Just a couple comments:

There seems to be some bias against very young players. I’m sure there are
very annoying youngsters out there. However, you shouldn’t assume that all
youngster are that way, nor that the only immature clowns out there are chronologically
young. Some of the best notes I’ve gotten have come from thirteen and fourteen year olds.

I’ve mentioned in the past that I play in what is effectively a trivia league in
which a few teams use computers to look up answers for them. Unfortunately, a “Punkbuster”
for this game is impossible. The company that runs this game can’t possibly send out a Gestapo looking
over everyone’s shoulder, so they have no rule they can’t enforce about computer use.

The players on the team that started this are well into adulthood and hold responsible jobs, some are even middle-aged.
Yet EVERY SINGLE RESPONSE I got to this showed more maturity than these people have.
They don’t want to even have their computer use mentioned; they call you “biased” and accuse you of trying to “crucify” them.
They go nuts when you even suggest ranking those teams that don’t use computers. They think only a few maladjusted people object to this.

Maybe a line one of those people once used illustrates the cheater’s mentality:

“It enhances our enjoyment of the game.”

End of story. Doesn’t matter what it does to anybody else.

So don’t assume it’s got to be a punk kid. At least the punk kid has his age as an excuse, he can still learn. It’s really sad when you see a thirty or forty or more year old think the same way.

A few of you have wondered if occasional playing around with cheats puts them on the Dark Side. I think the sin is not using cheats, but pretending you are better than you are. So long as you are not doing that, it’s OK.

I’d make an exception for the folks who used cheats as a sort of a character test of a new player, to see how he responded to losing. However, that’s just a short test, not a lifestyle.

On to the comments:

I play a LOT of UT as Mr._Bigglesworth (up to 8 or 9 hours at a time several
days a week) and I used to play MASSIVE amounts of Quake2 as Kevorkian[AmZ]
back when Quake2 was really hot (1600+ minutes every week) in my university

Cheating was worse, I think, under Quake2. When bot detection first came out
I actually managed to nail a number of people using bots when I set up my
own practice server – what was surprising was that most of these users
weren’t very good, yet cheated and still sucked. The most common cheat
seemed to be radar use. They were the people I least suspected, which got me
wondering if they used it and were “unsuspected”, how many others were using
the cheats in a more blatant way (i.e. aimbot).

I saw my first bot in quake2 – the “whirly gig” aim bot, where the player
would spin around while moving aiming in every possible direction, or at
least that is how it looked to me. Later bots didn’t make it that obvious,
but that was the first time I realized the cheat problem was real.

I don’t know exactly what cheats are available for UT, but I am fairly
certain that there must be some sort radar function at least and that there
is some kind of fighting “aid” – be it aimbots, or item generators, or
whatever. I’ve seen too much bizarre behaviour that cannot be explained in
any other way. I would guess that under UT something like a 20% of the users
cheat in one fashion or another – might have been as high as 33% in Quake2.

When you play a lot, and I mean obsessively for hours and hours straight
like I do, you get really observant of fighting styles and player behaviour
and you just “know” when something is wrong, sometimes without knowing
exactly what it is, and its on that feeling that I base my opinion of the
cheating levels on.

I think people do it so that they can win – at any cost. I think they also
do it because when they first start and get their asses whipped by better
players, they immediately assume that the better player MUST be cheating, so
they “retaliate”. Finally, I think you’ll always have that problem when you
are dealing with younger, mostly male, players who are often very damn
immature and to whom winning in the game means a lot, maybe cuz they are
such little geeks and “losers” in real life.

In the end, it just ruins the game for everyone and I absolutely despise
cheaters of any kind. I really wish game designers could find a way to
cripple cheating attempts right out of the box (I’ve got some ideas on how
to do that) and the people who code the cheats would just bloody well screw
off and leave the game alone.

Online gaming is starting to become a
respectable pastime, as evidenced in mainstream media coverage and sales of
games. I really think that eventually, it will become a kind of sport – like
football. When you think of it, it requires more skill and is more
entertaining than a lot of “real” sports, like golf, bowling, or things like
that. As it gets more mainstream, I think the number of cheaters will go
through the roof because the pressure to win will increase because of the
popularity of the pastime.


