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Hacking: a digital crime in the gaming community

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Hacking: a digital crime in the gaming community

Glenn Carstens-Peters

Glenn Carstens-Peters

Glenn Carstens-Peters

Angus Nordlund, Staff Writer

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When many people think of hackers, the first thing that comes to mind are mysterious people with the ability to bypass any government security system and gain all the information they want. The people they don’t know about are the hackers who run rampant on video game servers.

These hackers are defined as people who use uploaded software on video games in order to give themselves an advantage over other players. Due to the unfairness of this, these people are viewed as cheaters who tarnish both the reputation of games and gamers in the gaming community, leading to them having a bad reputation. Though hackers have been a nuisance since the dawn of video games, they are starting to become more of a problem now that video games play such a big role in society.

The reason why they have become such a problem is because of what they can do to a video game. They can tarnish its reputation and make people frustrated at the fact that someone always has the advantage over them, not because of skill, but because of cheating. This can be a catastrophe for game developers, because if people dislike the game due to a large pool of cheaters, then the games won’t sell. That is why many developers have taken action to rid their servers of these cheaters. One technique used to rid a game of hackers is to give the players who don’t cheat the option of reporting these players. With enough reports, developers will often take notice of the reported players and permanently ban them from the game in order to prevent anymore cheating.

The game genre in which hackers are possibly the most prominent is first person shooter (FPS) games. Since these games require the skill to aim, many hackers will jump at the chance to cheat to get over this obstacle. This is where perhaps the most well known type of cheating comes in: aimbotting. An aimbot is a type of bot used to automatically lock onto other players, therefore easily killing them. This is extremely frustrating for players on the receiving end of this, as it can become annoying to be repeatedly killed by someone who is cheating.

Over the past few years, consequences for hacking and cheating have become more severe, as they have been considered to be a crime. In fact, in the country of South Korea, game hacks are illegal. This is understandable, as the country has a culture centered around gaming with it being a valuable business and sport. It is made to specifically prohibit any sort of negative impacts hackers might have on the game. The consequences for breaking this law are either to be fined 50,000 dollars or to spend up to 5 years in prison; so it’s easy to tell how seriously they take it is taken there.

Believe it or not, there are people who can actually profit off of these hacks. There are companies who sell hacks to people who are willing to go down this path. While they may make money, they also run the risk of being caught and sued by game publishers.

In fact, recently, famous game publishing company Blizzard, who has created many popular games, won an 8.7 million dollar lawsuit against a German hacking group named Bosslands, who had been responsible for selling third party software to other hackers, for several of Blizzard’s games, including World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, and even Overwatch. The software allowed the hackers who bought it to cheat in various ways depending on the game they used it for. As stated in an article on the website Criticalhit.net, the court case was initially opened in March 2016 where Blizzard sued the company Bosslands whose products aimed to arm and benefit hackers.

“…destroy the intergrity of Blizzard games, thereby alienating and frustrating legitimate players and diverting revenue from Blizzard to defendants.” 

It is very dangerous for people to use these hacks, due to the possibility of harm caused to companies and publishers who could suffer financially, but also to the users as they could be severely punished in ways that include jail time. In short; it is advised by many gaming companies that users should steer clear of hacking, unless they desire the consequences.

Links to articles that provided information used in this article

https://kotaku.com/game-hacks-are-illegal-in-south-korea-1795917608

https://www.criticalhit.net/gaming/blizzard-just-won-8-6-million-lawsuit-overwatch-hacke rs/

About the Writer
Angus Nordlund, Staff Writer

My name is Angus Nordlund, and I am a writer for the Arrow.

I am a avid soccer player and cross country runner as well as a gaming enthusiast.

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Hacking: a digital crime in the gaming community