Cheating and resisting empire in the age of interactive media
The aim of this paper is to show how cheating at computer games can help to reveal the media infrastructures from which they distract. Scholarship in game studies has generally focused on understanding games as objects with representational, mechanical, and narrative qualities or understanding players as subjects with unique and relatable desires. In both cases, the game-object is granted an aura of sorts. It is either scrutinized for what it represents, or it is analyzed as the object of player desire. Within this space, the potential for learning about the deeply personal and embodied technicity of play is lost. Cheating helps to show how conversations about games are deeply relevant to our everyday social, political, and cultural lives. Moreover, it helps to reveal what we might be distracted from when caught up in the ecstatic feedback-loop of gameplay.