The global video game community has a cheating problem, but not one anyone's really aware of.
I'm not talking about the existence of cheaters. People cheat at video games all the time, either with their own sneaky maneuvers or through cheats you can buy online, and frankly, I don't give two shits about it.
But a not insignificant number of people care deeply about whether cheaters cheat, and that needs to be put to rest.
Today's big cheating scandal involves a fella named Dream who may have cheated in order to beat Minecraft faster while doing a speed run. A group of people claim Dream modified his game in order to beat it quicker, and these people are furious. Like, delusionally furious.
Just how furious are they?
They're so furious, they wrote a 28-page paper, structured and filled with footnotes like a peer-reviewed research paper, discussing their evidence for him having cheated. This paper uses complex formulas, multivariate analysis, and a whole lot of fluffed up jargon to pretend like what they're talking about is important.
But it's not. Whether or not someone cheated at speed running Minecraft does not matter and never will matter. On the totem pole of Things to Care About, Minecraft cheating is buried deep underground below celebrity marriages and TikTok.
Cheaters will always cheat. Making a fuss about them only encourages them to cheat more because it gives them more attention and notoriety. And when it comes to speed running a video game—especially considering this man Dream isn't even claiming to have the no. 1 world record—the truth doesn't matter.
My 1.16 run was just rejected after research due to it being "too unlikely to verify". A video was made by a head mod and Youtuber Geosquare, using my name and clickbaiting "Cheating Speedrunning" in order to get easy views. Definitely a response soon. Total BS!— dream (@dreamwastaken2) December 11, 2020
If they get found out for cheating, then they can have the "Fastest Speed Run Time With Cheats" title and someone else gets the "Fastest Speed Run Time Without Cheats" title and everyone can shut up. And if they never get discovered, then they deserve an award for being that good of a cheater.
Cheating in tournaments where millions of dollars are on the line is a little different. Earlier this year, a 17 year-old kid who'd previously won $3 million at a 2019 Fortnite competition was accused of cheating when he taped together two keys on his keyboard to run faster.
But unless there's millions of dollars on the line, cheating in video games doesn't matter. (Even in tournaments, it only sort of matters.)
I understand cheating can take some of the fun out of gaming for people. But if that's the case, simply don't watch the cheaters. Focus on the goody two shoes and save yourself the time of reading about or thinking about any gamer who cheats.
Cheating in video games is absolutely fine. Whether you're doing it in Call of Duty with friends or alone in Grand Theft Auto.
People spending their precious living hours poring over data to try to prove someone cheated in a Minecraft speed run (again, he's not even claiming to have the world's fastest time, he's just claiming to have one of the fastest times) is not fine.
The people who put together this 28-page research paper are obviously intelligent. Imagine what they could achieve if they applied themselves in a useful capacity. We might have even gotten the vaccine sooner.
Why do I care so much about this to slam words onto a blog post? Because seeing this cheater drama in my gaming news feed is really boring and I'd like it to stop.
In conclusion, cheating = fine / whining about cheating = not fine.