Questions You Should be Asking the World Around You
Every big title comes with anti cheat software and anti piracy software. These programs scan for minute changes in the game directory files such as file names, file sizes, and file hashes. Some of the more invasive ones run in real time, meaning that they don’t just scan your hard drive on startup, they actively scan your system while playing the game. Here’s a very simple explanation of how this happens.
There’s a program out there called cheat engine. People use it to modify active processes to give themselves advantages in online games. Things such as extra health, extra money, free loot, etc. Now obviously video game companies crack down on cheaters wherever they are found, but they do it in very scummy and very petty ways.
Even if you don’t have cheat engine installed on your system, they will mark you and flag you as if you had committed the crime. Often times this leads to 30 day suspensions, and in the rare cases where players get belligerent: permanent bans.
Type in “cheat engine” on Google,
Your browser will automatically give itself a sub-classification and it will start calling itself “cheat engine- Google search.”
This shows up in the system processes with the sub-classification fully intact.
And because the game actively scans memory processes, it sees the words “cheat engine,” and it flags you. Notice that you didn’t even cheat! You merely looked up the words “cheat engine” on Google and you were instantly flagged for cheating!
Skeptics might say that these anti-cheat protocols merely scan for dubious active processes, but you have to think, if the player has entered a monetary contract with the game company, the game company will need evidence of cheating to keep itself out of legal troubles. And the only way to do that is to collect data on the player and to have it “phone home” so to speak.
They’re not just passively gatekeeping your favorite games from being ruined by trolls and delinquents, they’re actually watching what sites you visit and who you talk to on the internet.
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