I’ve run into this a lot. I’m a Game Developer. I
was at Cavedog. Cheating became a big
problem with both Total Annihilation and Total
Annihilation Kingdoms. There was always somebody out
there that wanted to win the prize, good ranking, by
any means possible. It seems that in the cyber world
some think you can be anybody you want and take any
actions you want. If you get caught what will they
do? They get a kick out of getting away with it.
Or perhaps it’s something
deeper. Lack of proper values.

What cheating does do is decrease the entertainment
value of the game. People who are cheated will be
less likely to keep coming back to the game. Less
likely to get their friends involved in the game.
Perhaps even reducing sales of the game. I don’t
think this is as big of a problem as pirating games,
but with so many game companies struggling to survive,
it hurts enough.

While Boneyards was up and the public was playing our
games on that site I use to join under alias names and
chat with people. Players who knew about cheats were
very often willing to tell me about them. Honest
players who found out about cheats actually made a
point of reporting them. Our programmers put a lot of
hours into fixing these problems.

From my experience
I feel that the majority of the players did not cheat,
even if they had the opportunity. The group of
cheaters was a small population. When somebody was
know to be a cheater they were avoided in-game and
usually ended up changing their login.

I did test a cheat I was told about once. I logged in
under an alias, started a game with another player I
knew, who didn’t know my alias, and tested a cheat. I
won. After the game I felt very guilty. I logged
back onto the server under my normal login and
appologized to the person I cheated on. My thought
was to test what somebody told me and see if the cheat
works. It did. What I did was cheat a good player
out of a win. That was wrong, and I felt it.


I read your little news blurb about cheating and i’d like to point out something..

You’re using the same exact tool that a huge team of developers used to create this simulated world, a computer. What better way to manipulate a world/game can you get?

Surely cheating in some internet game isn’t worth the time, there’s no monetary gain, so why do it?

Game designers constantly strive to get that “reality” feeling in a game. And some of the biggest cheat famous games of all time were based in a whole, virtual reality.

When one cheats in this realistic online simulation, they’ve achieved ultimate rule in that specific world. They can aim faster/better than any other person in the world, They can see through walls, etc. They’re untouchable… They’re god.

If I ran around THIS world with 100% accuracy, the ability to turn invisible, and to know where everyone is at all time, I’d be pretty excessive with it too. Cheating won’t ever go away, as long as people still strive to be number 1, the top of the crop, that’s what it’s all about.


You might want to check out Punkbuster, which is
a tool for detecting cheating $%^&ers in CS.


I play counter-strike, and I see this cheating way too often. I have been playing counter-strike religiously for the last 14 months, and cheating had not been that big of a problem until the game became more and more popular.

I play CS about 10-15 hours a week, and when this speed cheat came out I started seeing cheaters every night. They completely ruin the game for non-cheaters (the vast majority), and the game’s creator Gooseman has been spending all his time lately attempting to fix all the cheating that have been ruining the game.

Many people take this game very seriously: on the average night there are 5000+ servers with 14000+ players online, and tournaments have begun popping up with 15 and 25 thousand dollar prizes.

It is really sad that people are so insecure about their gaming skills that they have to cheat and force all 19 other people on the server to quit playing.


I run into the speed cheat on counterstrike about once every 10 times I log
on to a server. Once it happens, everyone complains, and tries to vote the
player off. Occasionally, someone else will use the same one, and they’ll
screw around, ruining the fun of playing the game.

As far as aimbots and other much more subtle cheats (seeing and/or shooting
through walls, & others), I can’t tell if they’re being used, although I
suspect it if I’m being beaten very badly (a natural tendency).

I believe in cheats only for single player games, unless there are cheat only
servers. Otherwise, what’s the point of playing the game? I’ve once been
prevented from logging onto a server (CS) for not having some client side
anti-cheat program they required (I can’t remember the name of the
program). If this anti-cheat program worked (and I knew where to get it, and it was widely
used) I would use it, but it is really up to the game developer to fix these
holes. Any software can be cracked, so people would still cheat, but there
would be fewer people doing it.


