In school, when you ‘cheat’ it usually means you copied answers for an exam from other’s answer books. Between you and your partner, cheating may mean having an affair with another or simply lying. In sports, it means getting ahead of your competitors in a way that violates the rules of the game like using steroids.
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Cheating in computer-based games is not necessarily similar to lying or taking unfair advantages over other opponents. Cheating in computer games is generally aimed at an altered game experience so as to win or lead in them. Every computer game differs in what is cheating, and players may have generally agreed upon as to what constitutes an unfair advantage. For example, at one time, you could press the keys I, L, and M simultaneously in a once-popular Wolfenstein 3D game to get unlimited ammo and unlimited lives.
Almost all computer games feature the so-called ‘cheat codes’ which are certain key combinations or actions used to make the game easier. They are generally designed for single players that are new to the game. When using these codes to cheat, it cannot be really said you are using them to gain an unfair advantage.
Unscrupulous computer game cheating is most prevalent in multiplayer computer games played via the Internet. In these games, players are able to remain anonymous and so they cheat boldly, without fear of getting known to co-players.
There are various methods of cheating in computer games. Some involve changing user settings, exploiting some bugs or using some external software. There is also a technique known as cheesing.
If you alter some computer settings, layout of computer hardware or the game itself so that it is comfortable for you to win in the game, you are cheating in a way.
Exploits are features of a computer game unintentionally or erroneously made by the game developers or coders. When used to gain unfair advantage against other players, the use of exploits may count as cheating. But sometimes the exploits make the game more exciting and fun.
A grave way of cheating is the use of external software designed to let the player lead the game in an unjust manner. Sometimes these pieces of software analyze and modify the status of the game entirely in the computer’s memory.
Other game cheaters ‘cheese’ to lead in the game. This is when virtual players do some things that are not allowed in the fairness of the game. Most players disapprove of cheesing in a game.
Computer game cheats are also possible by altering codes of the game software. The game binaries may be hacked in spite of the encryption that usually accompanies game software executables. Stopping all forms of computer game cheats is indeed hard. This is because cheating in computer games covers a wide range of activities. But there is software available that can be installed on a multiplayer game server that can detect a person trying to cheat.