The main purpose of this article is to evaluate the ethics of cheat codes to decide whether this is something that we want to promote in this society. So first what are cheat codes? Well for the purposes of this exposition I will define a cheat code as any sort of input that one can use in a video game whether it be on a computer or a dedicated gaming system, in order to advance further than they would normally in the game by their own skill. These codes will advance them to new levels, or give them better equipment whether it be a vehicle or a weapon that will help them (give them a better chance) to beat the level or the game depending on what the code is.

How do people get cheat codes? Well depending on your definition, some cheat codes are built into the game. Others are sold on the internet by the company that produced the game, and others are found in publications that are put out by the video gaming industry as yet another source of revenue for an already fantastically successful mogul in entertainment.

Are they ethical? Well, they are called cheat codes and the name seems to confer an unethical method to be successful in a game. They are allowing you to get beyond the place that you deserve to get according to your skill and therefore are not teaching the valuable lesson of hard work equaling reward. One might argue that it is just another reflection of society’s addiction to instant gratification. However, since they are actually produced by the programmers of the game and sold for revenue by them one can hardly call their use unethical by the standard of morality that condemns the use of something if it hurts another. It really is hurting no one at all.

I, therefore, propose that cheat codes no longer be called that but rather bonus secret codes. This still gives them the mystique that is critical for their marketing and no longer makes the player feel good about something that at least in the name is wrong. There is no problem with people marketing and desiring these codes and actually, it can often make the game interesting when you come to a standstill and need to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My other point is that video games aren’t necessarily good for the mind and if a cheat code causes the game to take less time to play then I am all for it.