In response to your inquiry on Game Cheats, yes it is a big
problem in my opinion. Multiplayer online gaming has become more than
a silly fun activity people do in their spare time. It is a
competition like many other games or sporting events. Many places even
sponsor competitions or just keep score using various statistics
collected from the game server’s logs. The mentality of the cheaters
for such games is the same as nabbing an extra $500 when playing

Playing with the cheater isn’t fun and after that you
wouldn’t want to play with that person. Online everyone is anonymous and
you can’t chose whom to play with.

The only solution is private server
with a password but that limits the variety of players you can play
with and the size of your game dramatically.

Cheating is such a problem that it affects the sales of
products such as Quake 3 and possibly future products.
Who would watch the NFL or even Survivor if they were rigged and
unfair? (Ed. note: What about wrestling?)

People naturally enjoy good fair competition and without it
games like Quake are ruined. I commend Id for combating cheating with
frequent patches while I realize they will likely remain one step
behind those determined to cheat. I believe cheaters are amused by the
initial response of players when they can whoop them easily.

deception is the key, they want people to think they are wonderful
players. I would imagine that cheating would ruin the game even for
the cheaters themselves as after everyone is aware of the cheating it
does not receive the same response and is no longer amusing. Without
steps to eliminate cheating, the competition and therefore the game is


As an avid UT player over the age of 30 I have seen quite a bit come and go
over the years. In the current FPS climate cheating is noticable. There is
special third party software you can run on your game server to help prevent
it and this is now into revision 3 or so!

Using aimbots is silly, why play at all…just claim that you did and make up some stats? There have been a
handful of times when I thought I might be playing against a cheater but it
is hard to tell. On the flip side I am a pretty good sniper myself and I
know there have been times, when I was having a good run, where after 4, 5,
or more kills in a row the other person probably felt I was using one. I
never have.

I found a server just the other day and jumped in to a CTF game
in UT on map Facing Worlds. This is a great sniper map! I killed the same
guy 3 or 4 times in a row just after I got there and I was kicked off. I
logged back in and was sternly warned about that “style of play”! I
appologized to everyone and found a new server to play on. While I am not a
bad player, I routinely get smacked down by other players many of which I am
sure are half my age or less!

I see a correlation between the current
young crowd of gamers and the general lack of respect for laws, mp3 anyone?,
the increase in “professional” cheating etc. Every generation is a little
less moral, ethical, ????, than the previous one. (Ed. note: Every generation
thinks that of the younger generation.)

Well, I will still play and play honest. Everyone I play with, all over the
age of 25, will still pay and play honest. The cheaters will get tired and
move on to something else because they are all ADHD anyway! 😉


I just have to say that yes, it is an arms race, whatever advantage you
can get is good and acceptable…as long as you don’t cheat (i.e. use
bots/codes/etc.). That isn’t to say my friends and I don’t use them. We
do, all the time.

When we get a newbie amungst us, we drop him/her into the
hallowed proving ground that is Quake 2 and rail/blow/shoot/whatever the
shit out over him/her to determine two things:

  • 1. how fast they catch on (and how long it takes them to stalemate).
  • 2. How much they whine (I don’t really care about how good some one
    is, skill can be learned, I want to know how badly they lose
    . i.e.

    Then again, it sometimes is fun to knock each other around a map when we all
    have god code on, but for the most part it’s always even…or at least we


    I play TFC about 2+ hours a night; it’s a nice relief from the hectic day. . . . The speed hack is the biggest offender. Players will use this hex edit to move way faster in the game. Becuase of team play in the games cheaters are blasted in game for their actions…which usually causes them to leave. Sometimes we have a prepubescent whose entire goal is to make everyone leave the server. Public servers with no admin’s present are these kids’ main targets.

    I never got the point of cheating in a multiplayer game, especially when its so damn obvious. It just boggles the mind what these idiots get out of annoying the rest of the people trying to have a good time.


    I am an active game player, and I play games to have fun and relax.
    Cheating takes all the fun of out the game. Maybe for 30 mins it’s fun
    when everybody thinks you’re a god, then they realize you’re cheating
    and leave or kick you. Even if they don’t realize it, it no longer is
    any fun. It just gets boring because it requires no skill. I truly hate


    I think that cheating in Counter-Strike is pretty widespread, so I always play on punkbuster servers. On non punkbuster servers, I would get shot through the wall with an AWP or poeple would be leaping and shooting before they saw you.

