Skip to main content

Revisiting the ethics of cheating in single player games.

The rise of F2P games with in app purchases has introduced a new twist to the ethics of cheating in single player games.

Life used to be simpler. Pretty much everyone agreed that cheating in multi-player games was  despicable, interfering as it does with the enjoyment and achievements of others. There was no ethical issue however about using cheats in a single player game. The only person affected was yourself and while many might contend that cheating diminishes the pleasure of a game by removing challenge plenty of others felt that cheats or god modes gave them more control over their gaming experience. The point was that no one else was affected but the player who choose to use cheats.

Today however a huge number of single player games especially in the mobile space use a free to play business model with in app purchases. Surprise, surprise, cheating has become a thing in such games and tools have become available for many popular titles that will allow you to progress without spending real money (no I am not going to provide links).

Yes these are single player games and one player cheating privately does not interfere with others enjoyment (I am assuming here that the cheats have the good sense not to post evidence of their crimes to global leader boards). Nevertheless the ethical situation has changed. When you cheat in an F2P game you are depriving the developer of income. I am a not a lawyer but I imagine the legal system would  treat the acquisition of a digital sword or suit of armour without paying for it  exactly the same way it treats the illegal acquisition of digital games, movies and music. Now the law can sometimes be an ass particularly when it comes to copyright but the ethical issue here seems clear cut to me. Someone developed a game and let you play it for free in the hope that you would pay them real money later for upgrades. Taking those upgrades without paying for them clearly hurts the developer and is theft.

I have seen promoters of such cheating justify their actions in on-line discussions. Usually they complain about the greediness of the developers and point out the ridiculous prices of items needed to progress in the game. Now I also baulk at the ridiculous amount of money that committed players have to spend in many of these games and I have grave misgivings about the freemium model in general but the remedy here is clear. If you do not like a games monetisation model then do not play the game.


Popular posts from this blog

My First Gaming Mouse: Logitech G300

I bought a gaming mouse yesterday a Logitech G300, here my initial thoughts. What is a gaming mouse?  There are a wide variety of devices available classified as gaming mice but a few features  seem common: 1. Wired rather than wireless: Although some high end models are wireless wired connections are just better and faster than wireless so most gaming mice stick with wired. As a bonus wired mice don't need batteries so the mouse is lighter.  2. High response rate: 1 to 2ms response rate so the mouse immediately responds to input.  2. High DPI. Gaming mice invariable boast high DPI numbers from 2,000 DPI upwards. This makes the device very responsive to the smallest movements.   3. Adjustable DPI . High DPI improves responsiveness but reduces precision so gaming mice generally allow you to adjust the DPI down for precise work such as pulling off headshots in sniper mode. Generally the mouse allows dpi to be changed on the fly by pressing a button.  4. Extr

Android Tip 3: Sharing a Folder between multiple users of an Android device

Android has allowed multiple user logins for quite a while now. This is can be very useful for tablets which are shared by family members. Normally Android erects strict Chinese walls between users preventing them from using each others apps and viewing each others files. This is a useful security feature and ensures your kids don't mess up your work spreadsheets when screwing around on the tablet and should also prevent them from buying €1,000 worth of Clash of Candy coins on your account. Sometimes however you really do want to share stuff with other users and this can prove surprisingly difficult. For example on a recent holiday I realised that I wanted to share a folder full of travel documents with my wife. Here are some ways to achieve this. 1. If you have guaranteed internet access  then you can create a shared folder on either Dropbox or Google drive. Either of these has the great advantage of being able to access the files on any device and the great disadvantage of bein

Portal 2 two screen coop on one PC.

I mentioned before that I intended to try Portal 2 in "unofficial split screen co-op mode. Well split screen on a small computer monitor is a recipe for a headache especially when the game defies gravity as much as portal. However a minor bit of extra fiddling allowed us to drive two seperate screens from one PC. The Steam forums describes a complicated method of doing this that I couldn't get working so this simpler method which worked for me might be of use to someone. 1. First I followed the instructions in this post to get split screen multi-player working: A minor issue not mentioned is that you need to enable the console from the keyboard/mouse options menu I am using keyboard and one wired Xbox360 controller as suggested. Getting the controller to switch to channel 2 was tricky at first but as Chameleon8 mentions plugging it out and in again during loading works. The trick for me was to do the plug / p