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The History of H4x

I think anybody who’s anybody in the gaming world has played the world renowned game Counter-Strike. And I think everybody knows, that during each and every game, someone will inevitably shout out those famous letters "OMG H4X". Usually, the person is merely crying wolf to excuse his pathetic "n00bishness" at the game, and the person whom he accused is an honest, good gamer. But how did gaming society get to the point where the accusation of someone being a "1337 h4x0r" could be taken seriously? How does this affect the gaming world? And what we’re mainly going to be discussing in this article, how did it all get started? And, so we begin our journey to find out the history of h4x.

First, we must go way back in the history of mankind to when competition began. People say that major competition began with the famous Greek Olympics, where the prizes were large and the risks were great. The first Greek Olympics took place somewhere around 350 B.C. Of course, being the wicked nasty corrupt humans they are, there was eventually going to be some foul play. One of the best ways to fix up a track race in your favor, as the famous Olympian of that era, Leeticus Dooderus did, was to break into your opponent’s locker room with a battle axe and "hack" their legs off. Some historians debate whether this first act of cheating in Olympic games led to the term "hacker" for someone who contorts the game illegally in their favor. Other instances of cheating in the Greek Olympics included the old "replace arrows in opponents quiver with a deadly cobra" trick, bribing the judges with promises of all the goat cheese they could eat if they voted for a certain participant no matter what, and the classic, unleashing a pack of hungry lions in your opponent’s dormitories the night before the competition. All of these acts are equivalent to hacking in modern day video games.

So, we know now that man has been cheating in competition for since the Greek Olympics, and probably before that. Now let’s move on to a more recent era, the 1950’s. You know how it is, Bobby Jones went with his high school girlfriend Peggy Sue after winning the homecoming football game to a malt shop to get some 5¢ milkshakes. In Malt shops all around America, a new thing was being installed next to the jukeboxes, and that newfangled thing in the corner was commonly known as the Pinball machine. Now, it was only a matter of time that some "kool katz" tried to figure out how to manipulate this new machine, and of course, some big strong jock sporting a mullet and wearing spandex, was playing pinball one day, and as the ball was headed in another direction than what he aimed for, he let out a primal, testosterone filled roar and slammed his gorilla-like fists up against the pinball machine. Then a result he didn’t quite expect took place. When his knuckles of doom collided with the pinball machine, the laws of physics worked their magic, and the ball swerved from its current path and dropped right into the 10,000 point bonus hole he was aiming for. And there was much rejoicing in the world of jockdom, because now they had a way to cheat the system. And so, the method of tilting the pinball machine to obtain the desired results from the ball in motion spread around malt shops everywhere in America, and soon, pinball machine makers realized that this is not how they wanted their product to be exploited. So, the wise old Pinball makers got together, and devised a method of stopping these wild youngsters from cheating their product. They invented a sure fire plan, and installed it in every single new Pinball machine they made. It was called the "Anti-Tilt" device, and there was a motion sensitive part of the machine, and when it sensed heavy movement, the game would be immediately shut down, and "TILT" would appear on the scoreboard, along with a loud siren to alert everyone in the vicinity that this person was a cheater. This is the first example of "Anti-hacking software", represented by such things as "Punkbuster" of today, which keeps those hacking fools off our beloved Counter-Strike servers.

Now we’re in 2003, just a few days away from entering 2004. Games have become a way of life for some, a few even making life time careers out of it. And now, entire companies are dedicated to making online game safe from that dastardly, evil, vile and wretched race of goblins know as "h4x0rz". But before that, there was a dark age in the world of online gaming, when anti-hack software was a pipe dream, and server administrators had no way of detecting foul play. Yes, this was a dark age indeed, where many were brought astray with such wicked sins such as "aimbots" and "wallhax". The h4x0rz ruled the online world for a short amount of time, until some valiant, honest gamers decided they had enough of this hacking trash and decided they were going to do something about it. World wide, the honest gamers united, and they all encircled the earth in an aura of love, and held hands and sang songs and praises to Sierra and Microsoft, and held candle light vigils and prayed for the conversion of those wayward souls who had drifted to the dark side. They all gathered around a crystal ball, and focused their new-age energy into this oracle, and then, out of the ground arose the most beautiful sight the human eye had ever seen. It was a golden CD case, with a software disc inside. The people took the disc, put it into their beloved computers, and saw the pure, zen like glory that is now known as Punkbuster.

Umm, yeah, got a little carried away there, but basically a bunch of honest gamers got together and made a program which would detect people using hacking programs on servers, and alert the server administrators so they could ban them. Finally, a new age of happiness had been ushered in, and age in which you could play your games online without fear of being cheated out of your gaming experience. Sure, there are still a couple nerds out there who spend hours in their parent’s basement, with C++ books stacked to the ceiling, trying to figure out how to get past the anti-hack software, and some eventually do, but anti-hack software can be updated, and the nasty beast is forced back down into his basement to live on pizza and mountain dew for the rest of his life, slaving away at making new hacks that really won’t matter because it’s pretty easy to make updates for punkbuster.

So, our journey of History of H4x draws to an end, and I hope you all enjoyed my articles, and have learned much on this fascinating subject. I dedicate this article to the awesome gamers world wide who are dominating the ladders without having to resort to the wuss world of hacking. I also dedicate this article to the inherent spectacularness of all those who work daily to ensure our online gaming experiences won’t be ruined by those who would like to ruin it.
And remember kids, drink your milk, eat your broccoli, and visit Empires Heaven daily!

By Cherub DoJo_AntiAmi
12/28/03


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