Computer Gaming World Science of Cheating

We see plenty of lazy science, junk science, bad science, pseudoscience in published so called 'science' journals - including some of the better ones.

Computer Game Science of Cheating

We don't really expect to find the smart stuff in what used to be Computer Gaming World. [We know you know what it's called now, so we won't mention it.] It turns out, that while is not quite as complex analysis as examining phase-coherent transport in graphene sheets, the guys at what used to be CGW can find some decent social science (a rare commodity indeed), parse it, and write it up with insight and depth - and spruce the whole thing up with the usual used to be CGW magazine's light dusting of humor as seen in their best game reviews and articles. It makes for a good read.

Anyway, in spite of the new rulers in charge, the folks at what used to be Computer Gaming World pumped out some stuff recently more science like than game like in form and thoughtfulness. You may think the folks at what used to be Computer Gaming World are all a bunch of arrested adolescents, but not so at all. Check out the September 2007 issue and read about the work done by Mia Consalvo who studies lots and recently wrote 'Cheating: Gaining Advantage in Videogames' to show us all sorts of great stuff about how we play and don't play computer games past present and future.

Some motes of wisdom come in how we can view the types of 'players' in MMOs. It turns out, as we all know, we aren't all actually players really. MMO games these days have triflers, cheaters, players and spoilsports. Specifically, "Triflers recognize both rules and goals, cheats recognize goals but not rules, players recognize both rules and goals, and spoilsports recognize neither rules nor goals." Think of that next time some in game bot spams you to buy Warcraft gold at 'the best rates anywhere'... That guy would be wanting to make you a cheater! Or maybe just an enhanced player... Maybe the bot is the cheater? Is a bot gold farming actually cheating or is the bot trifling? It has a goal and minds the rules, so maybe the gold farming bot is actually a player? Hmmmm... It sure makes us woozy trying to figure it out.

There's some great stuff in Mia Consalvo's work, and the CGW article about it. Praise to Ed Halter for writing it.


World of Warcraft still wins at everything.