Before I discuss game cheats, it’s important to know what the word “cheat” means; generally, it is used to refer to the act of swindling or being deceitful to another person for personal gain; so how does it apply to a game? In that case one could say that you would be being deceitful to the game; but you can’t deceive something that has no capability to be skeptical. So that entire definition pretty much needs to be thrown out the window.
Generally, when speaking about games, cheating can refer to any of a number of things; the “worst” kind would be using hacked executables and trainer programs to play an online game; things like aimbots or something, for example. In this case, you are in fact adhering to the original word meaning- you are quite literally cheating the other players out of a fair game, if nothing else. outside of multiplayer games, however, the only person you can really “cheat” is yourself- and wether you are being cheated is a matter of perspective; one person may be perfectly happy with the product that a con-man/swindler sold them- while another may consider that person a cheat.
When it comes to single-player games, there are a number of different things; the most obvious is of course cheats that are designed into the game; for example, typing dnkroz or dncornholio on the keyboard while playing Duke Nukem 3d, or typing idkfa while playing Doom; others are inherent to the game itself or are designed into the game but entirely by accident; for example, being able to clip through walls in some specific areas in Duke or being able to access the “minus world” in Super Mario Brothers.
The first evidence of “debates” about what was and was not a cheat and was therefore allowed in internet tournaments probably started with games like quake. Quake, like any other game or program- had bugs. Two are rather relevant here; one is called “Rocket Jumping” whereby you can point your rocket launcher down, jump, shoot, and then the explosion will launch you high in the air (while doing damage), as well as something called bunny hopping- where you would constantly jump and be able to get to seemingly insane horizontal speeds not attainable by standard running. Now the question here is wether theses are “cheats”; consider for a moment that in general a cheat deprives other players; in this case- they are not being deprived of a fair game, since they can just as easily use the same techniques. additionally, both have their trade-offs; when you use the rocket-jump technique, for example, you take damage. If you aren’t careful or have the Quad Damage item, you may send yourself in a number of bloody bits flying all over the place. For “Bunny-Hopping” although you get a lot of forward speed you trade out your ability to maneuver quickly; bunny hopping around pits or corners can often be deadly if there is lava nearby, and many players will take advantage of a players relative helplessness in the air and inability to dodge; the main claims that this is “cheating” of course comes from those that cannot perform the technique; but truly it isn’t complicated at all; it’s no more a cheat to rocket jump or bunny hop when your opponent cannot then it is to shoot your gun when your opponents thinks they are playing a hello kitty simulator. To be precise, these are more or less “exploits” of the games design; they weren’t necessarily designed in that way (by which I mean, nobody said “hey, if they keep jumping they should not lose forward momentum”); however, this is no different then the fact that you can knock two koopa shells into each other in Super Mario Brothers 1 and they both get destroyed, and nobody considers that cheating.
Now, this post was prompted by a common game mechanic used in the equally popular game, “Minecraft” I won’t post about the game itself- either you love it, you hate it, or you manage to do both and just sound like a whiny bitch, except to say that it’s a sandbox game. Now- the question is, how can you cheat in a sandbox game? of course, with minecraft you can give yourself inventory items, or edit maps using MCEdit; here you could legitimately say that you are cheating yourself out of gameplay; but, at least in the case of monotonous building, you are doing quite the opposite and saving yourself agonizing time performing the same monotonous building operations by simply adding that ceiling to your giant house rather then having to build a tower up to it and build it manually; at the same time, however, you destroy the “I’m part of hte e environment” feeling- if you can just flick your fingers and make gigantic towers appear it practically defeats the purpose of the game entirely. Inventory Is another matter. Sometimes, I feel like building a specific idea but don’t have the materials, such as, say, diamond or gold blocks. So I give myself the requisite item and build the structure. Of course one still has to build the structure, which is often just as difficult as the gathering, depending on the particular item being used.
