Sims 2 Get Hacked Off

Sims 2 Telescope alien AbductionWe’re constantly amazed by the world of online gaming. It’s a fascinating, deep and engrossing world. Some at the Digital Lifestyles offices are big fans, others are scared of it. The latter worry that if they start to get involved, they will be sucked in to the games vortex, never to reappear.

SlashDot pointed us to an interesting story that SecurityFocus ran about the alterations to items in the Sims 2 that are spreading around the game with unexpected results. If this world is new to you, it’s well worth a read.

There are many site, like mod the sims 2 that contain hacks such as Expensive Telescope Abduction Hack v1.0, mentioned in the article, that guarantees that your Sim will be abducted by aliens if you look through the telescope between the hours of 7pm and 2am.

Hacking online PC games isn’t new. Ever since the days of Doom, hackers have been making modifications to give themselves the advantage of seeing through walls, or infinite ammunition – anything to give themselves an advantage. Indeed one of the advantages that Microsoft listed at the launch of the Xbox was that “unauthorised” code couldn’t be run on it (others saw it as restricting the platform), so games wouldn’t be ruined.

We attended the Edinburgh International Games Festival last year and sat in on a debate about the virtual currency within games be sold in the real world for real money. The Electronic Arts representative (EA sell the Sims 2) attitude to it was very relaxed to it, claiming that it wasn’t something that bothered them.

It looks like pressure from Sims 2 players has moved EA into action in this case, they’ve written software that acts in the same way as anti-virus software, scanning for alter objects and removing them.