Along the same lines as the wallhack, the maphack is the general term for when a player uses certain software or programming to see beyond the initial limits of a game's map. Many real-time strategy gamers may have run into maphackers before, as it is often used to bypass the "Fog of War" system that is meant to keep certain far-off objects from rendering right away. If you're playing an RTS and you find yourself repeatedly getting blasted by someone way off in the distance, keep this technique in mind.
Short for "extrasensory perception," this hack is a byproduct of the aforementioned wallhacking technique. It allows cheaters to see their enemies' names, health, equipment, or any other type of information that would normally be hidden from a member of the opposing team, from a safe distance. It is often used with an external program, and is unfortunately fairly difficult to recognize by nature.
What's Being Done About It?
Keep in mind that while these are some of the most prominent and troubling methods of cheating out there, they are only a fraction of the ways glitchers can ruin their fellow gamer's sessions.
The good news, though, is that helpful anti-cheating measures are being worked on and rolled out more frequently today than ever before. Companies like Blizzard, id, and Valve are known for implementing cheat-fighting software like Punkbuster and VAC in a variety of their titles, and most games today receive bug-fixing patches that further contribute to the effort.
More innovative ways of dealing with glitchers are also coming to the forefront. For example, developer Rockstar Games recently instituted the "Cheaters Pool" for Max Payne 3, in which any bad sports are forced to play in multiplayer lobbies that solely consist of other cheaters, effectively giving them a taste of their own medicine.
Even still, combating online glitching is a communal effort—one that requires the help of developers and players alike. A greater respect for integrity and fair play certainly goes a long way in cleaning up the general atmosphere of our beloved titles. The recognition that having impressive stats in a video game isn't that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things would probably help too. It's necessary to remember that other people worked hard on these games, and that even more people work hard just to come home and play them.
At the end of the day, online glitching is a very real issue in gaming that, frankly, probably isn't going away any time soon. But knowledge, as the old cliché goes, is power. Articles like this one are only the start. If you think eradicating online cheaters would result in a fairer and more sportsmanlike gaming environment, educate yourself on the issues, and do your part in any way you can.
Date: August 20, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central. This week's is also purely a work of fiction*