Last week’s stream on December 1st asked the question: What is a time you cheated in a game that you are now ready to talk about? Amidst confessions about family board game shenanigans and the Wordle (and Heardle, and Yeardle, and…), we talked about what “counts” as cheating, how to gaslight your parents–Rummikub edition!–and the Civ Wikia.
Every livestream, we pick a question to ask and a bit of academic reading to weave into our discussion. This time we read chapter 4 of Cheating: Gaining Advantage in Videogames by Mia Consalvo. Consalvo offers a comprehensive overview of different perspectives on cheating, from the “anything you look up externally is a violation” crowd to “you can’t cheat a console, only a human” folks. We delved into the socio-cultural context of being labeled a cheater, why we explain away our violations as justified or reasonable, and how important catharsis and effortful success are to different kinds of players. Following our discussion, we booted up The Sims 3 and created our very own Angus Mol in the game, finally enabling his dream of becoming a…. world-renowned heart surgeon? Who knew step 1 of that career path was being an organ donor? Check out the highlights video below to see us force a burglary, optimize Sim!Angus’s social life, and be ruthless cheating puppetmasters.