Anyone who lies can be called a cheater or a cheat. In school, when you "cheat" it is understood that you have copied others' answers or from a source, say a book, during an exam. Between you and your lover, it could mean having an affair with another or simply lying. In sports, it means getting ahead of your opponent in a manner that violates the rules of the game.
But cheating in computer games is not necessarily equal to lying or taking unfair advantages over your opponent. It constitutes a wide spectrum of activities, which in general is aimed at altering the game experience so as to lead in the game. Cheating differs in every computer game and is dependent on what the players have agreed upon as an unfair advantage.
Most computer games have the so-called "cheat codes," which are used to make the game easier. But these cheat codes are designed for single players, especially those new to the game. Using these codes could also mean cheating, but it cannot be said that you are using them to gain unfair advantage.
Cheat codes are primarily used in multiplayer and mass multiplayer computer games played through the Internet. In these types of computer games, players may remain anonymous and so they can boldly cheat, without fear of being known to his opponents.
There are different types of computer game cheats. These are by changing the user settings, by using bugs, exploits and external software and by cheesing.
When you alter the settings of your computer, the layout of the computer hardwares or the game itself so that it would suit your gaming style or your computer system, you are in a way cheating. But this can be acceptable. However, going as far as modifying the color and brightness of your computer in order to see through shadowy areas could be questionable.
Exploits are features of a game unintentionally or erroneously made by the developers. When particularly used to gain unfair advantage over your opponent, they can be regarded as computer game cheats. However, sometimes these exploits make the game more fun and exciting.
The use of external softwares specially designed to let the player lead the game unjustly by modifying the program that runs the computer game, is considered as a grave way of cheating. Some of these computer game cheats analyze the status of the game in the computer's RAM.
Other players "cheese" to lead in the game. This is done when virtual players do things that are not allowed or are unlikely in real life. Although this may not be a very grave kind of computer game cheat, most players disapprove cheesing in a game.
Usually, computer game cheats nowadays are due to alterations made in the game software. This is in spite of the developers' prohibition of the modification of the original codes. The problem with most game softwares you can find in the market nowadays is that despite their being encrypted, data files can be easily revised without altering the main program so cheat protection features become useless.
Stopping all forms of computer game cheats is really hard because as said earlier, cheating in computer games cover a wide range of activities and there are a lot of aspects to consider in each computer game cheat. There are softwares, though that can be installed on the server in order to help detect a computer game cheat.
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