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Debugging modes and hacks have existed in video games since their creation. Doing everything from letting you access hidden levels and unfinished content to acquiring rare items and skipping some of the more tedious aspects of gaming. For me they can be used to explore, or break, a game you have beaten, yet for gamers to use them to get an edge there is no greater shame!
If you are one of those gamers who use Action Replay and other methods to aid in beating a game or other people you disgust me! (Actually I have no true ill will against you, but if you got a problem meet me after work/school and we can resolve the issue.) Earlier this week I had a conversation with Alison Rapp via twitter who proudly proclaimed, “Seriously. The most fun I've ever had playing a PKMN game was when I could pick my whole team from the entire 'Dex.” She accomplished this with the help of an Action Replay and after my initial disapproval it got me thinking, hacks and mods are more of a gray area of gaming then a horrible offense.
Besides the obvious code changing advantages you have in game “helpers” such as super jumps in Halo and turbo buttons on some gamepads and arcade sticks. I have to admit I have used both methods to get a tactical advantage against my opponents. It was my own hypocritical ways that made me realize that even though I am highly against moding games and using cheap shortcuts that in some ways we have all used them.
So is Action Replay, custom mods, hacks, etc. a stain on our noble art of gaming or just a different way to enjoy the experience? Should you get angry that someone accomplished the same result in minutes that took you hours to do? Is exposing an in game loophole to achieve victory foul or fair? I still stand that it brings great dishonor to your gamer tag, but how do you feel? Please leave a comment or tweet #gamingethics and let me know how you feel.
O’Dell is a former Game Informer editorial intern and is doing what it takes to make it in life. Part-time bar tender and full time Pokémon Master from Houston, TX with a degree from Texas A&M. Follow him on Twitter. He is a beast.