    Of course the worst cheat was the speed hack, after people started using this, I busted out the opengl hack and started dropping the $%&#%$ through the wall early on in the round.

    I must say that the opengl hack was interesting, but it takes all the suspense out of the game. There’s no point in playing it if you can see them before they have a chance. so I stopped using it, and now I only play on punkbuster servers.


    Okay, you wanted my take on game cheaters. Here you go. I come
    across this all the time. Some of the games that are MOST played in my
    household are, Diablo II, Unreal Tournament, Mech Warrior 4, and
    Starcraft. My family LIVES on these games.

    Each and every one of these games can and are multi-player games as well as
    can and are played over the Internet. Each of these games
    have a massive following for the type cheats you were talking about. I
    hate cheaters and cheating. Period!

    Careful thought is given
    (hopefully) to each and every serious game out there on keeping a good
    balance in the game and how the game operates.

    Cheats take the balance out of any game, even if everyone has the same cheat. This
    sounds strange, but it does in fact take away completely from the design
    of the game.

    My household has six 933Mhz and 1Ghz (3 each) computers all with Voodoo5
    5500 and above video etc and all attached via 100BaseT Switched LAN
    (yes, I like full duplex LAN over Hub based 1/2 duplex LAN). There is
    myself, wife, two 19 year old teenagers, and one 17 year old teenager.
    We have the option of being able to just play our games amongst

    We all would like to play on the internet and sometimes do
    here and there, but every single time we do it seems and get into a good
    game, the cheaters arrive and ruin the game. So basically we end up
    back on our LAN playing the games with each other. It’s nice that we
    can do that, but not everyone can and that is a sad thing. You wanted
    to know what I have to say about it, well in a word, it SUCKS big time.
    There you have it. I hope that helps.


    The whole idea of playing these types of games(at least for me) is the slight fear factor that you might die and not make it through the set goals. What fun could it possibly be if I could just run around blasting anyone? Let me tell you I wouldn’t be having fun.

    I’m relatively new to this, but the sheer excitement I get when I’m online playing against good players (like EQ), consantly getting smoked by them, but once in a while nailing them and send there gibs into eternity, makes all my deaths worthwhile.


    I mostly play Counter-Strike (big surprise, huh?:) and I don’t know about
    the rest of you, but I can’t even consider installing new weapon models,
    cross-hairs, or anything that modifies the game. It makes me feel uncomfortable having
    modified the game to my advantage.

    Cheaters are annoying, but somehow they don’t bother me *that* much. Losing
    vs a cheater is like losing to some superbot. His win shows no skill.

    I believe most cheaters are about 13-14 years old. It’s definetly related to
    age and maturity. Some people want to be no. 1 real bad, some just like to annoy


    I don’t cheat on-line. I don’t like cheaters. It displays weakness on their part, and offers them an unfair advantage at the expense of other players. In a multiplayer setting, this is an extreme no-no. Frankly, I love it when I see a cheater get banned off a server I’m playing. It’s even more fun when I see that SOB leave after he gets toasted even WITH cheating.

    However, there’s a flip side. When everyone has the same cheat program, and has agreed to use it, then things can get really interesting (assuming god mode is off).

    It can be a ton of fun when the host decides to play with gravity and such (“Crap! I’m taking damage from walking down stairs!”), or change some other aspect that effects everyone. And of course in solo games it can be a blast after you beaten it fifteen or twenty times.


    Well, I think I speak for most of the legitimate gaming community when I
    say that cheats and hacks are absolutely maddening. The most notably
    affected game, as far as I’m concerned, is the Diablo series.

    Just like every other fan of the original Diablo, I had grown sick and
    tired of all of the hackers who played the game. More than anything else,
    this is what made my playing dwindle down to nothing. When I heard about
    the sequel, I was ecstatic . . . and boy were my hopes realized. I
    was THRILLED with Diablo II, and played for hours on end. Blizzard even
    included a “closed” option, where cheats were pretty much

    However, I am one of those who also developed an “open”
    high-level character through IP games with a friend . . . and even played
    on occasionally. This come to a complete halt when it became
    apparent that 85%+ of the individuals in the open community were
    hacked in one way or another.

