In response to "Sometimes, I'm a Cheater" from The Escapist forums:
I love the existence of cheats in single player. Sometimes I've had a rough day and I don't want more challenge I just want fun. So depending on what game I'm playing I can either scale down the difficulty and feel like God of the wasteland (Fallout 3/vegas) or I can make the game silly by adding big heads, shooting paintballs etc.
I'm also not ashamed to admit that I will sometimes have been staring at a puzzle for hours before checking online to find that I just needed to hit a switch or something equally silly.
Multiplayer however is a different story. It's bad enough that due to reward systems a lot of multiplayer games are elitist and favour those who have been playing the longest even though those players are more likely to have memorised where everything spawns let alone having to deal with getting sniped from the whole map away through several walls.
p.s Right, Down, Left, Left, Down, Right, Right, Down, Left, X, Square, Triangle ~Ion Cannon!
Others do what the gentleman above you was looking for--they allow you to bypass the "chores" of the game and skip straight to the parts you want. Cheats can allow for a more user-directed experience.
And that's what it's about, right? Us. The users.
Yes, yes indeed. But in talking about failings of game design I didn't just mean things like bad puzzles. Some designers have begun to realise that, as you say, it's all about what users want. People like to have all the weapons? Give them a mode where they do. And so on.
Also, I agree with your point that not every instance of walkthrough use involves a bad puzzle. However, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't use them at all if I could be 100% confident that all the puzzles were fair. For example, you'll notice where I mention Machinarium above that I say it didn't require a walkthrough. That wording was carefully chosen... because I did use one for one puzzle, then regretted it because it turned out there was no need. The problem was that my trust ran out before I solved the puzzle legitimately.
In response to "The Economics of Meat" from The Escapist forums:
I'd be interested to play a very minimal, browser-based market game where players buy and sell resources, riding market highs and lows and trying to pull a profit from the margins. Think day-trading, at ten times the speed. Add in multipliers, conditional min/max buy/sell macros, etc...that could be pretty darn addictive for a certain class of gamer.
This reminds me of that incident where a viral outbreak in WoW let epidemiologists learn some amazing things about human behavior in times of pandemics, that the CCD's computer simulations were unable to predict because of the human factor.
All this makes me think of a possible sci-fi scenario where governments worried about financial and biological destabilization would set up an MMORPG and run fantasy simulation of various outbreaks and financial crises, and base security and policy decisions on the outcome of those simulations. And the outcomes would start being manipulated by learning-program-equipped NPCs who have developed sociopolitical agendas of their own...