Why do we buy HotHardware? The answer is always to play games. You don't need to overclock and cool to use Microsoft Word. We want to go places and kill things. But as the worlds we wander through with our weapons have gravitated online, and involve thousands of other players worldwide, cheating at gaming has morphed from a harmless personal vice to a sort of crime. Slate has an interesting look at how this cheating at video games has turned from silly fun into a lucrative business.
So, where does gameplay end and cheating begin? Given that virtual property now has real-world value, it's no longer just an idle question for gaming geeks. These days, there's enough nerdy talk about social contracts, democracy, and deontology in games to wear out a Lyceum. Much of it centers on the ethos of the gamer, who by nature—and indeed by nurture—is a subversive creature. He hunts for shortcuts and trapdoors. He looks for ways to bend the rules. It has been this way for as long as mischievous designers have written software for rebellious kids. Which is to say: forever. Or nearly so.
My, we've come a long way since our 486 chip running Doom in DOS, and typing in GODMODE so we could walk through the walls. But we don't really need more rules to deal with "gold farmers," people who play the game to accumulate stuff and sell it to lazy players. Get together online, identify the gold farmers, then hunt them down in your virtual world and kill them. It's probably more fun than the regular game is anyway.