    Now I’ve begun to play Quake III, and am beginning to run into the same
    issue (although it doesn’t seem to be as prevalent). I wouldn’t have any
    problem with folks who want to hack their game character and keep it among
    other hackers, but that almost seems to be an impossibility . . . most of
    the hackers out there are bored 8-16 year-olds who receive a cheap thrill
    out of being annoying little punks.

    Lesson #1 in any open-forum game format is and should always be: BACK UP
    YOUR CHARACTER! That way, at least, the annoyance is only that . . . and
    not the end to a character that you’ve spent hour upon hour developing.

    Email Ed

    1. Typically, those that are there to be annoying or for revenge are like small
    children. They do it until THEY are satisfied.

    I’ve only seen a very few like this leave because they are persuaded by the
    other players to do so. If an aimbot was playing for revenge they often hunted one player until the
    prey left. Then it was random choice whether or not they stuck around.

    For example: Back in the Quake Fortress days the infamous clan “llama” was a large
    nuisance. I played on several servers where “llama” members would stand in respawn
    room doorways and block the other players from leaving. And they did just to
    piss people off. They only hurt their team, and they ruined the game for
    everyone else. AFAIK there was no “official” llama clan, random people would
    just use the moniker to annoy others. Of course there still llamas all over
    the place.

    2. Those who played to win at any cost could be picked out from regular lamers
    easily. They wouldn’t taunt.

    Lamers, in my experience, love to taunt people while they cheat. They derive
    satisfaction from not only beating someone, but pissing them off as well.
    Most of the guys just trying to rack up a huge frag score didn’t talk back.
    e.g. They wouldn’t spam “Ph34R M3!!!!!” across the screen every 2 seconds.

    In general, these jerks would stay until their pathetic ego was satisfied.
    They’d taunt for awhile and eventually all the other players would leave or
    they themselves would leave. If you were lucky the server Admin would be
    paying attention and boot their butt. Or one of the players would have
    Admin access and do it.

    I’ve met people who don’t play a game until they can cheat. Take Diablo 1
    for instance. They’ve never really gotten rid of online cheating in Diablo

    It was almost a given that someone on the server would be cheating at
    online Diablo, even after a few patches had been released. It’s gotten less
    prevalent, but it’s still there. I’ve got a friend who refuses to play
    Diablo 1 unless they can use a hacked character with the “town kill” cheat
    on. Kinda sad, IMHO. These kinds of gamers were a lot rarer than regular llamas in my estimation.

    Of course, on the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ve got those who are so
    anti-cheating they are paranoid. Those are the ones who accuse anyone doing
    even reasonably well of using some kind of cheat patch. These types of
    people can ruin a game even faster than an actual cheater.

    One guy on my campus lan was convinced I had hacked Quake2 to cheat. He
    would quit playing at points and just spam everyone in the game with:
    “Old_Wolf is a *&#$@$ cheater!!!!”. Needless this to say, this killed the
    game for everyone else rather quickly. I can’t help it he sucked at Quake2.


    I am the leader of a clan called Total Infiltration Tactical Squad in counter-strike and I would have to say that the cheats are pretty widespread. I see 3 to 4 people running them every night.

    From what I can tell, the people that run them are the regular “Let’s screw the game up for everyone” kind of people. They tend to lack the patience to learn how to play the game well.

    Since CS is a team-based game, the cheats don’t really make that much difference to my clan members because we normally work as a unit and cover each other fairly well.

    The exception to this is when you have a clan (at least 5-6 people) who all run the cheats and have some amount of skill. Then it gets nearly impossible to beat them.

    I have seen everything from wall hacks, which lets you see through walls which are color-coded and wireframed so you know which ones you can shoot through, to player models that have “spikes” sticking all around them so one can see the enemy even behind boxes and behind doors. (They were known as voodoo dolls for some time).

    You now have aimbots and autoshoot scripts that will fire your weapon when your crosshair touches an enemy, along with the infamous speed hack (easy to spot because the person running the hack looks like Steve Austin “The Bionic Man” running at warp speed).

