Glitches, Cheese, & Boosting: The Ethics of Gaming

Glitches, cheese, and boosting! Oh my!

At some point in the last few years, a new ideal took over gamers minds. A mindset that effects singleplayer, multiplayer, and everything in-between. The term ethics arises when laws do not govern over a particular topic. In the world of console gaming boosting, cheesing, and glitching, in general, is not a bannable offense. Only in rare instances where the developer or publisher of a game takes matters into their own hands is it so. And even then the punishment usually isn’t sever or enforced enough to deter the masses.

First let’s distinguish the three. Glitching can come in many forms. Anything from turning yourself invincible, skipping past a difficult area, duplicating items, and countless other example are considered glitches. On the other hand, I look at cheesing as the multiplayer counterpart of glitching. Acts such as repeatedly spamming an overpowered move in a fighter, continuously driving baseline in NBA 2K, or completely skipping mechanics in a Destiny raid. The last one is pretty clear cut: boosting. The act of grouping up in a multiplayer match to earn achievements, trophies, or a higher leaderboard position.

Essentially all three are the same thing. Different ways to get around doing something difficult. Facing a tough singleplayer mission? Glitch. Can’t beat that guy in multiplayer? Cheese. Don’t want to spend the time to unlock that achievement? Boost.

Wine and Cheese. A Gamers favorite.

At some point during the Xbox 360/PS3 era (possibly even earlier) gamers lost something. As someone who grew up playing N64, PS2, and later Xbox, I can’t speak on the early days of hardcore arcade gaming where “hard” was truly that. But after spending my fair share of time chasing achievements, I’ve began to go back to my old ways of gaming. The days where overcoming something difficult was met with great satisfaction. There is no satisfaction in boosting an achievement. No satisfaction in glitching past a boss fight. No satisfaction in cheesing a multiplayer opponent. But to some, this seems to be the case.

I’d rather lose to an opponent than cheese. Retry a difficult boss than glitch. Practice a multiplayer game rather than boost. If all else fails, fuck it, I won’t do it. The other mentality among gamers seems to be that they deserve something in the end. This may pertain more towards cheesing and boosting, but if you take a difficult achievement for example, one might have in their mind that they can always boost if they can’t do it legit. So maybe they try for a day or two and can’t do it. Instead of continuing to strive for that “achievement”, or giving up, they simply boost it. I’d rather not get the achievement than unlocking something that I know I didn’t, or more precisely couldn’t, do.

I don’t believe things will ever change. Ethics lie in the eyes of the beholder. What seems wrong, or outright a waste of time, to me could be perfectly fine to another. Without rules and regulations to adhere to, who’s to say right from wrong? I will say that after breaking these habits a few years ago I’ve had a much better time gaming ever since.

What are your thoughts on cheesing, boosting, and glitching? Do you do it? Do your friends? Sound off in the comments below!


One thought on “Glitches, Cheese, & Boosting: The Ethics of Gaming

  1. It think it only became a problem last gen because of the internet. Before 360/PS3 MOST gamers just played Single Player and they could cheat, or not, and no one knew nor did anyone care. I remember getting magazines as a kid with little books full of cheat codes in them. I also remember seeing (I never got one) some software you could buy that unlocked cheats in some games.

    So I really don’t think anything has changed. Some people will never cheat and play exactly how the game was intended. Other players will cheat away, and at the end of the day, we wouldn’t know if the internet didn’t make gaming so competitive nowadays, even in the single player environment.

    I’ve done all of the things you mentioned throughout my life in some games, and none in others. I can see it both ways. But at the end of the day so long as the person is having fun, what does it matter, single player wise anyway. In Multiplayer if you are using a glitch to abuse people who want to play legitimately then that is an issue because you are killing other peoples fun. It’s a grey area when it comes to MP for sure.

    Achievements/Trophies are a problem in this catagory too because people are so split. Some people don’t want them and will boost them to get them over with. Some people do want them so that they have a reason to play it.

    So, I guess to cut that short, I dont see a problem in Single Player, let people do what they like, (hell speedrunning is hugely popular and some of those use glitches all the time). The Multi Player side of things is where stuff gets grey and I can see it both ways and I really don’t see a situation where everyone is happy.


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