As video gamers, we grow up learning to admire and respect the quaint art of cheating. In even the stickiest of spots, our sympathetic brethren in the programming and coding department have us covered: they load our discs and cartridges with sneaky button combinations or code words that, when executed, offer a helping hand as we sail towards game completion.

Not enough cash, stranger? Just type klapaucius.

Machine gun running dry? Y, RT, Left, LB, A, Right, Y, Down, X, LB LB LB has you covered.

Need a monstrously oversized head and arms? DK Mode‘s got your back.Cheating

Of course, the definition of cheating alters somewhat as we grow up, as does our attitude towards it. Cheating suddenly holds connotations of guilt, of shame, of chastisement… of terror regarding picking up an STD (no, that’s not a button combination for infinite health).

I felt it was once again time to turn to science and consider cheating on an academic level. My studies forced me to return to the age old question of which is better: video games or real life? Video games won the last round, but which world shall conquer this time? Seconds out, Round 2…Cheating

1 – Cheating on a test

SCENARIO: This is it. You’ve worked your entire young life to achieve this qualification, and you’ve made it this far unscathed. But it’s all riding on this test, and you draw a total blank. It’s a mental prolapse. A brain fart. You snook the answers in to the exam down your pants, but that invigilator has demon hawk eyes of death – HAWK EYES, I tells ya…Cheating

REAL LIFE: You decide to risk taking a peek at the answers. Your whole future hangs in the balance; nerves begin to kick in. Beads of sweat quiver on your brow. You reach your shaking hand down your pants to remove the answers, but notice the girl next to you is watching. She eyes your anxious grin; she clocks the location of your hand, the guilt in your eyes.

She thinks you’re touching yourself. She alerts the invigilator. The police are called. Your name winds up on a register. Oh…and you flunk the exam.

VIDEO GAMES: ‘A test? Is this really how we decide the hierarchy of our society? Pfft… please!’ You write IDDQD on your test paper, activating God Mode. Suddenly, you are completely immune to damage and realise that you don’t even need that shitty job you’ve been working towards all this time – who’s going to stand in the way of a freakin’ deity!?

You begin your career as ‘Awesome Master of Absolutely Everything’ the following day, pillaging and taking all that is (rightfully) yours.

WINNER: Video games.

2 – Cheating with a really hot guy at work

SCENARIO: Work’s kinda dull and super lame, but this new guy started last week and looks like a cross between Ryan Gosling and Jared Leto. Oh, and he got changed in the back office in front of you, and he has abs. Everywhere. Of course, you tell yourself over and over that you’ve got a boyfriend – but then Action Man starts undressing you and, well… it’d be rude not to.Cheating

REAL LIFE: You lock the door to the office and strut your naked self back over to the desk – but totally forget you’re in a ground floor room and the windows overlook the car park. Through the glass, you see your boyfriend drop the flowers he was going to surprise you with as the new guy drops his boxer shorts. You wave.

VIDEO GAMES: Just before your boyfriend spots you through the window, you whisper “Circle, Circle, Circle, Circle, Circle, Circle, R1, L2, L1, Triangle, Circle, Triangle” under your breath and A FRICKIN’ TANK spawns from the air and lands in the car park. His attention is diverted long enough for you to close the blinds AND still catch Jared Gosling downing his undercrackers…

WINNER: Video games.

3 – Cheating to win a marathon

SCENARIO: Your smug, health-conscious neighbour has been chatting to your wife whilst you’ve been at work, and now she’s on at you because “He’s loads trimmer than you are” and “He’s running a marathon this weekend – why can’t you be more like him?”. You eye him through a gap in the curtains, praying he succumbs to haemorrhoids.

‘I can take him’, you think. ‘I’ll run his stupid foot-race AND beat him to the finish line’.Cheating

REAL LIFE: You show up to race day looking like a potato in a condom, but begin the race in earnest. Your plan? Sneak down the alleyway to the taxi depot and cruise to the finish. Piece of cake (mmm…cake). Two minutes in, though, you start to have palpitations. Your ribcage creaks beneath your tremendous, sweaty gut. You gape and gasp for air. You collapse, watching a man in a chicken suit overtake you.

Later, from the hospital bed, you see your neighbour’s wankery face gloating on the news. The reporter announces: “You finished first!”. You recall your wife telling you the very same thing last night – just without as much joy or adulation. You weep softly, and open a packet of crisps.

VIDEO GAMES: As you begin to collapse under the strain of your obesity and appalling fitness, you fear you may actually die. With your final breath, you move up, up, down, down, left, right, left right, then shout B, A, Start. You suddenly have 30 more lives!

You continue running until your feet bleed, but are soon back down to 1 life – you curse your addiction to pies. You wish you could be as athletic as your opponent – your neighbour – so you quickly use your blood to write on the road: ‘R, up, L, Y, B‘ so you can actually be him. ‘Let’s see him compete against HIMSELF!’

As you cross the finish line, you gloat and celebrate your victory! As the news van leaves, a police car pulls up, and the officers aim their guns at you. You lie on the ground, and they arrest you. They’ve mistaken you for your neighbour, who – it would seem – is actually a serial killer in his spare time. You can’t convince them of your true identity. They sentence you to death. You weep softly, and open a packet of crisps.

WINNER: Real life.

Video Games

The moral of this story, kids? Spawn military vehicles and invincibility, and you’ll go far. Choose to run a marathon, and…well…

…there’s no-one to blame but yourself. It was your own stupid decision.

Do you like cheating in games? Are there any cheat codes you wish you could use in real life? Let us know in the comments!

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