Gaming is for everyone. The thrill of exploring new worlds, meeting new characters, defeating evil bosses, and having tons of fun along the way, makes video games stand out among other media. But for many people, games aren’t accessible, whether due to difficulty, lack of options, or other factors.
Helping make games more accessible is part of what drives us at PLITCH, and our cheats are made to help gamers play games the way they want to.
We were fortunate enough to talk to Elias, one of our community members who has a disability and is a Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy survivor about his gaming journey, his mod-making process, and how cheats have helped him better experience the wonderful world of video games.
Ramona: How long have you been playing video games?
Elias: I’ve been playing since I was young, definitely before I was 10. An uncle of mine had an original Nintendo in his basement and had the Legend of Zelda, the first one. It was my first time playing a game, and I had nearly beaten it by the end of the day. It turns out I was kind of a natural.
Not long after, I ended up keeping that Nintendo, along with all my uncle’s games, and I still have them. Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. 3, Duck Hunt (I even had the guns for it!), Rad Racer, and some others I can’t remember. I’d play the absolute crap out of them, and I was pretty good at them. Well, except Rad Racer. I didn’t have the patience to finish that game.
My first cheats were for the first Syphon Filter on the PS1. Dad had this book that was a guide for the game, and it also had cheats for it. Like, the OG cheats. Button combinations.
You know, the ones left in mainly to help test the game. In the same “era,” I guess I also got my hands on a Gameshark, complete with the thing you had to plug into one of the memory card slots for it to work. From there, I cheated frequently. I just found it fun at the time to be able to mess about and play games how I wanted to play them.
Ramona: Which game genres do you like to play?
Elias: I like RTS, city building/management, simulation, RPG, action/adventure, and strategy games mostly. The biggest RTS game for me right now is Company of Heroes. City building, I’d have to say Simcity 2013 (if I can ever find someone to play with) or Cities: Skylines. Simulation… Flashing Lights. I have a community of IRL first responders to play it with.
RPG, well, kinda’ varies. Action/adventure is kinda’ the same, but I could say games like Mass Effect and Far Cry. Strategy, I can’t think of specifics, really. 4x has to be Stellaris, hands down.
Ramona: Which cheats are the most useful to you?
Elias: It really depends on the game. For Against the Storm, the infinite resources cheats.
Same for any similar game. For things like first-person shooters and whatnot, I typically use infinite health and ammo, or sometimes just infinite ammo, to put it simply.
If there’s an economic thing involved, I might change the amount of money I have.
So for infinite resource cheats, I actually have very specific criteria. Things that are just a huge pain to get, or the very basic resources, both of which would take up a lot of time. One being finding said resources and the other being that they’re used in all the recipes and have to be gathered all the time. Of course, there are different things within that as well.
Ramona: So, you prefer to pick and choose what cheats to use?
Elias: Yep! Take the game Satisfactory for example. The game involves lots of building up of various production lines and whatnot. I use resource cheats to set up a basic operation and unlock stuff, set up a transportation network and power, and then just work on the rest myself for delivering orders, making the more complex stuff, and the like. It’s hard to explain.
I choose my cheats by balancing making things easier or simpler, and providing a challenge to try and keep me focused and interested. I do this because of the aforementioned problem where I have trouble staying focused and interested in things for too long.
I use cheats to help me out if I’m having actual trouble, help smooth some things over, or compensate if I’m not having a good day, like if I had a seizure earlier or whatnot.
That, and I also HEAVILY use cheats if I just bought a game, and I wanna explore what it’s like, so I can figure out sooner if it’s a game I should refund since there’s a limited time frame for doing so.
Ramona: What games do you use PLITCH for?
Elias: Every game PLITCH is usable for. I’ve used another cheating software before, but PLITCH is definitely my preferred one as it works a lot smoother. It’s hard for me to keep up sometimes. I sometimes have trouble using my right hand, especially since the strokes last year. Sometimes I can’t see well, sometimes I misread or hallucinate things, and PLITCH definitely evens the playing field and makes things enjoyable again.
Ramona: You mentioned that you make mods yourself. What kind do you make, and how do you make them?
Elias: Biggest thing for me is texture modifications. This video is with me, my IRL first responder group. I did a total conversion for the game. Literally every texture you see I made myself. By default, there is no snow in the game, and vehicles, people, etc., all look different. There is not a single thing I did not modify.
It’s actually not that complex. I literally just use Paint.net with plugins. Completely free. Well, that, and another program that allows me to add those textures.
As long as you have some measure of imagination, you can do it. That, and some measure of patience. Trying new things is scary. It’s always intimidating. You don’t know what you’re getting into. It’s actually the fear of the unknown and the fear of messing up that gets people more than anything.
Ramona: Any final thoughts on cheats and how they impact you?
Elias: I have times where my reaction is slow, I’m confused, or just have trouble in general with doing things, or I’m just in enough general pain that I can’t leave my room. Games help with things like stress relief and distract me from my problems. It gives a chance to unwind or help cope with things honestly.
As for using cheats, well, when I’m having one of these days where I’m feeling like this – which happens often – it helps me play without getting frustrated, which helps me cope with things and the like. It’s a surprisingly valuable tool for someone like me to help deal with things.
It sounds exaggerated, but if I can’t enjoy these games I’m using to help cope and whatnot, then there goes a major source of, uh, I guess you could call it coping ability, entertainment, and happiness? We can’t do the same things other people can, after all. Even something like going to a movie theater, to a park, or anywhere is often a daunting task, so being able to do something at home helps immensely.