“Hey! That Guy’s Cheating!”
“/cry more nub”
By: Bryan Sharp

I have come to accept the fact that people cheat. I am comfortable with the fact that they cheat at things like online games. It no longer shocks me when someone jumps into the air and shoots at the wall, only to have the projectile somehow end up in the middle of my forehead. I think most of us have come to accept things like this. But isn’t that a problem? Isn’t using hacks bad news? When did it become ok for us to just accept it and not care about it anymore?

I don’t mean to say that we all completely don’t care. I know I care and I’m sure a lot of you guys and gals care as well. But lately I’m finding it requires a lot more effort to go through the process of exposing the cheater, heckling the cheater, and (hopefully) making the cheater put a keyboard through his or her monitor, than it did before.

I used to take real passion in this. I used to go into spectator mode and play detective. The goal was to catch the hacker in the act and expose the villain to the understanding and sympathetic ear of the server. These people would then embrace me as their own, shower me with praise, join with me, and help me belittle the cheater into submission.

What’s changed? Well, first off, no one cares. These days if I bring up the fact that someone is cheating and proceed to pound on my keyboard, I’m painted as someone who is “disrupting the game”. I’m flooded with cries of “just play!” and “shut up already”.

I’m under no illusion that castrating a hacker in the middle of a game is going to somehow stop the person from cheating. A cheater obviously makes a conscious choice to cheat and I’m sure anything I can frantically type across my keyboard has been read before. But come on people! I thought cheating was wrong! I thought hacking was something for us non-hackers to ban together against! If I may reference “The Big Lebowski”, I thought we were supposed to draw a line in the sand! And over this line, You. Do. Not. Cross.

What’s even more disheartening is that there seems to be a culture of proud cheaters rising up. The myg0t clan is an example of this. These people use names like “Kiss_My_Bot” and “My Rocket Has Frequent Fragger Miles”. Ok, maybe I made that last one up and it really has nothing to do with cheating, but “frequent fragger miles”? Come on, that’s hilarious.

These people are also surrounded by a group I like to call “cheater lackeys”. These are people without the intelligence or motivation to download their own hacks but appreciate what the cheater is trying to do. They can usually be found on the team with the cheater, kissing the cheater’s ass, repairing the cheater’s vehicles, and attempting to shout down any negative thing typed in the hacker’s direction. The cheater lackey is the type of person who wouldn’t be considered for the manager position at Burger King because he or she is too busy, and too good at, running to the manager and telling on the other employees. “Mike ate a slice of cheese!” “Sarah drank a MEDIUM soda and you know how staff is only allowed to have SMALL sodas!”

But I digress from the point.

This new trend of treating hackers with indifference instead of anger and this new breed of cheater who is proud of the act instead of ashamed of it are some things that have me shaking my head.

Sure, right now a lot of us care about the cheating issue, but we can’t be bothered to comment on it. Right now there are only some cheaters who parade around flaunting the act, but soon that number will grow and why not? No one is going to leave the game or toss some verbal zingers when “HaCkY SACKED” starts getting headshots with the shock rifle from across the map. Soon we won’t care about cheating at all

I can’t wait. In twenty years they’ll be two markets. They’ll be a video game market and then they’ll be the cheating enhancement market. “Hey, what are you using to cheat in Half-Life 4? Really? “Pussy Playground 3000?” I’m using “Poo on Ethics and Moral Conviction 3.1.7”

I recently read an article in The New York Times, “What’s Up, Pussycat, Whoa!” by Susan Saulny, about a new breed of exotic cat. This cat is a cross between a wild cat and a domestic cat. The result is some kind of larger and wilder cat.

In the article a woman is quoted –

Another Savannah owner, Ronni Bennett, who lives in Greenwich Village, said that she does not approve of crossbreeds or wild hybrids, but that she wanted her cat anyway. "That is one of the contradictions of my life," she said. "I don't really approve of what I've done, but the beauty takes my breath away."

“This is one of the contradictions of my life.” ……WOW. What the hell does that even mean? This isn’t something that makes up a life contradiction. A life contradiction is hiding a friend from the police even though you know he is guilty and you believe what you are doing is wrong.

Why didn’t the reporter smack her in the face and demand a coherent answer? I want to know how long it took that woman to formulate her quote. I bet she was standing in the mirror rehearsing it for hours while her exotic abomination pissed on the furniture and ate the neighbor’s kids.

I keep waiting for the day where I run into a cheater on a server, call the person out, and the person types back a nice grammatically correct slut sickle to the tune of “Yeah, I know I’m cheating. But what can I say? This is one of the contradictions of my life.” Then I sit there in shock as half the server types back “Yeah, leave him alone! He’s struggling with an issue!” The rest of the server will keep quiet, but obviously consider it a real poignant response. Maybe a few will even follow the hacker around the map like a human shield so he or she can relax while hacking. I mean, the cheater is obviously already stressed out about the cheating thing, there’s no reason for him or her to accidentally take a stray bullet.

Maybe the cheating issue isn’t at that point yet, but I think we are headed down the right path. First we stop yelling at people we think are cheating. Then we stop yelling at people we know are cheating. Then we play with people who are proud of cheating. And finally we start accepting cheating based on reasoning that sounds plausible, but is really the written and vocal equivalent of some guy standing in the middle of the room and playing a flute with his ass.

What’s my point? We are all aware that there are cheaters out there, but we also need to treat the cheating issue like a new one. We need to react like this is the first time we’ve seen someone kill the entire counter-terrorist team in thirty seconds. We have to act like this is a new and fresh issue before it goes from being an old issue to no issue at all.