Michael Thomsen, “Cheating: Video Games’ Moral Imperative”; http://thefanzine.com/cheating-video-games-moral-imperative/ (5/23/2014)
Reviewed by: Matthew Ryan Kendall
Cheating in video games has been going on since video games first started arriving into the market. Players cheat for 2 reasons; one because of a behavioral struggle to constantly be in control over all outcomes. They are interested in having an experience not predetermined by a rule or limit. Two is the impulse to rebel against the impositions of the developer by harassing other players and creating a false realization of being better than others because they refuse to fall to the illusion of limits placed in a game and that gives them the self-ideology of being different and better than others.
Video games aren’t supposed to be about winning or losing but create a relief that comes from obedience by following the structured pattern created by the developer who gives you a line to follow with deviated section that make you believe you are in control of the actions. Upon following a task or goal then you are rewarded with the Victory of the game. Cheating eliminates this concept but the urge to rebel against the structure in place has become a realization of many developers and they take that into account and have now created gave to give a player the ability to cheat a game but still keeps obedience by placing the cheat under a controlled circumstance. This can be seen in many IOS games where you can purchase items to receive better stuff or make time fly by. Sometimes some develops use this urge to cheat by promoting it in games, making almost impossible missions for players to accomplish that when accomplish will reward players with a successful skill, item, or ability.
The question at hand, while pointing out the areas of cheating and its adaptation into games, is whether or not cheating is bad. The point of a game is to allow people to have fun but what is fun. While many people do follow the line in a game and others choose not to, if both sides are having fun while doing so does that make it wrong? Culture Industry described free time amusements as “nothing more than a shadowy continuation of labor… people first inflict upon themselves precisely what society inflicts upon them and what they must learn to enjoy.” In a way, we just want to be rewarded for the mundane forms of labor that we take on. If we constantly want to rebel against our boss but don’t so we can keep our job, well then in a video I might seek pleasure in the fact that the developer of a game is my boss and I can do my mundane tasks as I see fit and not as they want me to do them. While personally cheating isn’t wrong, morally it does eliminate the connection a developer is trying to make with a gamer, the connection of implying certain emotions and creating the relief of overcoming the odds. The only time the fun of an individual’s cheating becomes wrong is when their fun impedes upon the fun of others who chose to follow the rules and guidelines of a game. So in all cheating isn’t morally wrong if you’re having fun, its only wrong if you are cheating your friends of their fun.