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Decades ago, cheating in video games was acceptable, if not encouraged. Entering secret codes would give you infinite lives, giant heads, or free tanks from the Heavens. It was harmless fun. However, once games became shared experiences, cheating suddenly wasn't so cute. No one wants to play games with an unkillable, giant-headed asshole with unlimited tanks. So developers found ways to prevent cheating. Some were obvious, like banning users. Others were more creative. Here are some of the hilarious ways video games punished cheaters.

Ark: Survival Evolved Encourages Vigilante Justice

Studio Wildcard

Ark is basically Minecraft with graphics and dinosaurs. The only thing about the idea that isn't perfect is how you share that awesome world with this world's douchebags. One player who called himself Ricky had earned a reputation for being a racist dickbag. In a land of giant beasts, he spent his time calling people the n-word, but that's the only thing he had in common with Hulk Hogan. So a group of players banded together and locked Ricky's imaginary character in an imaginary shack.

Studio Wildcard
In a land of savage dino murder, there is only one crime: being a shithead.

If you're not familiar with this particular game, you maybe asked, "So what?" If you're familiar with video games in general, you maybe asked, "Couldn't he just ... die and respawn? Hack ... the DDOS RPG? I'm sorry, I don't know as much about games as I led you to believe during the start of this hypothetical." Great point! Well, Ricky couldn't exactly kill himself. Your character in Ark does not have a self-destruct button. You can kill yourself by eating your own shit (seriously), though Ricky wasn't clever enough to try this. Instead, he started punching the walls, hoping to die of hand trauma.

Strangely enough, the designers of Ark created a way to prevent your prisoner from committing suicide. Other players can knock you unconscious and then do whatever they want to your sleeping body. That means two things: We just pinged Bill Cosby's favorite Google alert, and other players can force-feed you to keep you alive. So that's what other players did. If he came too close to dying inside his tiny box, someone jammed food into him until he was healthy again. He was once a racist dinosaur fighter. Now he was an imaginary, suicidal veal calf.

Studio Wildcard
"W-wait! No one told me there would be consequences to being a little bitc-zzzzzzzzzz."

Ricky would wake up and try to kill himself and the cycle would begin again. How long did this last? Ten hours. So if you felt guilty for sitting down and binge-watching an entire season of New Girl, relax. While you did that, a shitty guy was at his computer, screaming to be let out of a box while his mouth was revenge-fucked by imaginary food. It's as if two geniuses worked separately to create the most boring and the most torturous activities of all time, then decided to combine their ideas.

And here's what's crazy -- this wasn't a group of wildly inventive hackers exploiting some glitch in the game. The game's FAQ basically includes instructions on how to do exactly this.

Ark: Survival Evolved FAQ
"Dr. Cosby, can you explain these video game design documents we found on your computer?"

The story even has a happy ending. The punishment worked. After they set Ricky free, he joined their clan and they now they play video games together, presumably while he does not call them n-words.

Animal Crossing Will Filibuster Your Life If You Try To Cheat


Animal Crossing is a bizarrely likable game about catching butterflies, planting flowers, and buying toilets in a town of animals. Like a chore simulator set on Dr. Moreau's island. But despite the kid-friendly aesthetic, the game takes itself pretty seriously. If you attempt to cheat, the game will belligerently waste minutes of your life.

Most gamers understand how to use save files to experiment with or exploit a video game. For instance, you save your game, try something crazy, then reset if it didn't work. Animal Crossing fucking hates it when you do that. If it detects you've been messing around with the save file, a mole named, sigh, Resetti greets you when you come back and lectures you about your rudeness. Which seems only fair since it's his chronosphere you're tearing apart.

Damn. Calling a Nintendo fan a "thumb-sucking twerp" is when you drop the mic!

Resetti starts with a polite warning about how bad resetting is, but he becomes increasingly angry and frustrated as you do it. He'll even try to trick you, letting you think he's done and then starting in on you again. It's pointlessly abusive. It's like someone at Nintendo told his wife he'd make her a character in his video game, only she's an awful bitch and he's a passive-aggressive dick. At one point Resetti forces you to actually type out a goddamn apology before he will go away.


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Capcom Forces Awful People To Play With Other Awful People


Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 is a frantic fighting game pitting Marvel's greatest heroes against Capcom's most obscure video game references. The franchise had been dead for about a decade, mostly because fighting games became 3D and unpopular in that order. Because of the long absence, in 2011, MVC3 became the franchise's first attempt at online play. It didn't go well.

It did as well as karate does against a superhero with six knives for hands.

One problem was the gameplay itself. Marvel Vs. Capcom designed its gameplay after 20 cats in a sack of neon paint and methamphetamines, so any bit of Internet lag was going to ruin the whole thing. The main problem, however, came from their ranking system. The game kept track of all your online wins and losses. If you're a problem-solving genius, you just thought, "If I'm getting optic-blasted into bits, can I simply disconnect from the Internet and keep the loss off my record?" Yes. You absolutely can. You know who else thought of that? Everyone. Including the game's developers.

"My turn."

When you ducked out of a game early, Capcom secretly kept track of it. Obviously, Internet connections go out and enraged mothers pull power cords, but when your disconnection numbers started to get suspicious, you were put on a special server -- a server populated by people exactly like you. The only opponents you faced were as likely to rage-quit as you were. Two opponents who were both determined to flip the table over before they lost. You know, if casting agents needed to find the tiniest penis in the world, this is exactly how they would do it.

It was the perfect punishment. If you quit before you can lose, you get stuck in a world of clumsy irony where all your opponents quit before you can win. It's like some kind of terrible Shuma-Gorath plot to find a vessel for his hate from his home dimension of Crom.

