Explaining The Gaming Community’s Newest Joke About Cheating

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The discourse on the internet has been seemingly inescapable the last few weeks, no matter how hard you try. People are arguing about easy modes and accessibility options and games that are hard for hard’s sake and games that are hard to evoke certain feelings and general overall mess of people talking past each other. It has also spawned a joke that the gaming community and even the industry is now pursuing for laughs.

It started with a PC Gamer article in which the author explained that they used cheating software for Sekiro’s final boss and don’t regret it. As far as takes go, it’s fairly benign; Sekiro is a single-player game, the final boss is infamously difficult, what someone does with their own software in a non-competitive setting is their own business. When the article was posted on Twitter, one user took extreme exception to this idea and replied to PC Gamer to verbalize their umbrage. 

“You cheated not only the game, but yourself,” the user wrote with line breaks separating every sentence. “You didn’t grow. You didn’t improve. You took a shortcut and gained nothing. You experienced a hollow victory. Nothing was risked and nothing was gained. It’s sad that you don’t know the difference.”

It is an objectively strange response to, well, anything, and is acting as an overflowing torrent of drama to a fairly impassive argument. The tweet was then quote-tweeted over and over for more dunks than a donut chain as people mocked the unintended farcical nature of the quote. As in all things, of course this let people play with it a little bit creatively.

Koopa the Quick only respects REAL gamers. pic.twitter.com/AtK0B9gUQ2

— 心の怪盗Don (@skittflash) April 7, 2019

pic.twitter.com/7ypmyuwOdi

— Akfamilyhome (@akfamilyhomeak) April 8, 2019

Not here too 😔 pic.twitter.com/M19r0JlpBC

— 💐🏳️‍🌈Lulu🏳️‍🌈💐🍔💪 (@luulubuu) April 8, 2019

pic.twitter.com/pOx7zpNXxJ

— The Secret World of Alex Yiik (@sebmal) April 8, 2019

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.

You didn’t grow.
You didn’t improve.
You took a shortcut and gained nothing.

You experienced a hollow victory.
Nothing was risked and nothing was gained.

It’s sad that you don’t know the difference. pic.twitter.com/YeTTvnmEXi

— Mark Doherty (@dohertymark) April 8, 2019

pic.twitter.com/kdjINC6z4L

— Crushed (@silenttakedown) April 8, 2019

It wasn’t long before official companies starting getting in on it themselves. Sega was more than happy to take part.

pic.twitter.com/nCNBfi6hSP

— Sonic the Hedgehog (@sonic_hedgehog) April 9, 2019

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.

You didn’t grow.
You didn’t improve.
You took a shortcut and gained nothing.

You experienced a hollow victory.
Nothing was risked and nothing was gained.

It’s sad that you don’t know the difference. pic.twitter.com/8nHKyDwfc5

— SEGA Europe (@europe_sega) April 9, 2019

pic.twitter.com/Urpf5bkMLY

— Devolver Digital (@devolverdigital) April 7, 2019

While this is all pretty funny and clever and lots of people, including myself, are using it as the foundation of jokes on social media, it’s also a stark reminder that these things kind of suck. This one response is fun to laugh at and mock for how self-serious it is, but it was one tweet in an avalanche of anger and death threats toward the author of the original article. I’ve had it happen to me, other people have as well, and it’s easy to forget about where that kind of response comes from when you really drill down to it. 

I’m not saying you can’t laugh at this or enjoy it or think it’s funny or bust a gut about an official Sonic Twitter account also dunking on this tweet, but it’s good to remember that there’s people at the other side of all of these things. Just because this is the thing that caught on doesn’t mean there’s not a lot worse out there with roughly the same reasoning.

That said, the penguin one is my favorite.