GCC Cheating
Cheating Flyer

CHEATING

SAVE THE DATE:
Jan 13 2011

Entrance: 18:30
Start: 19.30

CHEATING:

Did you ever want to look through walls or into the future? Be invincible, or let a robot do the work while everyone else is slaving away? In computer games, it’s easy to gain advantage. All you need is a cheat code. Cheating is not just about taking a shortcut to victory, but also about circumventing the rules, breaking them, or redefining them altogether. Cheaters are playing with, not by the rules. Forbidden fruits are always sweeter.

In many single-player games, cheating is not just tolerated but encouraged. Some games can only be completed by using cheats, if completion means finding all the hidden extras, Easter eggs, and in-jokes.

However, if somebody cheats in a multiplayer game to gain advantage over others, this is regarded as dubious or even immoral. The manipulation of game settings and the use of software bots violates notions of fair play, and puts others at a disadvantage. The carefully balanced game design is compromised. And if everyone is cheating, does it even make sense to play the game?

Even worse when the stakes are high. When there’s money on the table, it’s no longer just a question of winning or losing. In pro gaming, cheating has been compared to doping. Game developers and server providers use special software, such as PunkBuster, to keep the cheaters at bay. If they’re caught, they are banned, named and shamed. Their accounts are deleted.

In sports games such as ice hockey or soccer, you might get sent to the bench, or draw a penalty card for a foul. While some infractions of the rules are tolerated, others will result in a ban. This can be used creatively, or even strategically, to gain an advantage in the game. So it might pay off for a player to pretend he’s hurt, to exaggerate his limp.

And what about cheating in real life? Is cheating on your spouse, at an exam, or at you taxes just breaking the rules, or a crime? Criminals and anarchists threaten social order, or the powers that be. But who isn’t guilty of everyday misdemeanours that seem to provide an advantage in real life? Jumping the turnstile, speeding, jaywalking. Don’t pretend you haven’t ever downloaded a movie, or lied to your boss.

Aren’t coffee, sugar, and aspirin a form of doping as well? And wouldn’t it be naïve to assume we could get through the day without cutting some corners? What about hip replacements, then? Pacemakers? Silicon implants?

The rules are changing all the time, so it’s getting harder and harder to tell what’s right or wrong. Who is playing by the rules, and who is cheating. Life is unfair. Do we need a referee?

Funded by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and sponsored by wooga.

Baden Pailthorpe

Artist and media researcher

"Cheating in video games is a sort of creative expression. It’s a gesture of resistance in what is often otherwise a heavily coded and restricted space. It allows you to explore the limits of a game and expose interesting parts of it that were not always meant to be seen. It’s about making the game your own, not just playing it, but playing with it."

Baden Pailthorpe, is an Australian photographer and filmmaker who lives in Paris. He works with screen based technology, photography and video. Baden is artist and gamer at the same time. His subject are technologically created landscapes focusing specifically on first-person-shooter video games. Manipulating in-game-footage he explores artistic strategies in the virtual world. Often program errors or cheating cause anomalies, that Baden exposes in his pieces.The result are strikingly calm views and absurd studies of the digital space. However he points out political issues as well. In his portrait series ‘Other v2.0’ Baden is pointing to the often stereotypical appearance of enemies. Baden is currently continuing his research on the aesthetic of cheating, glitches and resistance in FPSs at the Universite de Paris 8 in France.

Daniel P. Schenk

Storyteller

"Cheating: that is a violation of rules made by a collective to have an adventage. But more interesting is the non-cheater's reaction to it, as it adds meaning to the cheater's behaviour. Especially in online games, played just for fun, some uninvolved might ask: What's the big deal? ... But the meaning of cheating, added by honest gamers (and those who just lost...), is really intense. Cheaters are hated as if the game was real and as if they were a threat for our lives. The question appears, whether cheaters or the people who hate them so much are the one's to make fun of.

Daniel P. Schenk, born 1984 in Kirchheimbolanden, is a German storyteller. For Daniel storytelling is not limited to writing. His output includes video clips, filmmaking, game- and webdesign. Since his childhood he lives for his stories and dedicates all his energy to the realization of his projects. Daniel is not only the creative mastermind. For his film A Gamer’s Day (2005) he worked out almost every technical and aesthetical detail himself. The film also benefits from his expertise in gaming and the gaming scene - a topic that Daniel features also in his mockumentary The Cheat Report (2006). Currently Daniel P. Schenk studies at the SAE Institute in Cologne.

Gavin Bain

Author and musician

"Cheating and the reasons behind it are extremely important in understanding our culture especially in times where the youth have been aptly named by press around the world as ‘The Lost Generation'. Just like lying, not all cheating is wrong. Yes, to cheat on a loved one is wrong, to cheat someone out of money for your own financial gain is wrong, but the moral lines are blurred when your incentive is honourable. My cheat was that of rebellion against a system that I felt needed to be exposed and destroyed. In that regard I have a certain respect for the politically driven hackers of the world."

In 29 years of an unusually colourful life Gavin made and lost hundreds of thousands of pounds, performed over 800 gigs, finished 9 albums amassing 103 songs. He has held down nine jobs, lived for 5 years as 2 people with 2 separate nationalities, personalities and biographies. Gavin Bain has conned 3 major companies and broken thousands of rules in doing so. He has also broken 12 bones, received 60 stitches and been hospitalised 34 times. He has slept with 30 women. Seven of those closest people to him have lost their lives, he has been robbed five times, been in four serious relationships and in love three times. He had overdosed twice and attempted suicide once. Gavin has survived and learned to live by one rule: NEVER GIVE UP. His life's work will always be to inspire people to chase their dreams at all costs because dreams are worth dying for. His autobiography California Schemin'/Straight Outta Scotland/FAKE (Germany) is out now. His music is available here Hopelessheroic.get-ctrl.com

Jasmin Orthbandt

Games Developer

"You cheat yourself out of the fun when cheating!"</ strong>

Born in Berlin, Germany 1968. She came into the Gameindustry as IA Programmer for ParaWorld (SEK / Suflowers). Since then she has got her own Companies pixeltamer.net with C. Orthbandt & C. Pech (white label game development) and ChawaChawa (gaming for a good cause) with K. van Treeck and J. Merkel. Gamer since she was 7 years old; she has got strong views on cheating. She also is an opera actress here at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.