Things are getting worse in the world of competitive gaming, or so it seems. Counter Strike bans are getting handed out like fliers to a local rap show, and these are top-tier players getting smacked. Am I surprised? No. Am I angry? Heck no.
If you think professional gamers aren’t cheating all day, every day, everywhere, never to be stopped, you’re a silly, silly goose [original crushing insult redacted]. As long as games have existed, so has cheating. And it always will. All the same with how thievery has existed right alongside personal ownership for the extent of history. Is this ideal? Of course not; which makes sense considering the universe favors chaos (science, bro). But despite this, undesirable behavior can be curbed—and it is. Professional athletic sports have drug tests and equipment specifications, yet incidents like Deflate-gate still happen. Cheaters find a way, and since we’re talking about computer gaming here, I’m going to come out and say that…
Computer gaming is likely the most difficult arena on which to suppress cheating that has ever existed.
“Why?” you might ask, possibly even with an exclamation point due to your deep level of engagement with this article. Well, because haxx0rs are cray-zay (again, science). For every digital wall that is built there is a digital tunnel that can go under it. And for these guys who were fixing matches, it’s not like boxing where some poor bloke has to stand up and get their ass punched in to throw a bout. Gamers are much harder to scrutinize when they are a butt-tillion miles away in their private game bunker. So how did these guys get caught? They were unlucky, I imagine. It was likely just a matter of swinging zapper through a cloud of cheater-y mosquitoes. I’m not looking at any actual statistics here, but I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone was cheating at that level, bar a few moral titan types. I can see how it quickly becomes a situation of “if I’m not cheating then I’m not competing at the level I should be”. Just like steroids in baseball, or shipping jobs overseas in capitalism.
So no, I’m not mad or surprised. Of course ways to stop cheating should always be pursued, but you have to keep in mind that there will still be cheaters no matter what is done. A couple months back someone ripped the license plate off the back of my car and everyone expected me to be livid. But instead I took it as just another small, annoying obstacle in life, like all the other bumps that happen in the road. Thieves and cheaters simply exist, and will always. And because of its particular vulnerability, gaming may always be a compromised medium for competitive play. Though these Counter Strike cheaters certainly are people who make conscious choices when it comes down to it, to me they are more like a natural force that cannot be escaped, and I don’t see the point in getting mad at the wind for blowing my paper plate away.