Why I Don't Mind Playing Against Cheaters

By David Skjutar / December 9, 2011

If games had a finality, the only true player would be the cheater.

Jean Baudrillard, Seduction


I don't mind playing against cheaters. I honestly don't. If some little noob has downloaded wallhack and manages to kill me once or twice, all I need is a glance at how good his aim is and I will immediately know what is going on and adapt accordingly. I know that he cheats, but he doesn't know that I know, because I don't let that show. Needless to say, I'll tear him to shreds. I'll seem to be running out around a corner and stop riiight before I go round it, he will pre-fire with his awp, I will strafe out around the corner and pre-fire him in the fucking head, aiming towards where the sound came from, while his awp is "recovering", and that will be that.
   But a noob is a noob is a noob, they practically die from one's passive aggression-emission, one's "aura", so that doesn't really mean anything, other than perhaps me being vain and thinking myself superior to cheating in general. Heh, but you know? I don't mind more skillful cheaters either, I do not even mind losing against cheaters! Being ridiculed by them! I'd much rather lose against a level 19 noob who boosts his skill 10 levels with cheats, than win against someone who is level 24 legitimately: all I care about is the challenge I get from playing.
   But that challenge changes character when cheating is involved. It is no longer only about the inside of the game, since the sacred rules have been broken; it is now also about the outside. It is the understanding of the rules that allows one to see, to read, to sense that something is not quite right, that some external force is disrupting the flow, introducing "a disturbance in the force", if you will. How does one appropriately react?
   I said that I don't mind playing against cheaters, and that's honestly true, as on the lower levels it only gives me a little juicier snack; but things are different on the higher levels. On the higher levels there is already plenty at stake, unlike the pot-less low-level games, which makes any attempt at cheating an attempt at stealing the pot, and that, my friend, isn't done without risk. If you get away with it, if I do not discover you, then by all means, enjoy your prize! You fooled me! I lost! But if I catch you in the act, red-handed! smoking gun! transparent walls! magic pixels! — and all the rest! Then, my friend, I'll want you dead.
   Because this is the bet that you place, when you bring the struggle of life and death out to the real world. This is what you transform a harmless, playful activity into when you break the sacred rules. You have created another game, and your opponent — maybe it's me! — has been dragged along into it. Some might fear this new game, some might feel completely powerless, as they have no way to counter the violence inflicted upon them. But I? Though I have yet to act on such an impulse, though I likely never will, the feeling of power it gives me knowing that I'm able, that even under such conditions I am far from helpless, is enough to make me say: I don't mind playing against cheaters.
   Haha, joking aside, such drastic actions aren't needed. After all, you're already running for your life.