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Why People Cheat In Games, According To The People Who Stop Them

Image credit: Hal Hex | Flickr
Image credit: Hal Hex | Flickr

The folks behind EasyAntiCheat, a service that stops people from cheating in video games, deal with one of the messiest issues in the medium. People often feel that anyone caught breaking the rules should be punished severely, but you don’t always know why someone cheated. That’s where things get dicey.

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As it turns out, not everyone who cheats in a multiplayer game is an unrepentant jerk who only wants to ruin someone else’s day. Actually, you’d be surprised at how often good people are put into situations where they feel that they have to cheat, or how quickly someone might regret cheating, only to be shamed for years to come. Hell, sometimes people can’t even agree on what cheating means. How does a game company deal with such grey areas?

In the latest episode of Fave This, a new podcast/YouTube show hosted by Gita Jackson and me, we dive into the world of cheating and discuss an interview I had earlier in the year with the people who work at EasyAntiCheat. We also bring on special guest Maddy Myers, from Kotaku’s own esports vertical Compete, to discuss whether or not people should cosplay as someone who looks different (whether that’s race, body type, or something else.)

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You can listen via the embed below, or find an MP3 of this episode here. Alternatively, we’re on iTunes here (leave us a review!), on Google Play here and/or check out our RSS feed here. If you want to skip right to the meat of the cheating discussion, start around the 6:20 mark.

I’m traveling today, so no video version! But, as always, if you have comments, responses, or topic suggestions, send us an email to patricia@kotaku.com, subject title “Fave This.”

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DISCUSSION

Hell, sometimes people can’t even agree on what cheating means.

God, tell me about it. The Pokemon community can’t stop arguing about whether or not hacking/genning Pokemon counts as cheating. To me though, it’s kind of stupid to argue about that (of course it’s cheating, it’s using external tools to do things that you’re not supposed to do) since that railroads it into an argument about definitions, rather than discussions about whether or not it’s ethical.