Cheating is bad.
Every Christian would be in agreement with the generalized statement. But this last month, we were given a uniquely situational issue that has some wondering if we go too far with punishing cheaters.
I wonder as Christians if we should join the fight against cheaters, and if so, how far we should take part in it?
14 Year Old Cheater Is Sued
TheVerge.com covered a story about how a 14-year-old was cheating on Fortnite, a not-so-subtle PUBG rip off with a more cartoonish look to it. The story has two very key points to this that make the issue tricky. The 14-year-old created more than one video on how to not only find, but install and use the hack to cheat at Fortnite which promotes using this on the platform. In response, Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite, has requested the video be taken down. Due to not only copyright law, but YouTube’s own standards, the company has had to sue the child to continue to the process of getting the video removed as well as maintain it is attempting to protect the copyright, two things the company is forced to do to protect its intellectual property.
Even more fun, the mother of the child apparently has the legal training of some sort and is planning to fight the lawsuit in court. But this makes for a very difficult ethical question for Christian gamers who are seeing the process unfold. Who do you support and why do you take that stance?
Cheating Is A Sin
As Christians, cheating is a sin. It’s literally defined as “act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, especially in a game or examination.” That unfair act to gain power, that is literally what the first sin in the Bible was about. Satan attempted to cheat by hurting God the best Satan knew how. He couldn’t directly touch God, but God’s most prized possession, humanity, was at risk. From there, our pride has been the destruction of mankind over and over again.
In video games, it is no different. We want to be the best without having to try hard. And so to win a video game, we sacrifice a piece of our soul. Worth it? Of course not.
Do We Over Respond?
I do not think anyone is thinking that the child should not be punished. I bet if we could sit down and have a rational conversation with the mother, she would agree that cheating is not the way to get ahead in life. But is it just as bad for the “big, bad corporation” to go after a child?
I get it. The company is actually required to do this. If they don’t, then they can actually lose the IP of the game because they did not make the best legal case to protect the content. Then people are out of jobs and the game goes unsupported.
But where should we as Christians stand? Do we cheer on the company whose sole goal is to profit from this exchange or the child who is being inappropriate and clearly struggling with their sinful nature?
I’ll sound off in the comments below, but I want to hear from you guys too. Morally, do you support the child or the company in this situation?
(No wishy-washy stuff, pick a side.)