Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Eater

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Ceating is a sign that the player is in fact grokking the game. From a strict evolutionary point of view, cheating is a winning strategy.

--Koster, Ch. 7, pg. 112

I never thought of it that way, but it makes sense. Koster said early on in the book that players become bored when the game is too hard, so cheating is a way to revive their interest. But, what do you consider to be cheating in a video game? Cheat codes only? What about walkthroughs and strategy guides?

The most creative and fertile game designers working today tend to be the ones who make a point of not focusing too much on other games for inspiration. Creativity comes from cross pollination, not the reiteration of the same ideas.

--Ch. 8, pg. 138

I couldn't agree more with Koster on this point. The award-winning games are almost always the most innovative games we've seen in a long time. Think about it, would Halo really be as popular as it is if it were just a copy of an older game? I'm not saying that remakes of the classics don't sell, but they always have some form of innovation in them as well.

[M]odding is just playing the game another way, sort of like a budding writer might rework plots of characters from other writers into derivative journeyman fiction or into fan fiction.

--Ch. 9. pg. 142

I don't have a lot of experience with modding myself, other than when I used to download user-created content for the original Sims. My career with modding ended abruptly when a trojan horse attacked my computer, effectively causing us to completely restore the entire system. Aside from my bad experience with modding, I do see a lot of value in its work. It's a mode for people to express themselves and also to keep themselves from completely grokking a video game. To all of you out there, what types of modding are you most familiar with?

1 Comments

Beth Anne Swartzwelder said:

I'm not sure where you draw the line with cheating. I think obviously everyone would agree that cheat codes are, but I don't know about walkthroughs and strategy guides. I think maybe it depends on how a person uses these things. I like to know what's going on and how to do something, but I don't always take the easy way. Sometimes even when I know how to cheat through a task, I don't. I think it depends from person to person.

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