Once in a while, you just can't beat a game. You may be king among fraggers and Froggers but you'll eventually run up against a game that stops you in your virtual tracks. Maybe it's the game's fault -- poor game design can make some tasks impossible to complete. Whatever the cause, you may come to the conclusion that there's only one way you'll ever finish the game: you'll have to cheat.
Cheating in video games has been around almost as long as video games themselves. After all, video games are really just lines of programming code. If you know what you're doing and have the right equipment, you can insert a few lines of code and make a challenging game a breeze to complete. But not everyone has the skills to alter code while at the same time making sure the game stays playable.
It's important to remember this, too: Not all cheats give the player an advantage in the game. Some cheat codes actually make games more challenging by making enemies tougher or reducing a player character's resistance to damage. Others give you unusual skills not normally found in the game such as the ability to fly or walk through walls. And some create unusual -- and often hilarious -- cosmetic changes to the game world.
There are many different ways to cheat in video games. Not every method works with every game. Cheating in a console game can be very different than cheating in a computer game. Online play adds an entirely new set of challenges as well as ethical questions. If you're cheating at a single player game, you're really only affecting your own experience. Cheating online means you could be impacting other players. Most online game communities aren't very fond of cheaters.
The word "cheat" carries with it a stigma. It makes us think of lazy people who aren't willing to put in the hard work necessary to succeed. But that's not the case with every person who cheats in a video game. Let's take a look at the different approaches to cheating in video games.