Hacking Games

In this article I have discusses whether altering games by hacking them is ethically correct or not.

Hackers are commonly characterised as people who only want to spread misery amongst people. This isn’t the case. Some hackers just want to make things easier for themselves. One use a hacker can get out of a game is by changing the gameplay mechanics so they effectively create an entirely new game.

Hackers have also gained a lot of negative attention from the ethical side of things. There are those who say changing games like this is ethically wrong. We explore whether this is the case or not.

We ask this question, whether this is ethical, or even legal.

Is Hacking Games Legal?

This is a contentious issue which normally draws a lot of controversy. Generally, the answer is it depends. If you’ve bought the game, you can hack it as much as you like within the confines of your own home. You aren’t impacting anyone else or damaging the integrity of the game studio or publisher.

On the other hand, if you attempted to do this and then sell the game, this would be breaking the rules. You’re manipulating a product and selling it. As a separate product, this would be plagiarism.

You can make it available as a free download, as has been done with mods for PC games, but you can’t make a profit from it without the permission of the company.

The Way the Makers Intended

The main ethical argument against hacking a game is it changes the way the makers intended its players to experience it. This is ethically wrong, because it’s blatant disrespect to the hard work the makers put into the game. It also changes the creation and potentially impacts the player experience in the current game and future games.

It’s My Game

The counterargument to this is the player paid for the game like everyone else. This game now belongs to them and they should be able to do anything they want with it.

There’s a valid argument here. It’s their game and nobody can realistically stop them from enjoying the game as they want. Since the makers haven’t explicitly asked them not to change it, they can’t be blamed for doing this. They’re well within their own boundaries.

What Do the Developers Think?

The developers themselves have two reasons to support players making changes to their game. Firstly, it increases the playing span of the game. They can enjoy the game for longer, and therefore it keeps their company name and the title in the spotlight for longer. Developers spend months (and sometimes years) attempting to increase the lifespan of their games, and hacking helps them to do that.

Another argument in favour of hacking is developers are nearly always gamers themselves. They love experimenting with games and finding out new ways to do things. Many of them will have played with the codes of their favourite games, or created mods other players can use with their games.

Overall, hacking does have its ethical concerns, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. For these reasons, hackers shouldn’t feel like they’re breaking the rules by making alterations to the game they bought.

Tom Taylor is an extremely popular tech blogger. He writes tech and gaming reviews through his articles. For some unique and great games don’t forget to visit – http://www.frivey.com

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