Blizzard has filed lawsuit against 10 StarCraft II hackers over cheating software they designed and distributed. The basis for the lawsuit comes from what Blizzard describes as "serious harm to the value" of its product.
Blizzard also raises issues of copyright infringement and not properly supervising and controlling the hacks and cheating software they distribute. It is demanding a trial by jury and wants the hackers to dismantle their software, hand over sales records of the software, and pay a fine.
Man, am I glad I didn't have to grow up with this nonsense! I could go out and buy a Game Genie, and I could have all the fun I wanted tweaking the games I bought without having to worry about infringing on anyone else's enjoyment. Play Super Mario Bros. 3 with the Tanuki Suit throughout the whole game? Give myself a super jump in Mega Man 3? Why not? Cheating was a harmless adventure into what the development team just failed to include.
Nowadays though, even playing a single player campaign forces you to indirectly interact with others thanks to leaderboards and achievements. I have no pity for those who cheat in online matches, but when playing even a single player Blizzard game, Blizzard's way or the high way seems a bit harsh.
I don't disagree with its decision, and I think Blizzard is totally right to go after hackers who are trying to destroy its product. If you want the connectivity and all the bells and whistles that come with modern day gaming, it has to be policed so everyone else can enjoy a level playing field. Plain and simple. These hackers are taking it too far by trying to ruin somebody else's good time, and if Blizzard is victorious, it could set quite a precedent in favor of publishers going after potential hackers.
The bigger question is if the social aspects of gaming are worth sacrificing the freedoms you enjoy by being cut off from others. This wouldn't be a problem if they were using a StarCraft II build that operated separately from the main servers and didn't disrupt the normal players. There is a mod scene for this kind of stuff. Use it!
Big brother gaming or an honest attempt to keep the playing field level? You decide!