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Feed Magazine: Quake Cheats

Jan 07, 2000, 00:24 (14 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Clay Shirky)

"THE OPEN SOURCE movement got a Christmas present at the end of 1999 some assembly required. John Carmack of id software, arguably the greatest games programmer ever, released the source code for Quake, the wildly popular shoot-em-up. Quake, already several years old, has maintained popularity because it allows players to battle one another over the internet, with hundreds of servers hosting round-the-clock battles...."

"Within minutes of id's announcement, gamers and hackers the world over were downloading the source code. Within hours they were compiling new versions of the game. Within days people began using their new knowledge of the games inner workings to cheat. A problem new to the Open Source movement began to surface: what to do when access to the source code opens it up to abuse...."

"All of this matters much more than you would expect a game to matter. With Open Source now associated with truth, justice, and the Internet Way, and with Carmack revered as a genius and a hero, the idea that the combination of these two things could breed anything so mundane as cheating caught people by surprise...."

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