Source - The Register
Out of touch hardware manufacturer ASUS has gone ahead with plans to release "see-through" drivers for its line of graphics cards based on NVIDIA chipsets. Cards including the popular ASUS V7700 amongst others will soon start to ship with drivers that enable players to see through objects and walls whenever they like. These advantages are of course completely unfair in a multiplayer gaming environment, but apparently there's no telling ASUS that. Last year, The Online Gamer's Association polled its members about the see-through drivers and an overwhelming majority agreed that they should not be released. Despite an open letter to ASUS, nothing came of the protests, and the drivers are now available. Ignorant press relations officers at ASUS issued this release last July. "There are three special weapons for ASUS VGA cards' users -- Transparent View, Wireframe View, and Extra Light. If you do not have an ASUS VGA card -- be careful! Never compete in the 3D games with anyone who has an ASUS VGA card. Because the only result is to loose (sic)." There is no doubt that the severity of the impact on online gaming will be great. Already this writer has witnessed at least one ASUS upgrader peering through walls to spot enemies in Counter-Strike, on one of the many servers that don't forcibly protect against such modern exploits. The impact has been most felt by gamers, but the development community too is also in uproar. The Register reported today that Epic Games programmer Tim Sweeney, who created the Unreal and Unreal Tournament engines and is now working on development for Microsoft's Xbox console, had a few choice words for ASUS. "What a bunch of lamers," he commented. "hardware maker who releases drivers that encourage cheating in multiplayer games is out of touch with the spirit of gaming." We tried to contact ASUS about the drivers through our usual channels but they didn't respond. Online gaming has always been a target for hackers and spoilsports who focus on exploits in the server/client relationship to give themselves an unfair advantage. Just recently the online gaming world was thrown into disarray by the devastating "speed cheat," [OGA comment - Ed] which differed from classic exploits in that it messed with an actual Windows function to give its users an advantage. There are still very few remedies for it. If ever professionally-backed online gaming competition is to take off, the first step needs to be the eradication of exploits, and if one of the biggest hardware manufacturers in the world is working against it, how can it ever succeed?