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Thread: Why do Video Games Not Have Cheat Codes Anymore?

  1. #1
    The User DemonDragonJ's Avatar
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    Default Why do Video Games Not Have Cheat Codes Anymore?

    In the past, video games often had cheat codes that a player could use of they found themselves in a difficult situation; I remember that the majority of side-scrolling DOS games that I played had such codes, and some games were simply too difficult to beat without them (a notable example being the third Commander Keen game). There were cheating devices for consoles, as well, the best known of these being the Game Genie and Game Shark.

    However, in recent years, it seems that video games no longer have cheat codes, and consoles no longer have Game Genies or Game Sharks. Why is that? What has changed in the world of video games that caused programmers to decide to not include chest codes anymore? Are the games easier, and thus do not need the codes? Has the growth of online play and downloadable content rendered cheat codes unnecessary or unfair? What does everyone else say about this? Why do video games rarely have cheat codes anymore?
    "When the people fear the government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." -Thomas Jefferson.

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  2. #2
    Why must hard drives fail together? TheMainMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do Video Games Not Have Cheat Codes Anymore?

    I think being able to look things up online is part of the reason for the lack of cheat codes in games. The other major part is that there seem to be a wider range of difficulty levels now than previously. "Can't get past that story moment in a single-player FPS campaign? Drop the difficulty down an notch and beat it. Then, once you know how to do it, bump the difficulty back up. Or just watch a Twitch.tv stream of someone else doing it." The notable game series that I can think of that still has cheat codes available is the Lego games by Travellers Tales. There are no difficulty levels and the design lends itself to completionist collecting so there are cheat codes for most major unlocks.

    I also think that the rise of online play has limited cheat codes in games. Hardware cheats, like rapid fire controllers, still exist commonly but cheat codes would defeat the leveling systems that many games use to keep you playing these days.
    TheMainMan

  3. #3
    Anodized. Again. Konrad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do Video Games Not Have Cheat Codes Anymore?

    Once down the path of the Dark Side you begin, forever will it consume your destiny.

    It's easy to cheat your way past some difficult situation as a last resort. But then it's easy to cheat through every other obstacle and cheat up to the best and baddest toys the game can offer. And cheat yourself out of entertainment, the game then lacks challenge and becomes utterly pointless. I think integrated cheat codes break the games and basically make them unengaging. Much better to man up and squeak through the game in whatever harsh nasty gritty way you can, no matter how ugly the ending might be, then walk away with some pride in your accomplishment or some goal of doing it again with better results. Even the trash talk and trophies and swag become worthless when any idiot who looks up the secret code can "earn" them.

    I notice that online games tend to hold onto players only so long as it's hard to cheat them. Once the trainers and bots and hacks and workarounds are permitted to come into play the people who play for the enjoyment of play tend to drift elsewhere. It's no fun if winning is just a big red easy button. Overcoming an "impossible" situation usually requires some refinement of weak skills or some entirely new approach towards obtaining the objective - earning victory requires not sucking at the game, we all lose games (and keep losing) until we get better at playing them - real life is full of examples of losers somehow cheating their way into the winners circle (where they don't belong and where they just drag the winners through inane crap), at least let me keep things properly sorted in my video games!
    My mind says Technic, but my body says Duplo.

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