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Cheating in Videogames
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Cheating in Videogames

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My talk at @interesting 2009. Cheating in Videogames is the way I learnt to design games, design for the web, and hack for the masses. But cheating real people is not OK. Videogames let us create …

My talk at @interesting 2009. Cheating in Videogames is the way I learnt to design games, design for the web, and hack for the masses. But cheating real people is not OK. Videogames let us create mental models that we can break.

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  • I was going to talk about how my love for Modernist Architecture,
    The impact of Archigram
    and the lack of new ideas in today’s housing
  • Or a brief history of house music, and how we all owe so much to the Germans
  • Or how Star Wars, and specifically Han Solo & Chewbacca, were engineers and programmers and we need more techie/engineering/geek role models.
    And these all would have made for good talks, but they were not quite right.
    Either too pretentious, I was worried about people thinking like they were cheated, so..
  • I promised I wouldn’t talk about games.
    But I cheated.
  • I promised I wouldn’t talk about games.
    But I cheated.
  • I was good at two things at school, playing games, and having big hair.
    The videogames was a sure hit with the ladies.
    Playing New Market at Xmas
    Granda said “Don’t Cheat” - Isn’t cheating part of the game of playing?
  • Patrick Moore as Gamesmaster
  • Warren Robinett, “Adventure”, Atari 2600,
    Easter Egg
  • Warren Robinett, “Adventure”, Atari 2600,
    Easter Egg
  • My first cheat, was probably Manic Miner, 1983. “6031769” rumoured to be “Matthew Smith’s” phone number.
  • This is Contra, very very hard. Never got very far until ...
  • Konami Code, Kazuhisa Hashimoto, developed for testing purposes.
  • As a cultural code, now used in many places including games such as
    Castlevania, TMNT, Half Life 2, Silent Hill, MGS, Viva Pinata, Google Reader, Digg,
    Even Facebook, which creates ‘beautiful’ render ware.
  • This is NHL 93
    I played this at University for 9 months solid.
    Very much a Social game,
    Unless people use “the move” - the winning move we had to ban
  • Things get different when the other player lives across the Atlantic.
    And there are 1000’s of them
    And they’re in game accounts are linked to their real accounts
    And the Russian Mafia are involved.
  • Long war from Contra
  • Imagine watching a film to get stuck at a the bit spying on the girl, and you never get to find out if the salesman ever comes back
  • Archie (my son) builds characters, he creates worlds, he learns how the games work.
  • Easter Eggs became whole cheat codes, new characters, new worlds
    I learnt game design once I could place rings, and crabs and fish
    I learnt how hard or easy to make, and let friends play
  • Cheating is hacking for the masses. It is one of many opportunities to ‘soft programme’ our technologies and culture without heavy reliance on advanced knowledge. Cheating creates an opportunity to play with design, think about it, and tinker around. By effectively unbalancing a game, we can move behind the screen to consider games through their limits. If you put too many assets on screen with the Sonic debug mode, the system would freeze and crash. In this it taught young players an important truth about games; that they aren’t infinite systems, but rather careful gestures reliant on an economy of elements. Cheats of the kind seen in Sonic fostered a generation of gamers to be both critical and respectful of what games are. Knowing that the level is one configuration among many comes from a point of view only afforded through cheating.
  • Couldn’t build the web without cheating, html, css, javascript.
  • Grandad was right.
    Cheating hurts the player, but if you can cheat the system you learn.
    Videogames let you create mental models. And break them.
    You can try things, learn from them and build understanding
  • Now if only I can find the codes for nike+,
    I can lose 3 stone and not have to run anywhere.
    Or the game shark for parenting
    Or perhaps the Konami code works in the street ? What happens if we try it?
  • Transcript

    • 1. TOBY BARNES
    • 2. I MAKE DIGITAL THINGS.
    • 3. MOSTLY VIDEOGAME RELATED.
    • 4. PETER COOK, ARCHIGRAM
    • 5. A BRIEF HISTORY OF DANCE MUSIC
    • 6. HAN SOLO+ENGINEERING=ROLE MODEL
    • 7. SORRY RUSSELL.
    • 8. SORRY RUSSELL. I CHEATED.
    • 9. A BRIEF HISTORY OF CHEATING. IN VIDEOGAMES.
    • 10. ME, CIRCA 1983 Newmarket + £30 in 1p’s + Grandad
    • 11. GAMESMASTER
    • 12. THE GREY PIXEL Warren Robinett, “Adventure Game”, Atari 2600. 1979
    • 13. HIS NAME IN LIGHTS Warren Robinett, “Adventure Game”, Atari 2600. 1979
    • 14. 6031769 Manic Miner, 1983, Matthew Smith
    • 15. CONTRA Konami, 1988
    • 16. EASTER EGGS ON THE WEB Castlevania, TMNT, Half Life 2, Silent Hill, MGS, Viva Pinata, Google Reader, Digg, Facebook
    • 17. NHL HOCKEY ’93 Glitches
    • 18. EVE ONLINE CCP, 2007-Now
    • 19. SO...
    • 20. MORE GAME. NOT GETTING STUCK Rear Window
    • 21. MORE GAME. UGC Lego Star Wars, TT Games
    • 22. SONIC Debug Mode
    • 23. “HACKING FOR THE MASSES”
    • 24. BUILDING THE WEB View Source
    • 25. SO...
    • 26. HE WAS RIGHT & HE WAS WRONG.
    • 27. GAMING LIFE. Nike+
    • 28. THANKS
    • 29. THANKS, AND SORRY. twitter.com/tobybarnes wearemudlark.com pixel-lab.co.uk
    • 30. Picture credits • Peter Cook - Toby Barnes • Warehouse NYC - roguebantha_1138 http://www.flickr.com/photos/ 40182896@N00/2223325369/sizes/o/ • Millemium Falcon - oniondeath http://www.flickr.com/photos/oniondeath/2765071978/ • Me, 1983 • Patrick Moore, Gamesmaster, Channel 4 • Advernture Game • http://static.groovymother.com/images/childsguide.jpg • Facebook, Techcrunch • Sonic, Sega • Tomb Raider, Eidos • NHL 93, EA Sports • Eve Online, CCP • Rearwindow, MGM • Lego Starwars, TT Games • Hackers, Disney • Kitten kcbanner http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcbanner/3899587158/sizes/l/ • My Grandparents • Nike+, Nike