If you’ve heard someone young talking about “fork knife”, they’re not talking about what they had for lunch. They are talking about the game Fortnite. Now, I do have a really good sense of humor, but I’m not finding this all that funny. Fork Knife is the slang that has been used for the game for a few months now, but it didn’t really catch on until last weekend when Twitter user Kung Fu Renny posted a funny tweet where they indicate they’re pretending to know how to play fork knife in order to impress a guy. Since then, “fork knife” is all the rage on Twitter.
While that’s humorous, that’s not the real story. We have brought you stories about Fortnite – what it is, what it isn’t, how you can play etc. But one thing that we don’t regularly talk about, when it comes to games is hacking. This doesn’t just apply to Fortnite, but is a larger issue in the gaming world. What is interesting is that game makers actually get to make a pretty incredible example out of people who try to play the system. And that’s what they’ve been doing over the last couple of weeks.
Most recently, a pair of Overwatch hackers were charged in South Korea as a result of a year-long investigation by the region’s police. The Seoul National Police Agency Cyber Security Department arrested 13 hackers. If one of the offenders happen to violate their probation terms, which is two years, they will be put in jail. Some of the other offenders have been fined to what amounts to just under $10,000 USD. This case is an instance where the state is flexing its legal muscle. As of last June, it was illegal to create and distribute game hacks in South Korea, where the maximum fine is around $50,000 or five years in prison for doing so.
Late last month, Epic decided to move forward with its lawsuit against an alleged 14-year-old hacker. If you’ll remember, the hacker’s mom claimed that her son’s name was wrongly released and that since he was underage and playing without her permission, he shouldn’t be held responsible for cheating. Epic countered that her claims were irrelevant, using legal precedent to dispute her view that there wasn’t a binding contract between Epic and her son.
But it doesn’t stop there. Earlier this week, it was revealed that Chinese authorities had arrested 15 hackers, and collectively fined them over $4.5 million!
Does this actually make sense though? I mean kind of. Developers are putting millions of dollars into making these games, and in some cases, they’re having to pump out sequel after sequel just to keep people engaged. So if the authorities let people ruin the experience for everyone, it’s going to turn into a mess. This isn’t likely to end here. In time, with more online-only and more esports games out there, we are more likely to see litigation taking place. Whether it’s right or wrong, that’s the way of the world so I think we should be prepared for it.