One sore point it seems to me is Mob traps; these are contraptions/buildings designed in such a way as to make the game spawn various items there (as it would normally) but the layout inside of the dark cavern causes most monsters (called “mobs”) to fall into- say a deep pit where they fall to their death, or a waterfall where they quickly perish or are suffocated. The idea here is to allow you to collect the various item drops from those monsters “without cheating” the contention on the other side is that doing it this way is no different then just inventory editing those items in. However, people who claim this are missing the entire point; of course you could just inventory edit yourself all diamond armour, tools, obsidian, and various rare blocks as well as build/import elaborate structures using the MCEdit editor, but then you are entirely defeating the purpose of the game ; the idea is to build your own stuff; building a mob trap that works can be difficult, and therefore by association rewarding. Neither of these can be said to be the case for simply giving yourself the items. The naysayers claim that “it is exploiting the way the game is written”. Of course it is. They say that like it’s bad; that is almost the entire point of a sandbox game; we are also exploiting the way the game is designed when we convert wood into a crafting table or sticks and iron into iron tools. The fact that you can move your character can be called an “exploit of the game design” because we take advantage of the fact that the game responds to controller/keyboard input. Basically, a game that has no availability of this sort of thing is either entirely linear or at least strongly story based, and IMO for many of those games they may as well make it a damned movie, and save everybody the trouble of pressing A or X or whatever the fuck button they want to continue the dialog.
Thing is, for something like a mob trap, it’s not a cheat since a cheat generally gives you a lot of payback for very little effort, lies outside the limits of the game or is a preprogrammed response to a specific “cheat code”; a mob trap takes time and planning to build effectively, and the due diligence afforded it’s construction reflects in the amount of output it has; Sure, you could run around on the overworld killing these eneemies yourself with your bare hands, but at the same time, it’s no different then ancient man; if you went back in time and gave them guns, they wouldn’t throw t hem awya and say “we don’t cheat, we hunt fair” because In real life there is no such thing as a “cheat” and damn near anything is fair game; this is particularly true in matters of survival; the idea would be for humans to try to survive by exposin themselves to as little danger as possible; they wouldn’t throw down their bows and arrows and challenge a mastadon to fisticuffs in the interest of “fairplay” they’d pelt the fucker with as many arrows as it takes to get the thing on the ground so they can kill it. And Minecraft is called “Survival Beta”.
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In what I’ve decided to create as a new series, I will be examining some of the spam comments my blog recieves! Oh the excitement!
On my DirectX10 on Windows XP post, rachat de credit writes:
Il semble que vous soyez un expert dans ce domaine, vos remarques sont tres interessantes, merci.
I’m going to do the unthinkable and attempt a translation here before visiting google translate; I believe they are saying they can see I’m a expert in my domain and that they agree with my good posts, thanks, or something to that effect.
and… Drum roll: the translated version from google translate:
It appears that you are an expert in this field, your remarks are very interesting, thank you.
hey, that’s pretty close, at least I got the first part right. my response to this:
Why thank you, but your spam isn’t very effective without any links, and I don’t believe I have comments set to even show the email so that won’t work either. Nice try though.
on my Thoughts on Advertising post, joseph writes the following tome:
I like it
Why thank you joseph, but without further clarification I really don’t know what “it” is. advertising? shitting on toadstools and then throwing the poopy caps at passing pedestrians? Strangling badgers? I mean, please, is three words all you can type? Perhaps they ran out of energy after typing their ten page long email. Ok, that was hyperbole; actually, the email entry is three links; one to some torrent blog thing, a e-mail link to the classy email@example.com (because, you know, one apparently wasn’t enough, we need 24, at least…. oh dear gawd… there are probably any number of them… This has scared me.).
On my Anagram Search Pattern Post, the oddly named “tattoo supplies” tried to post:
Happens even more cheerfully
I have to say, this poor fellow actually worried me. Not only was he born with a very curious name, but he appeared to be suffering from several serious brain disorders. In any case, I’d like to explore his life history. His name is “tattoo supplies” because at the time he was born his parents owned a tattoo parlour, and when he was born his mother was delirious and started writing a shopping list down on the card for the name. And thus Mr.Supplies name was set in stone. (well, not really, it was written on a card, but you know what I mean).
