t enjoy that, I would rather play other games.
I believe complaining about cheating and about the difficulty path some people take is petty and childish. Because, honestly, if I couldn’t cheat past a money obstacle or if I couldn’t prevent my health from degrading just so I can push past the boss that’s killed me a dozen times already, I would probably go play something else. But I don’t like to leave things unfinished, what ever the finish state might look like. And so, Cheat Engine is my friend.
P.S. I’ve been thinking about joining the Let’s Play movement and that I’ll need to put up a disclaimer before each game that I might cheat if it means spending less time during the game’s more boring bits.