The Game:ref could finally kill esports cheating

2 min read


There’s some big money in competitive gaming these days. With some tournaments offering tens of thousands of dollars for a weekend of stretching your mouse fingers, there’s bound to be a few chancers as well. And while injecting human growth hormone into your thumbs has yet to be outlawed in the eSports scene, there most certainly is an opportunity for cheaters to hack a tournament with some illicit software. It’s not always easy to catch the culprits. But this new piece of tech may just help even the odds.

Software engineer David Titarenco has created what he calls the Game:ref. A simple piece of hardware, the unit is merely positioned near a mouse during a game, detecting any cheats that are in play by monitoring the movement between hand and mouse. “My prototype only detects a certain kind of cheat for now,” Titarenco said to Polygon. “Specifically cheats that relate to input methods, whether it’s the keyboard or the mouse.”

What cheats tend to do is they screw up this correlation… the aimbot sort of aims for you, so there’s an artificial movement that happens in the game, that you’re not making with your real hand.

So basically, if your hand movements don’t match what’s going on in the game, then you’re busted. The hardware will spot it and thus help highlight any software that is being used to give the player an unfair advantage. The big hurdle here however, is that every player will need one of these devices, something that will be costly to implement. “I’d like to approach some LAN organizers and owners and get the device going there. But the cool thing about the device is that it also works as a consumer product, it would eliminate all non-hardware cheats,”  Titarenco said.

That would then make the unit detectable online, so you could opt-in to community games where only people that own the device, would be able to play. It’s a specific piece of hardware for a specific problem, that potentially can not be hacked with workaround software that anti-anti-cheat. And it’s a helluva lot better than my solution, which consists of clamping a car battery to the genitals of players and keeping an eagle-eye on them.

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Last Updated: February 24, 2015

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