So he spent his entire childhood being ridiculed for his last name having the same root word as suppository, although I’m not sure how “suppository” can be a word derived from suppose, and probably do not want to know, either. After being dropped on his head as an infant, he was taken into child protective services and managed to have cosmetic surgery so that his head wasn’t as misshapen, but unfortunately no amount of surgery could cure the brain damage that the impact caused. When he was eight he managed to take out a 1 million dollar bank load and spend it all on hookers on blow, save 20 dollars which he invested in Lemon rinds and somehow made 60 million dollars in 40 minutes. However it turned out that he was reading the display upside down and had actually lost 9 dollars. He sunk into a depression after he discovered his new fingerpainting set didn’t include his favourite colour, which was a somewhat off-white sky blue. Now he sits in angst posting short nonsensical sentence fragments on random blogs for no good reason.
on my DirectX10 on Windows XP post, free government grants writes:
Do you people have a facebook fan page? I looked for one on twitter but could not discover one, I would really like to become a fan!
Well, Mr. Grants, I must say you are an enterprisey fellow, trying to find a facebook fan page on twitter, however, is like trying to find to find a car showroom in a grocery store- look as hard as you want, but you aren’t going to find it. I’m not sure the story behind your name, Mr.Grants; perhaps I could get you in touch with Mr.Supplies, and you can share the tales of your scarred childhoods.
on my recent CSI post , nursing assistant writes:
I think one of your advertisements caused my internet browser to resize, you might want to put that on your blacklist.
well, nursing, I can’t say I know what you’re talking about, and without more information I am more apt to ignore you; which is free since actually reading that comment required me to do extra work. Ahhh, akismet, you are glorious. Additionally, without more information it’s difficult to know what the fuck advertisement I am supposed to add to my blacklist; not to mention the fact that google ads never resize anyway.
Pertaining to my Anagram Search program post, katie writes:
sign me up
calm down, calm down- this isn’t publisher’s clearinghouse. You don’t need to “sign up” for anything. particularly I am not sure what you want to sign up for. Perhaps you’ve confused my blog for a petition or a mailing list? or perhaps you are retarded? I don’t know. At least you don’t have a horribly sad backstory behind your name like Mr.Grants or Mr.Supplies.
On my Microsoft and why the mob thinking is wrong post, avg free writes:
how do I join
Well, Mr.Free, I think we would all like to know the answer to the question. the worlds greatest scientists have spent years, if not days or minutes or absolutely no time at all trying to decipher that very riddle. “how do I join? And if I join, do I cease to not be joined? after joining can I split away from the entity with which I joined? do I get to choose which entity with which I join” and so on and so forth, so you truly are not alone. Although I must point out that generally speaking most questions in fact end with a question mark; you’re not so much asking how to join, but makign a nonsensical statement, much like your like minded comrades.
student grants writes, on my CSI post:
My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!
your cousin! Why I know him! his name is free government, isn’t it! why I was just talking about him! Yeah, totally! Although now I feel silly, since it turns out that free is a female name. I therefore offer my apologies to your cousin, student.
This recommendation however concerns me. is your cousin recommending me to barbers? I’d hate to have barbers visiting my site. I can’t stand them. Some people may wonder “”why the heck don’t you like barbers” well, I’ll tell you.
Ok, actually, I can’t tell you, because I took an oath of secrecy to never tell anybody about the secret bearslitters league. Oh dear, I appear to have done just that. Nonetheless, suffice it to say that my great grand-father was murdered by a serial killer, who happened to be a barber. He would fire up his chainsaw and ask “how do you want your hair” and the client, who must have been deaf to not hear the loud chainsaw, would say “just a little off the top” and good ol’ Serial killer barber man would chainsaw his head right off. For some reason he went out of business, not sure why. I recall he started working at a tanning booth shop and suddenly the tanning booths would start locking shut, and nobody would notice because for some stupid reason the designers of said tanning booths decided to make them soundproof; they weren’t smellproof so when people started asking “what’s cooking?” and then you saw bits of tasty human fat drip down the side of the booth, and they’d open it up to see what could only be described as human jerky. To make matters worse it wasn’t even salted properly.
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Ok, now, to be fair, it was an OK show for the first while. Up until about the time they decided they needed all sorts of different cities where everybody happens to fit into a perfect role whereby each freaking story from nearly any other of the shows could simply be transplanted to another with names changed and nobody would be the wiser. Add to that the overly flashy effects like they just found the freaking effects toolbar in Adobe Premiere, and their insipid understanding of basic computer forensics (which is practically what the god-damned show is about) and you’ve got a recipe for WTF.
