Cheating or innovation?

A rather unsettling revelation hit me recently. I am a hypocrite.  Or am I really though?  You see, I think I cheated recently…but I prefer to call it ‘innovation’.  Embarrassingly enough it wasn’t during a hellish FPS or a frenetic RTS, or even a four way Worms slaughter.  It was Buku Sudoku.  Yes, you can all point and laugh but I don’t care.

And yes, I did feel the need to cheat because I was too impatient to realise that there was a far easier way of getting the ‘Too Fast’ achievement.  In order to solve the puzzle in the stupid time limit and after many obscenities, I cunningly switched tactics.  I used my digital camera to photograph the grid off the telly.  I then paused the game so that I could work it out on paper and then un-pause and input the answers.  And I still couldn’t get them all in in time.  After several attempts and an embarrassing explanation when the o/h asked just what the hell I was doing, I realised I could simply switch to the advanced fast controls and use the auto-pencil thing.  All this for 20 gamer points.


Sad though it may be, I was very chuffed with myself -  until the dark cloud started to spread when I thought of the tuts about cheating that I had levied at my father.  The man that got me into gaming with my first Speccy and a copy of Booty and Chuckie Egg, sadly rarely ever games any more, but when he does, he may as well not.  He is utterly shameless.

My case in point: after much convincing and nagging, I persuaded him to play Commandos for the PC – a game I love and have been playing on and off for years and years, but never completed due to save game errors, lost files, computer changes, and bone-idleness.  “Give it a go”, I said, you’ll love it.  “It’s quite hard”, I told him, but it’s war stuff and you can cut people’s throats and hide in the snow etc.  Interest was piqued and he grudgingly relented.  I sat back and smiled at the sounds of gunfire and various ‘Guten Tags’ emanating from his room for several evenings before deciding to see how he was getting on.

Me - “How you doing?”
Him - “I’m on that level where you have to assassinate that bloke.”  I freeze.
Me - “Erm…what?!”
Him - “Yeah, it’s a bit of a bastard.”

That’s the level I’m on.  Me.  After years of on/off play.  How could this be? I panic.  He isn’t even much of a gamer and has the attention span of a concussed goldfish.  Like discovering a squishy blister, I just couldn’t leave it alone.

Me - “How the hell did you manage to get that far.”  I try to hide my incredulity.  Am I such a crap gamer that he is outstripping me?
Him - “I used a cheat that gave me infinite sniper bullets.”  He announces, supremely pleased with himself.  I nearly choke.
Me - “What?  But you can’t do that!  It’s cheating.”
Him - “Well I did.”
Me - “But it’s cheating.”
Him - “So?” Looks more pleased.

I don’t believe him.  I shake my head and walk away, suddenly remembering why I don’t buy him games anymore.  I’d never do anything like that, I puff to myself. I feel slightly miffed that the strategising required had been so gleefully trampled over and that he was so chuffed with himself.  So was I the other night though, and there lies the rub.


Commandos doesn’t have gamerpoints and those twisted little numbers do strange things to the lines we have drawn for ourselves sometimes.  Clutching my camera in my fist two nights ago, surrounded by scribbled grids, and trying to solve the last few numbers on Buku Sudoko, I suddenly realised…I am just like him.  A dirty cheater.  But wait…no, hang on.  No, I won’t and can’t accept that.  Innovator.  Yes, a dirty innovator.  I still hold myself away from his level by a desperate thread though, so I guess that makes me a hypocrite too.

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