Quote of the Moment: Cheating yourself


"What we did have were massively multiplayer online games such as Final Fantasy XI and World of Warcraft, where players were encouraged to engage in a long process of leveling up their characters, to become more powerful and to earn game currency. And although it was deemed against most games' Terms of Service (and thus illegal), there were (and still are) companies that would sell you in-game currency (or in-game items) for a convenient charge to your credit card. Eliminate the tedium-get to the good stuff. Fast forward through content you consider boring, whether the game company likes it or not.

"But social games have taken that cheating behavior and run with it. Rather than ban players for buying virtual currency, they've integrated cheating into their games as part of the experience. If you don't have time to wait for your tractor to refill with fuel in Farmville, you can buy gas on the spot, and harvest your crops and plant new ones without any down time. In Frontierville you don't have to beg your friends for a hammer to complete your cabin-waiting for them to get the message and then sending it along-you can purchase one quickly and easily with virtual currency. So a gameplay activity that might seem tedious-grinding, waiting-can be eliminated for a few dollars. So if the game company allows it, is it cheating?"

-Game designer and researcher Mia Consalvo talks about how the idea of 'cheating' has changed in the social gaming era

Originally published