PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has been in the news lately for a rather big reason. As those playing may know, it isn’t unusual to see cheaters in the game. It happens. People buy cheat software, use it to get an edge, and the next thing you know, no one is legitimately enjoying a chicken dinner they earned. But that is not the crazy part. The crazy part is, in China arrests are being made.
Tencent, the company working as the Chinese publisher, and the police have been busting up underground cheating rings. Over 120 people have been arrested, with that number growing. These people could be looking at jail time for cheating in a video game. Is that going overboard? Is it insane? Could it be taking punishment for such actions too far?
First, we have to remember that these aren’t ordinary people cheating. These are people who are actually making the cheat software. They are violating terms and conditions of the games. They make ruining games a business. It is a group of people who willingly and knowingly do such things in the name of making a profit off of PUBG Corporation and Tencent’s hard work. There absolutely should be repercussions.
It can definitely be seen as tyrannical. While making cheats is a serious offense and deserves punishment, jail time might be a bit too harsh in this situation. The law should be used in such situations. But, it should be done in a way that uses it to address the issue while not going overboard. The courts are the proper place for such actions. Send out cease and desist notices. Sue for money lost. Use the law to seek appropriate punishments.
But then, this is another country and they do have their own laws and ways of doing things. PUBG is not the only game where the cheaters are found, arrested, and jailed. CS:GO cheaters are regularly arrested and jailed. In one instance, a cheater faces 15 year jail sentence. Different countries handle things in different ways. It is extreme, but China is known for making cheating on exams a criminal offense too.
It seems like a situation where there can and should be a sense of balance. Okay, maybe have the cops there to shut the cheating operation down as suits are filed. Go through the courts to try and set things right. Then, if the judgment is not being paid or the cheat maker immediately goes back to their old ways, bring down the hammer. At that point, make jail an option.
We don’t want those sorts of cheaters in our games. PUBG is a major multiplayer title. It isn’t like other, single player games where cheating is a victimless crime. Here, a lot of people get hurt, ranging from players to the game’s creators. Something should absolutely be done about people who are creating such software, but it seems like folks shouldn’t get overzealous when it comes to pursuing justice. A little tact and moderation should be applied.