I used to be a cheater. Fortunately, not the kind one could get in trouble over, but it was something I practiced occasionally, nonetheless. Okay, by occasionally, I mean quite a bit more than occasionally. In fact, I used to do it all the time.
I know, I’m a bad person.
You see, I used to cheat a good deal in my video games. Whenever anything was remotely difficult or took any effort whatsoever, I would go on the Internet and look up what I needed to do, and the only thing that kept me from cheating as much as I wanted to was the fact that I wasn’t so good at using the Internet back then. I didn’t know that the best term to look for was “walkthrough” rather than “cheats”, and so I rarely found a thing and was, thus, still forced to fend for myself most of the time. But, boy, did I want to cheat, and yet, whenever I managed it, it almost always ruined the experience.
Not only can you run into spoilers when you cheat, but it can take the satisfaction out of a game when you have a guide holding your hand the whole way through. I could rarely ever get through a full game without cheating on something, and oftentimes, I found that the location I couldn’t get through, or the item I couldn’t procure, or the boss I couldn’t beat…well, if I had just put just a teensy bit more effort into it, I could have easily done it on my own, without help from anyone. But, as much as I told myself this, it still didn’t erase the fact that I didn’t do it on my own. In actuality, I had gotten help, and I wondered if all the games I had finished really counted when it was not done by my skill level alone.
As the years went by, I found myself needing to cheat less and less, and I now rarely cheat at all anymore, and it occurred to me one day that I was finishing nearly every game I had without one peek at a walkthrough. It was a freeing revelation, to find I had beaten all these games through my talent and my talent alone. Sure, I did cheat every now and then when something was really tough, but these moments were few and far between.
And then, something happened. Now that time has become rather scarce for me lately, I have started cheating again, not because I am unable to get through the game myself, but because it’s faster to cheat. With less time for gaming, I don’t have the time to waste wandering around somewhere looking for the key or being annihilated by a boss a dozen times until I learn the perfect strategy. And while I regret this new, hurried approach to gaming, I still do it.
And I really wish I didn’t. I’ve always been the kind of person that rushed through things, whether it ruined the experience or not, but now I’ve gotten more impatient than ever, and it makes me worry a little that I’ll start ruining my gaming experience even more than the shortage of time will.
As I said, games are far more satisfying for me when I figure them out on my own. Some of my best gaming moments were when I figured out how to beat tough bosses myself or was able to solve a baffling puzzle. That’s why I love “The Legend of Zelda” series so much because of those puzzles and the immense satisfaction I get for solving the difficult ones. Now think of how fun those games would be if I cheated through everything that took any actual thought. The mere notion of such a thing is enough to send chills down my spine.
I can’t let a time shortage take the fun away from my gaming. I simply mustn’t allow it. Nay, I shan’t succumb to such a fate, and so I must resist the urge to cheat whenever possible. But, what about you, dear readers? Are you…cheaters, too?
The Duck’s a Cheater-Cheater Sandwich-Eater