Somewhat buried in our recent report Teens, Video Gaming and Civics, was a nugget about cheats. Not cheat-ing, but the use of “cheats” or codes to open additional content in the game – anything from a new level, a new “skin” or look for a character or car, a new weapon, or new ways to manipulate game play – content that the developer has hidden within the game for players to discover and then share with others.
Turns out, using cheats is quite popular among teen gamers. More than a third of teen gamers (36%) use these codes. Boys are more than twice as likely to use them than girls, with half of boys (50%) employing them “often” or “sometimes,” compared to just 23% of girls reporting the same. Cheats are much more likely to be used by game console owners on games played there – nearly 40% of console owners use cheats, compared to just 9% of teens who game but don’t have a console.