It’s just… WHERE TO BEGIN. When the hell did “this is real-time” translate into “creating a GUI interface” what the hell does the GUI have to do with it? or IPs? And what the hell, I would have never guess ANY of their machines ran Windows, they sure don’t look it. Why are the interfaces shown all god damned flashy and everything is green and when it searches for a suspect is always shows every single one it’s looking through, which increases the time it takes to do the search by a bajillion times, and of course with every one the interface draws all sorts of random gibberish that point out, say various bits of fingerprints, wether it’s authentic or not (as in wether those are key points to compare) is irrelevant, since the computer doesn’t need to draw the bloody thing to compare things. I mean, it’s neat in a “well at least they tried” sort of way, or it would be, if they tried. I mean, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some of their “fancy interfaces” that use some sort of weird garbely background. I swear there was one where the background was just a bunch of freaking 1′s and zeros. as if to say “hey, look, I’m a COMPUTER! see! ONES AND ZEROS! HAHA!”
Or that whole magical interface where they can enhance damn well anything… it’s “digital” right, that means it recorded everything, like some sort of star trek holotape or something. Which gives us examples like this
First, notice that at around 21 seconds they have decided to stop focussing on images and decided it was time to fire up Fruity Loops’ studio. What particular task music composition software could have in a investigators arsenal leaves me stymied.
And then this is the good bit
They MAGNIFY the REFLECTION off of the girls eye. I mean, seriously, were the writers on some sort of dopamine where every idea felt like a warm fluffy pillow of sanity when it was really a giant pile of nonsense spewed from a eternal geyser of improbability? particularly improbable would be doing this “enhancement” with Microsoft Word.
I’m friggin serious. The menubar says File,Edit,View,Format, Tools,Table,Help:
Warranted, it’s a bit hard to see it due to the low resolution, but I mean- compare it to this one- from my installed version of word. The toolbars are in a different place and I’ve customized some buttons, but damn near everything in their shot is present:
I mean… wow. Just look at it. It’s hard to consider that the toolbar ISN’T WORD, and considering the menu bar is most definitely word, even looking through the youtube drunk-o-vision of blurriness it’s hard to come up with alternate menu names that aren’t nonsense.
The nail in the coffin is the upper-right corner. When I first tried to read that bit of text, I thought maybe it said “I hear pokemon in fridges” which seemed a bit non-sequiter even for CSI, but It almost certainly is a bit from that “Type here for help” widget that I have. Now, warranted, the toolbars are in a different configuration, but almost every button on there is a word menu. not counting the suspiciously covered up area on the left (what the hell? is that the TITLE BAR FROM A CHILD WINDOW leaving the client area of the MDI parent, I mean, grandma and grandpa are going to fall for this, and maybe the average person, but most people with a basic knowledge of computers will be able to take a second look and go “hey, wait a minute” which may be why they only show it for less then 2 seconds. Not counting that weirdly placed gradient title-bar mutant thing, we’ve got what appears to be a bunch of blank space… with splotches. It’s like somebody couldn’t be bothered to photoshop that part of the picture so they just tried to cover it up with a horseblanket that was cleaned with bleach and the parts where the bleach actually touched the fabric were splotchy and all that. The first two distinguishable buttons here are the… blue square and the purplish blue square. I get the feeling those might be the foreground and background color dropdowns that word has, with weird colours because they just cranked up the blue colour on everything and then cranked the saturation up to eleven. Protip: making a scene or interface cool does not mean using “cool” colours. The people that made that decision would try to make schools cooler by installing “cool blue” lights everywhere, completely misunderstanding the fact that it’s not really a literal concept. After that there is clearly the zoom dropdown, a weird deformed midget crapping on a shuffleboard court (although I think that may actually be my imagination making clever icons from the splotches there) then you have Bold, Italic, and Underline. Because I guess those appear in graphic editors (they do, but generally only when text is on the screen) then you have the font drop down, and the paragraph settings, which is pretty WTFy.
