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  1. This is not a unique phenomenon to this game, but it is something I have seen a few times so far in the threads on this forum, so I figured I would address it here. I've been a gamer for literally DECADES. I'm 42 years old and witnessed the rise and upsurge of the internet, and especially internet gaming. I was playing Warcraft 2 competitively over an IPX/SPX to TCP/IP converter program way back in 1993... I started playing Ultima Online the week it was released, and played it for years. I played Counter-Strike when it was in version 1.5... then 1.6, then Source, then CS:GO... My steam account has a 15 years badge. I played World of Warcraft since Vanilla... all the way up until this past April when I finally quit for good. In all of these gaming experiences, I have experienced what I would call "hackers and slackers". We all know what hackers are, but what are "slackers"? The best way I can describe it is... teammates who would screw up and lose the game for your team, because they didn't care enough to try, or because they were literally just having fun in their own way that ran counter to the purpose of the rest of the team. (Intentional team killing because they thought it was funny, for example...) The point is, hackers and slackers always pissed me off. As a raid leader, with a team of 10, or a team of 25, I would be responsible for the fun of those other 9 or 24 people... and inevitably there would be ONE GUY who would screw things up for the rest, and I would either have to counsel them, train them to be better, or cut them from the team. The inevitable drama from all of this almost ALWAYS had someone saying that phrase that is the topic of this thread. "Dude, why you stressin'? It's JUST a GAME!" The same thing applies to games where we would encounter hackers. OF COURSE it pissed me off! OF COURSE it angered me to be cheated. But then you have those very same types of people... the "git gud" types... the deliberately contrarian types... the ones who have zero capacity for empathy, and who just simple "Don't Get It™"... "Dude, why you stressin'? It's JUST a GAME!" Sorry, but NO. It's not "just a game". To use the word "just" means to say "only" as in... 100% game, 0% anything else. It's not. All I need to do to prove that it's not, is to show how it is at least somewhat ANYTHING else but... It's my time. It's my precious and limited time, where I get to try to enjoy myself playing a game. That's just ONE of the things that these activities are OTHER THAN being "JUST a game". My point here is... we're not mad at the cheaters for winning. We're not mad at the cheaters for beating us in the game. Speaking for myself personally, I'm mad at the cheaters for WASTING MY TIME. I play games for my own reasons; for my own purposes... some of it is to challenge myself... some of it is because I like the social aspects of teamwork... there's probably many other reasons that would take a VERY long time to explain. Suffice to say, hackers and slackers ruin ALL of that when they prevent the game from being played in the manner it was intended, on the level playing field that the game developers have tried to create. They ruin the gaming experience. And thus they are taking my time that I have INVESTED in my leisure, and they have stolen it... deprived me of it... ripped it away from me as if they own it. I take that personally, and I hate the people that do it. And the only reason they really get away with it is because of the anonymity of the internet. Trust me, if they could be easily identified and confronted in public, they'd be getting their asses kicked by so many people, they'd need to enter witness protection just to save their sorry hides from further beatdowns. And they know that this is the dynamic they are operating in. To most hackers and slackers, the people on the other side of that internet connection aren't real people. These people are sociopaths that lack any empathy at all for the harm they are causing to others. They see the avatars on the screen, but they don't see THROUGH them the way they see through walls to know where they are. They see an avatar, and don't connect the mental dots to understand that behind that avatar is someone at a computer, trying to have a little fun before they have to put their kids to bed for the night, who is just trying to unwind from a long day at work... they don't SEE that the person controlling that avatar is a human worthy of any respect... They just see the avatar. And those of you who say "It's JUST a GAME"... you're just as sociopathic as they are. I don't say this to slam on you or bash you... I say this to identify for you what your blind spot is, so maybe you can recognize it intellectually... because sociopaths do not recognize things like this emotionally. It's NOT "just a game"... It's more than that. And real harm is caused when you cheat.
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