Cheat To Win! Video Games From A Hacker's Perspective

Ever since hacker and engineer Ralph H. Baer invented the prototypical Brown Box video game, the simple idea of "pictures on a screen, that YOU control" had exploded into a wide range of electronic devices, spanning the decades, introducing the world to an industry worth billions of dollars. Throughout that history, there had always been people interested in learning, making, and even cheating these games - hackers.

Join our panel by hacking group DEFCON 201, as they go through the history of hackers’ involvement with video games - everything from mod communities and fangames; the cat and mouse game of piracy; glitches and speedruns; the story of Billy Mitchell, Homebrew development, cybercrime involvement, and much more.

Examples will be shown, from retro 8 and 16 bit consoles, through to current-generation systems. Finally, we will close out with a look on how hacking and hackers are portrayed in games, from classics like System Shock and Deus Ex to the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077.


Sidepocket [Co-Founder, DEFCON 201], sirocyl [Member, SwitchRoot], NCommander [Member, DEFCON 201]