""Cheating"" in video games

Final Fantasy 4-2013.08.26-11.48.59

Right now I am doing my first play through of the original Japanese release of Final Fantasy 4 and I thought I would go ahead and take the opportunity to make use of some of the glitches that are available in it. Item duplication, selling blank spots for money, underflowing MP, all of these things are quite possibly defined as "cheating" but make an interesting part of playing a game.

Thinking back to my Magic the Gathering days, there were often situations that would end up being forbidden after a rules change or the banning of a card. Something unintended came up and it was far too unbalancing for proper play of the game. In order to keep the game fresh and alive, these changes had to be made. Until the changes were made, however, they were fair game. By the then-rules, they were allowed. Using these rules was simply playing the game to win. It may have been "less fun" but choosing to ignore them when your opponent could choose to use them was your own risk.

Now, FF4 is probably one of the most re-released Final Fantasy game. It has some changes throughout those versions. Not everything changes like in Magic, but some things do. Some glitches are gone in newer releases. Since the game is just a single player game, one is kind of only competing against themselves. Until we bring in speed running where some people on the Internet are getting mad about this ""cheating"".

Yet like most things, it comes down to people being very vocal about something they do not understand at all. There are categories where the cheating is allowed, there are categories where it is not. Those actually behind speed running put actual thought and time into making something that can become competitive and stay fair. Even when "cheating" is part of the equation.

I really respect that.

And it makes me think of all the times I had gone stupid-wild on the Internet. And how often did I actually know what I was talking about? How often was I just going in assuming everything I ""knew"" was correct and waste everyone's time by not actually sitting down and reading up on something before I spoke with my heart? Not only was I refusing to help myself win, I was refusing to help myself grow.