Every gamer knows the dilemma you are in. You are trying your best to accomplish an extremely difficult stage in a video
game you are playing. But somehow, no matter how hard you try, your character ends up dead or stuck up in an area that is
impossible to traverse. You sigh in frustration, throw away the controller, or shout obscenities that are outlawed in
many countries. Is there any way you can go through this despicable stage so you can finish the game, watch that much
anticipated cinematic ending, and boast to your friends about your accomplishment?
Worry not, fellow gamer, for there is an easy way out. Just make sure no one is watching you. How? Well, you incorporate
a cheat when you play the game. What is a cheat? Well, it is a non-standard way for producing an advantage beyond normal
gameplay. In most cases, a cheat is used to make the game easier such as making the opponents weaker, acquiring more
weapons, or having unlimited ammunition. However, a cheat can also be used to create unusual effects such as giving an
otherwise “serious” character a funny, distorted “chibi” appearance. Although a cheat can be activated within the game,
particularly if it is placed there by the game designer, it could also be produced by a third-party software or trainer.
Now, you might wonder why are there cheats in the first place? Well, it all started out at the onset of video gaming
history. Cheat codes were once used for play-testing purposes. This means that before the game was released in the
market, playtesters have to rigorously test the mechanics of the game. Because going back and forth among the many stages
of the game was time-consuming and a huge hassle, playtesters introduced cheat codes to essentially skip parts of the
game so they can start at the stage where they last stopped or where they want to scrutinize the gameplay more closely.
Of course, in the course of gaming history, these cheats somehow found their way out of the production office and into
the hands of clever players.
Players, most often technology-savvy ones, began to use cheats on their games. As time went on and as game systems
involved, a cheat industry bloomed via the packaging and selling of cheat codes as a product.
Today, you can see all sorts of video-game cheat products in the market and in the Internet. Enablers such as cheat
codes, books, game guides, walkthroughs, and tutorials help fuel the cheat industry. There are now even special hardware
and software for sale so you can modify the game code. If you go deeper, these products firmly placed cheating as part of
gaming culture even though in the early years of gaming, it was not universally accepted. In the later years, cheating
became more popular. Codes and walkthroughs, particularly, started appearing in magazines, websites, and even a
television show called Cheat.
In general, a large percentage of cheat codes are made by game developers although tech-savvy players can create their
own if they have knowledge over the game’s code. These developers reasoned out that unlike hardcore players, many people
don’t have time to play the entire game of their own, thus the use of cheat codes will make the game easier, more
accessible, and appealing to the casual gamer.
A lot of the latest games do not have cheat codes. However, developers do add some “unlocks”: wherein you type a code or
fulfil a certain condition as you play the game. If you are successful, then you are treated to a bonus (e.g., a powerful
weapon not found in the standard game, extra points, etc.), a secret (e.g., a hidden passage or room), an Easter egg
(e.g., an unusual item, a secret cinematic scene, etc.), or an effect (e.g., a change of a character’s costume or