Cheating used to have a lot less consequences, back when accounts weren't shared across hundreds of games. The main risk you had was losing a single account, which probably didn't cost much to begin with. So it's no wonder why like Counter-Strike used to be rife with cheats.
But did you ever cross to the dark side?
I'm asking this for our weekly Tell Us Dammit for a couple of reasons. One, the news about people being raided over GTA cheats - although that's more to do with the sale and distribution of paid cheats, rather than regular users scamming Rockstar for some virtual bucks - means it's fresh on the mind.
Secondly, I played a ton of competitive online games. Or esports, as they're commonly called now. CS, Call of Duty, Starcraft, a bit of Quake on the side, and so on. Do that enough, and you'll run into cheats here and there.
There was an interesting period for a while where people needed to use cheats, if they were on the anti-cheat team. In CS:GO now, you can toggle a button as a spectator to see other players through walls. From an anti-cheat perspective, it's a handy way to quickly see if people are accidentally snapping to enemy models (it can happen when someone accidentally toggles an aimbot on, for instance) or being a little too precise with their wall spams.
That didn't exist back in the day, however. So people needed a very specific cheat to get that functionality for replays. A cheat to catch the cheaters, if you will. I can't think of many other instances where cheating was OK, however.
But I can remember tons of instances of others cheating, particularly if they thought someone else was cheating. They're doing it, so I'm just going to level the playing field, the excuses would go.
Sometimes it was just mucking around in public servers, which people treated as a more harmless act. (It's not an official match, it's not against me, it's not anyone I know, that didn't mean anything, and so on.) Others would do it in pick-up games, which were still largely for fun but had ranked systems. So quite a few instances came up where people would use a cheat for a match or two, make some kind of justification, and then move on.
So with that in mind, I'm curious: have you ever used a cheat in an online game? What was it, what do you remember thinking at the time, and what did you get out of it?