So, their magical super enhancement program is Microsoft Freaking word. Either that, or it has a suspicious lack of any image-related features. focussing instead on word processing type tasks. I have yet to see an image editor of any sort that has a “table” command, let alone a menubar that mirrors that of word. I mean, what the hell, they couldn’t even be bothered to actually make the program they were running or had photoshopped on the screen or into a video or whatever the hell they are doing there an actual image editor? I find that especially odd since it was MADE with an image editor exactly like the one they were trying to create, who the hell figured “eh, just throw in a menu” and figured word was a good choice?
Did I mention they MAGNIFY in on the girls FREAKING EYE. try doing that with your digital camera. And don’t try saying “well, clearly that’s an expensive security camera” because A:) it’s Black and white, so clearly it’s some sort of CCTV thing, and B: the max resolution of a standard NTSC signal is worse than the lick and a promise resolution that the Evil madman gives the superhero at the end of every movie before they are either thrown in a woodchipper or otherwise fiercely ignored or gored. I mean, with CCTV her eye is probably like 3 pixels. And the original image is clearly somewhat pixellated, so clearly it’s a bit shaky even to see details at normal resolution.
and did I mention that they do this with Microsoft word? I mean, keep that in mind. So first, she simply “magnifies it 100 times” like you know, taking a standard 320×200 resolution NTSC signal, fabricating millions of pixels worth of otherwise non-existant information out of thin air and creating a crystal clear digitally zoomed in image is just the type of thing they always do. And then they need to “reverse” the “image” they found inside the ladies 3-pixel wide eye. Like holy shit, how many secret photographs are hiding on shiny materials on my videos? I sure hope the shiny gloss finish on my Toshiba L300 screen in my Satellite 440CDX review didn’t reveal my secret collection of midget centaur pornography. That would be embarassing. In any case, this is something CSI does TIME and FREAKING TIME again, and it got to a point where they didn’t even pretend they were doing any of it. A person standing looking at a screen could say “enhance her nipples” and it would use it’s x-ray vision to see through her clothes to reveal she had the stolen nipple ring that was found on the body of that drug dealer that they originally arrested in the first act. So anyway, they manage to get this “image” from the girls eye, somehow the lady (no idea what her name is, Let’s call her Kevin) knows exactly what the guy (hell if I know his name- Let’s call him Meg) means when he says “Reverse” Because there is certainly no ambiguity there, I mean, it’s not like it could mean Flipping horizontal, or vertical, or inverting the colours. So she chooses the command from a popup menu.
and it is the god damned same as the one you get when you right-click a picture object in Microsoft Word! Is this your flashy method of tracking criminals? use basic image manipulation in a god damned word processor? Are we supposed to believe this?
And then after they magically get that reflection (and somehow it doesn’t just flip but also get’s like super clear) Kevin (again, that’s the name I gave the hispanic woman here) says something.
“It’s not very high resolution”
Gee, you think so there Kevin? who would have guessed that blowing up a image more times then a blow-up doll at a bachelor party might actually make the pixels BIGGER. So of course that entire little piece of speech there is entirely redundant because she just draws a box around the thing she wants to enhance and POOF! the program automatically knows exactly what she wants to do and even has fancy transitional animations to zoom it in, to be honest the zoomed in picture looks like a picture of an Amoeba farting to me, but apparently this is a breakthrough to them (I don’t know the context in the episode, maybe they were looking for the zookeeper and he kept a circus filled with trained Amoeba’s, and then they go there and discover that the Amoeba for the finale, who just coincidentally happens to specialize in farting mysteriously vanished. That leads Kevin and Meg on a fantastical adventure with so many dovetails you’re convinced the producers had to sacrifice about 50 dozen birds just to make the bloody thing.
Now, I certainly have absolutely no problem with mystery shows. And books. Sherlock Holmes is a god damned epic even if he is a violin playing Heroin User. (Or was it cocaine? I can’t remember.) In fact, that makes it all the more awesome anyway. Sure there were a few plot holes but aside from that Sir Doyle clearly did at least a little research. In the case of CSI, a bloody show that pretty much is supposed to show the role of computers in forensics investigations, decides instead go assume that all it’s viewers will buy any sort of colourful interface as if that is what they actually use is ridiculous. Show some god damned respect, and stop throwing computer terms around as if you actually know what they mean, it’s just embarassing.
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