Marvel vs. Capcom wiki
"You know, the Marvel character Shuma-Gorath? Star of Marvel Vs. Capcom? Shuma-Gorath! COME ON!"

Banjo-Kazooie's Villain Will Destroy Your Progress If You Cheat


Like most games of the late '90s, Banjo-Kazooie came with some secret cheat codes for things like infinite lives. But it also came with an extra feature that could detect if you were reaaaally cheating. If you hooked your cartridge into something like a GameShark (a hacky third-party device that modified video games), Banjo knew. He knew! If you entered a cheat code that wasn't an official cheat code, the game's witch villain appeared and threatened to erase your save game.


Gamers don't really believe what NPCs tell them. They're badly translated, pointlessly nag you to hurry while you're looking for collectibles, and speak in stupid riddles. So most people ignored the witch's threats. But if you kept inputting cheat codes, a mole would appear to let you know: "No, REALLY, we are going to wipe the data off your cartridge."

"I'm telling you you're in danger! Why aren't you listening!? What are you, a cop in a Terminator movie?"

He gives you a prompt: Press A to continue and be an idiot or B to walk away from your cheating lifestyle. If you press A, Grunty keeps her promise and straight-up deletes your game:

Wait, they were serious!? SHIT!

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H1Z1 Forces Cheaters To Publicly Apologize

Daybreak Game Company

H1Z1 might sound like a space ketchup, but it's an open-world crafting MMO with zombies, because there aren't enough of those right now. And like every massively multiplayer game that has ever been released, players instantly found exploits, cheats, and loopholes. They were shooting through walls, becoming invincible, and getting unlimited ammo -- which made it decidedly unfun for the people not doing that.

Unsurprisingly, the developers banned everyone using these exploits (it was faster than fixing them). In total, 30,000 players were banned, which means their community manager was deadlier to the world's population than all the zombies put together. Some of the players obviously wanted to come back, and the head developer took to Twitter to say he would let them play again on one condition:

"I'm afraid watching hundreds of videos of children begging is the only way I can get an erection.
You do not want to know how much research it took to discover this."

Yep, all you have to do is just say sorry and you'll be let back in. And, for some reason, it had to be a video apology -- everyone knows email apologies can be faked. It seems needlessly complicated, but still not much of a hassle. Except maybe for the person sincerity-checking tens of thousands of YouTube apology videos. Well, luckily, only three people made a video. The other 29,997 people presumably played one of the 50 games exactly like it, not lorded over by a tyrant.

Daybreak Game Company
Must ... resist ... same old shit!

The few videos complained about the money they had spent and justified their cheating by saying everyone else was doing it. It's a weak excuse in the real world, and maybe just as weak inside a fake zombie one. Still, it was the same thing every banned player was saying: "Only a chump plays it straight in a bent world." They were so unapologetic and pathetic you almost wanted to side with the guy who took their video games away. That changed quickly.

The developers had no sympathy for the cheaters and actually uploaded a video of their own, mocking all the shitty excuses they were given.

The point is, this story has no winners. A poorly made game was exploited by poorly made humans and now everyone hates each other. Not everything has a happy ending.

GTA V Battles Cheaters With Dunce Hats And Car Bombs

Rockstar Games

Like Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, Grand Theft Auto has a dedicated server for bad sports. That is, any player who intentionally disrupts the game, which requires an impressive amount of shitheadery in a game about crime, murder, and torture.

If you get enough players to complain about you, blow up enough of their personal cars, and rage-quit out of enough group missions, the game might decide you're a bad sport. But they don't throw all the terrible people on an island for a few days and stop there. They also glue a dunce cap to your head.

Rockstar Games
"Yo, I'm serving 48 hours of hard dunce cap, dawg!"

Another thing Grand Theft Auto Online does is punish you for stealing cars, which seems strange. It's like punishing a World Of Warcraft player for getting diabetes -- isn't that the entire point of the game? Well, in GTA, there's a secret way to take the sweet car you purchased with all your easy single-player money and glitch it into online mode. But if you try it, here's what happens:

Rockstar Games

The game knows if you've cheated the system and installs a car bomb inside your ill-gotten gains, which instantly murdersplodes you. This takes your life, money, and honor, giving you a harsh lesson in fair play while also helping you understand what it must be like to be one of the game's prostitutes.

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Witcher 3 Attacks Cheaters With An Unstoppable Cow Monster

CD Projekt RED

Getting money in Witcher 3 isn't exactly easy. But some clever players discovered a get-rich-quick scheme: cow murder. At the start of the game, it's easy to find cows and even easier to kill them. No one seems to mind, and they drop sweet, valuable leather. They also magically reappear after one hour of Witcher time. So when the game was released, you could slaughter a herd of cows, skip an hour forward in time, and repeat until you controlled the world's textile market. It was certainly traumatizing for those immortal cows, but if innovators worried about the feelings of cows, we never would have discovered the Big Mac.

Unfortunately for any Witcher 3 players trying to build their fortune on cow murder, the game has been updated to include something called the Bovine Defense Force Initiative. This is not an armed patrol protecting livestock from magical cattle raiders. The Bovine Defense Force Initiative summons the God of Cows to tear you apart.

CD Projekt RED

To make things extra crazy, they don't stop. Killing one cow monster causes another one to stampede in from its nearby cow dimension. They are like a supersized value meal -- they are limitless and destructive, and though at first they seem easy to deal with, no man can stand against them forever.

CD Projekt RED
"Endless ... beef. Your life is ... n-now endless beef. Ack!"

Game developers gots jokes, son. Like the dudes who hid a racy joke hidden in Super Mario RPG. See what we mean in 21 Video Game Easter Eggs You Won't Believe Are Real. Or check out which game the Death Star appears in to punish you in 5 Hilariously Elaborate Ways Video Games Punished Cheaters.

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