At 5/13/10 05:26 PM, chris-marks wrote:
Hacking is wrong because it skews things. There's this 100 point medal in Alkie Kong 2 called Drunken Deity, which you get for finishing the game in hard mode without dying. There is only the one way to get it, and it's fucking insane. If a bunch of people show up who've gotten the medal by hacking, then the medal is devalued. The medals are meant to indicate that you have skill in playing the game, not in hacking it.
The medal may be devalued, but it's not unfair. There is no retarding factor on hacking, everyone can do it. Hmm... I'd rather not get into the whole "achievement syndrome" of gaming nowadays... oh well, here goes a wall of text.
If there are status symbols in existence (medals, unlockable items, etc.) people will want them. To get them, there are always loopholes in the system. If you need to complete the game 10 times for a medal, why not just reload from a save directly before the final boss 9 times. These sort of things flow logically from a result based analysis.
If people want "Drunken Deity" and do not want to play the game, they could hack it. Does this diminish the medal for those people who got it legitimately? Only if they are in it for the points. If all of the medal games on Newgrounds did not have points, would people try as hard to get them? Without a ranking system, are achievements fruitful?
Humans (or what Western culture has made of us) have an unerring need to progress, to be better than we were before. In many cases the desire is to be better than our peers. Medals are a good way to describe this. But if the medals have an arbitrary point system attached to them, a system of currency, then new meaning comes into effect. "I have more XFSR than you, therefore I am better". That is not necessarily true though. If a person completed "Drunken Deity" for 100 points, and another person completed all of Tax Time for 85 points, are they nearly on par for skill? Not in the least. The system of currency has failed to properly attach value to the medals. "But this medal is X points so this one should be too". Tradition is never an excuse for anything. Statistics can be made to display whatever is desired.
So the representative currency of Points is inherently flawed. If the medals were attached to games with no points, there would be little reason to hack. Without the currency, there is no comparison between "I completed this medal legitimately" and "I hacked this medal". The personal achievement is nothing if it is hacked. Only when you blur the image to say, I got 100 points from this game or I hacked 100 points from this game, does hacking become worthwhile. Only when a system of currency becomes involved, does cheating the system make sense. Conversely, when a system exists to be cheated, it will be. Statistically speaking (lying), this is true.
Where do you go from here? Do you put hours of time into a task with minimal relative reward? Or do you put minimal time into a task for minimal reward? Efficiency is the sibling to progress; why spend more if the task can be done faster using another method? For hackers, that method is plain to see.
The most common rebuttal to the question, "Why do you hack?" is, "Why don't you?". Why perpetuate a broken system? Tradition? Or do you desire to maintain a certain set of morals for yourself?
Maintaining those morals is all well and good, for yourself. But at the point that you try to enforce those morals upon others, you are committing a terrible crime in denying their own choice. In the end, the medal is only meaningful to you. Hackers can be happy with their irrelevant currency, and legitimate players can be happy that they were skilled enough at the game to beat it. As stated earlier, in this instance there is no unfairness involved. Everyone has access to hacking capabilities thanks to the internet. It's only when you mix morals and the desire for currency that you run into a problem. Real world scenarios most often err on the side of morality, but does that apply to virtual goals in virtual worlds? Is anyone being harmed by hacking flash games?
No, the argument against hacking is based solely on greed. I'll go through a biased little exersice to bring about a controversial conclusion now.
Suddenly, everyone has the same 100 points that I do, and thus those points are worthless to me now. Forget that I worked so hard to complete this and can rest assured that I have verifiably beat this game, the points say that I am only average.
I don't want to participate in the cheating based on my morals.
I can't obtain currency as fast or in as large a magnitude as the cheaters, yet I desire the same amount or more currency than they have to validate my life.
Solution? I will instead attempt to defame and debauch their reputations, or attack them in some other way. I shall instigate laws and an enforcing authority to segregate them from my "cheat free" society. I will try to seal off all possible routes for hacking, to make it so that I can still be better than everyone, while maintaining my sense of dignity.
I will limit the possibilities in an attempt to leave only my path as the one remaining.
Is this not a clear example of fascism?
Not all of this has come to pass on Newgrounds, but it is the trends and the willful ignorance of some people that may end up causing something like this to occur. Certain flash games already come equipped with anti-hacking programs. All because some point grubbing kids decided to get angry. Shall we ask the governmentto make hacking illegal?
Alright I'm done ranting for now... I should get a new hobby now that I've effectively beaten NG's collective of medals... Too much time sitting around thinking about how everything is broken. It must be difficult to tell that my ideal world is an anarcho-capitalist society where the only defining law is that you may not violate anyone's free will.
tl;dr Bring on WW3 so we can maybe get a good start this time.