Cheating or innovation?

A rather unsettling revelation hit me recently. I am a hypocrite. Or am I really though? You see, I think I cheated recently but I prefer to call it ‘innovation’. Embarrassingly enough it wasn’t during a hellish FPS or a frenetic RTS, or even a four way Worms slaughter. It was Buku Sudoko. Yes, you can all point and laugh but I don’t care.

And yes, I did feel the need to cheat because I was too impatient to realise that there was a far easier way of getting the ‘Too Fast’ achievement. In order to solve the puzzle in the stupid time limit and after many obscenities, I cunningly switched tactics. I used my digital camera to photograph the grid off the telly. I then paused the game so that I could work it out on paper and then un-pause and input the answers. And I still couldn’t get them all in in time. After several attempts and an embarrassing explanation when the o/h asked just what the hell I was doing, I realised I could simply switch to the advanced fast controls and use the auto-pencil thing. All this for 20 gamer points.

Sad though it may be, I was very chuffed with myself – until the dark cloud started to spread when I thought of the tuts about cheating that I had levied at my father. The man that got me into gaming with my first Speccy and a copy of Booty and Chuckie Egg, sadly he rarely ever games any more, but when he does, he may as well not. He is utterly shameless.

My case in point: after much convincing and nagging, I persuaded him to play Commandos for the PC – a game I love and have been playing on and off for years but never completed due to save game errors, lost files, computer changes, and bone-idleness. Give it a go, I said, you’ll love it. It’s quite hard, I told him, but it’s war stuff and you can cut people’s throats and hide in the snow etc. Interest was piqued and he grudgingly relented. I sat back and smiled at the sounds of gunfire and various ‘guten tags’ emanating from his room for several evenings before deciding to see how he was getting on.

Me – “How you doing?”

Him -“I’m on that level where you have to assassinate that bloke.”

I freeze. “Erm… what?!”

“Yeah, it’s a bit of a bastard.”

That’s the level I’m on. Me. After years of on/off play. How could this be? I panic. He isn’t even much of a gamer and has the attention span of a concussed goldfish. Like discovering a squishy blister, I just couldn’t leave it alone.

“How the hell did you manage to get that far?” I try to hide my incredulity. Am I such a crap gamer that he is outstripping me?

“I used a cheat that gave me infinite sniper bullets.” He announces, supremely pleased with himself. I nearly choke.

“What? But you can’t do that! It’s cheating.”

“Well I did.”

“But it’s cheating.”

“So?” Looks more pleased. I don’t believe him. I shake my head and walk away, suddenly remembering why I don’t buy him games anymore. I’d never do anything like that, I puff to myself. I feel slightly miffed that the strategy required had been so gleefully trampled over and that he was so chuffed with himself. So was I the other night, and there lies the rub.

Commandos doesn’t have gamerpoints and those twisted little numbers do strange things to the lines we have drawn for ourselves sometimes. Clutching my camera in my fist two nights ago, surrounded by scribbled grids, and trying to solve the last few numbers on Buku Sudoko, I suddenly realised… I am just like him. A dirty cheater. But wait… no, hang on. No, I won’t and can’t accept that. Innovator. Yes, a dirty innovator. I still hold myself away from his level by a desperate thread though, so I guess that makes me a hypocrite too.






8 responses to “Cheating or innovation?”

  1. Shaz avatar

    Great first post Lorna and welcome to the team! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Ha ha. Get out your action replays, downloaded trainers and bookmark

    I think everybody went through that phase. Cheating the hell out of everything. I especially used to do that a lot back in the early days of PS1. Always poking my head in WHSmith to jot down on paper the relevant cheats from “Powerstation” (is that magazine still alive?)

    But now, i’ve grown more respectful. Let’s do try to appreciate what challenges developers set for us. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Laura avatar

    That’s just shocking, I mean cheating’s one thing but admitting to it!!???!! I don’t think I could do that ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Martin avatar

    Hi Lorna, welcome to the clan, I have a hatred of cheats,my stepson used to fire in the cheats before he’d gotten anywhere in a game it really annoyed me! I like to test myself without cheating, although i do remember inputing a few POKE’s too many in the speccy days!!!

  4. Tony avatar

    I used to use cheats back in the old days of Commodore 64 etc, because most games were harder than diamond tipped ninjas, you had three lives and no save games at all.

    Back then you HAD to cheat to get the most of your games, otherwise you just ended up playing the first three screens over and over!

    Nowadays I wouldn’t use a cheat like “infinite lifes”, but if I get really frustrated with a game I will look online at a walkthrough, but only for the bit I’m stuck on. Like running around like a mental on Dark Sector with a ticking clock leading to an explosion and not realising I was supposed to go back on myself to a hatch that had now magically unsealed itself – durrrr.

  5. Lorna avatar

    I’m the same to be honest, I hate infinite life/weapon cheats, though back on the Spectrum these things were mandatory on some games to get anywhere, and even then it was tough. I don’t understand someone who will fire them up before they’ve got ten paces on a modern game though.

    I too wait until I get stuck and check out guides and walkthroughs, often tweaking them to suit myself, creating a satisfying hybrid solution. I enjoy official guides for the background and reading and some maps of collectables are invaluable if patience is stretched.

    Thanks for the welcome btw ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Michael avatar

    Oh, I’ve innovated a whole bunch of times… but only after trying every legit thing I can think of. Though if it’s one of those stupid things like that pile of grids in Zanarkand during FFX then out comes a pen and paper…

    Yes, Shaz, Powerstation is still sold – I’ve seen it on display.

    Commandos 2 is a good game; I played a console version of it and the Spy is great!

  7. Chris avatar

    Hi there Lorna! Welcome to Ready-Up, and a great first post ๐Ÿ™‚

    I dont use cheats or glitches at all in any game personally, and I have a rule for our clan that doesnt allow use of them in multiplayer games. But as for single player campaigns, if I get really stuck I’ll check a walkthrough just to get me past the bits I can’t work out. I also enjoy the official game-overview books that give extra background and artwork for games. They’re good reading and help you understand teh game better.

  8. John avatar

    I don’t see walkthroughs as cheats. It’s like asking for help when you’re stuck. I mean if you were to get a brand new game and immediately get the walkthrough, you’re only wasting your money.. if you’re genuinely stuck a walkthrough can assist in your enjoyment by getting you over that hurdle.

    Out-and-out cheats (infinite bullets/lives/whatever) I don’t subscribe to, even when they’re built in. When I found the re-generate hearts Power Brick in Lego StarWars, I deliberately chose not to use it.. it’d have undermined my enjoyment and sense on achievement.

    Oh.. and WELCOME Lorna!

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