If I were to give 2020 the Chinese zodiac treatment, it would be The Year of the Cheater. In fact, it has been so rampant this year across so many titles that I decided to write my first poem on the matter, in the style of my favorite poet: Dr. Seuss.

Cheaters here

Cheaters there

Cheaters cheaters everywhere

Some are tall

Some are fat

But all can suck my fucking dick

Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all week.

I started the year by playing an unhealthy amount of Escape From Tarkov, and ultra-realistic raid-based first-person shooter where if you die, you lose all of your gear and guns you took into that raid. But on the flip side, if you kill other players, you can take their loot, escape the raid, and now it all belongs to you. I found over the 1000 hours I poured into Tarkov in the first half of the year that type of “high stakes-high reward” system is extremely addicting.

That is…until I found there was a fuck ton of cheaters in that game.

That’s when it went from fun to rage-inducing. Imagine spending a ton of your hard-earned in-game money on a bunch of expensive gear, modding your perfect gun, and loading into a raid just to get headshot by a rat bastard using dogshit with an aimbot or wallhack. It’s fucking infuriating.

Now here’s the deal: Battlestate Games, the team behind Escape From Tarkov, gets a bit of a pass for me. They have been developing this game (which is still technically in early access) for over 3 years now and they have developed EVERYTHING themselves. The game, the anti-cheat, the servers; everything. And that game boomed in success at the end of 2019 so they had literally no time to react to the flood of players that basically destroyed the games servers and anti-cheat systems. I mean, in February of this year it took over 15 minutes to load into a match during peak times because there were so many people playing the game. Those guys had their hand plenty full and I think nowadays that most of the cheaters are gone due to the changes they implemented this summer.

Activision on the other hand, you have literally zero excuse for this shit.

Let’s put this in perspective: Battlestate Games has been around since 2017 and has one title in early access that they’ve been working on for 3 years straight. Meanwhile, Activision has been making Call of Duty titles since 2003 which, in “2020 time”, equates to ONE BILLION YEARS AND YOU CANNOT FIGURE OUT HOW TO MAKE ANTICHEAT???

Like this is absolutely ridiculous. You have a multi-billion dollar franchise that has millions of players every year and you can’t figure out how to implement something that has been in PC games for years? Did you launch a free-to-play battle royale WITHOUT basically any anti-cheat system whatsoever? It’s psychotic. It ruins the game. No one wants to spend 20-30 minutes playing a battle royale just to get beamed straight in the nostril by some low life scumbag who’s hiding 100 meters under the map spinning in circles like he just pulled off the most insane no scope of all time. Like dude, no one thinks you’re cool.

And it gets even worse when you see that more and more people are jumping on the cheating bandwagon. I legit think I’ve seen more cheaters online in 2020 across multiple titles than ever before in gaming history.

Fuck, even Fall Guys had cheaters for its first month! FALL GUYS! A FAMILY GAME MEANT ENTIRELY FOR FUN!

And again, Fall Guys was not prepared for the enormous amount of mouthbreathing assholes that flooded that game and ruined the fun for everyone. They’re a small indie studio that honestly should have had no reason to think that people would stoop to that low of a level to ruin their new game for everyone else.

Even the eSports scene has been corrupted by numerous cheating scandals this year. CS:GO basically banned everyone on earth for cheating, Fortnite banned a ton of tweenie boppers for collusion, and the Call of Duty League had numerous exploits and rumors of cheaters using stuff like the Cronus mod. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I mean, no wonder companies like Riot and Bethesda are rolling out anti-cheat systems that access the core of your computer. I know there’s alot of blowback on those systems because they can compromise your privacy and honestly, I’m not 100% comfortable with it either. But I feel like we’re at the point where we have to choose the lesser of two evils now: give gaming companies (and their parents) more and more access to your PC or deal with lobby after lobby of scumbags.

And I love how every single scumbag is like “oh well I didn’t use to cheat but I got so sick of losing to cheaters that I said fuck it and joined them.” Like literally every hacker or cheater this year that has been interviewed has used that excuse. Sorry, I didn’t realize the only way to fix cheating is to…start cheating.

You know how we fix cheating? By returning to medieval styles of punishment. You want to steal? Good, if we catch you we’re gonna cut off your hands so you can never do it again. Lie? We’ll cut out your tongue. Commit adultery? We’ll castrate you. And all of this was done publically to remind everyone of the penalty for committing these crimes.

Now am I suggesting that we gouge out the eyes and cut off the hands of every single cheater caught? No. That’s a Ludacris idea. But I have a similar idea: IP ban their account (and all accounts on that IP) from using hosting platforms like Steam, Battle.net, and Epic Games. Not just for the game that they are cheating on, for everything. If you choose to cheat in our game, you lose access to ALL of your games in your library for those services. Can you imagine little Timmy crying to his dad for a month because he can’t play the new Spongebob Squarepants game because his dad cheated in Fall Guys? That right there is torture that is no man desires.

Will people work around this by creating new accounts and using VPNs? Absolutely. But every time they do that, they lose money because they have to buy all their shit all over again. Cheaters are only going to do that so many times until they give up and each time they just keep giving companies their money. I’m still working on a plan for free-to-play games but I’m telling you, this will work for everything else.

Boom, I just solved cheating. Vote for Nerd 2020.