    My take on cheating is this, if you need to run a cheat in order to do well while playing an online computer game, then you have no honor or self respect.

    It really pisses me off when I see these losers use these cheats. I spent a good deal of time learning how to play this game and now some punk comes along and runs a script that makes him as good as I am.

    That’s pretty sad, but there has always been cheating in online gaming and there always will be. I just hope that these people at some point in time understand that all they are doing is screwing up the future of what so many of us love.


    I am what some people might call a hardcore gamer. I play mostly first person shooters (Quake3, Unreal Tournament, and the half-life mods counterstrike and team fortress classic), I also play diablo2. People who use cheats have no skills or are just out to spread anarchy.

    Cheating is generally frowned upon and most admins will permanently ban cheaters and TK’rs (team killers, people who purposefully sabotoge their own team in c/strike or capture the flag variants). It basically takes the fun out of the game and people leave the server, which is not what the admins want.

    As for diablo2, blizzard came up with a pretty good solution to combat cheating. With the origonal diablo multiplayer was “unregulated” and there were “tools” out there to modify your character. You could make a character start at level 30 with a full “set” of items and no one was the wiser.

    Even worse, you could make your own “unique” items to sell in game to other players. Many times these items were worthless but their stats made them look good, so some poor guy pays 120,000 gold for a “silk veil of protection” that has zero durability.

    With the advent of diablo2, blizzard created, a gaming arena where people could go and play without fear of cheaters because all “realm” characters were stored on servers and were unmodifyable. There are still open games for those who decide to cheat, but they can’t cheat on

    Basically what I’m saying is don’t cheat. And if you don’t have Mad Skillz, don’t cheat. Practice and you will become better. Everyone has their skill limits and they have to accept that, but when you cheat you are only cheating yourself.

    Any gamer that’s been playing for awhile can pick out a cheat pretty quick and all you do is embarrass yourself. Elite gamers have more respect for a novice gamer that gets fragged 15 times in a row, but learns from those frags than from a cheater that thinks they are elite (is poser too out of date a word to use?).


    At first, our gaming group had a large number of gamers who would use any trick or tip to win. The core of the group, those of us who love just to get together to have fun, decided one Friday night enough was enough as new members would play once and then leave, saying “It’s no fun to be wasted without a chance”.

    So we posted on our board a set of rules all had to abide by. There where those who thought such rules did not apply to them. They got warned once. Most realized that if they wanted to continue gaming with the largest group of gamers at UCF, they would have to accept the rules.

    A few did not. They got booted. Some time later, one of those gamers came back to use after a couple weeks. She asked to come back, and we let her. Turns out the lamers found that a group of tweaked out gamers without standard people to prey on sucked 🙂

    All gamers in our group now accept having their programs for the game night checked out. Anyone seeming to have “super powers” is rechecked. Faliure to allow a recheck means BOOT! The 3 1/2 disk or CDROM switcharoo doesnt work anymore.

    To us, the key is in the game, not tech skills.


    I’ve played Counter-Strike for some 6 months and over that time
    period I have run into literally hundreds of cheaters.

    Some cheat because they suck (and they still do with cheats). Some cheat because
    they think everyone else is cheating and some people cheat because they
    have the “thrill” of kicking everyone’s ass and getting scores of 78
    frags to 10 deaths.

    It all boils down to this: cheaters have no respect
    for anyone in the game besides themselves. When people cheat it ruins
    the experience of everyone in that game and it causes some people to
    look for cheats so they won’t get whipped next time. Cheaters don’t
    realize how they aren’t making the game fun, some have the stupidity of
    asking “why is everyone leaving?”

    (Ed. note: Perhaps because they are oblivious to anyone but themselves? Or maybe “you were put here to lose to me?”)

    Cheating is occurring in multiplayer games because there isn’t
    enough enforcement, Valve and the C-Strike team can only release new
    patches every so often and when patches do come out cheaters often find
    another loophole. Banning doesn’t work because the cheaters will still
    go to another server, plus Admins can’t be around all the time. To kick
    someone in a game without an Admin it takes votes by all, or nearly all
    the people in the game to achieve it. Some people don’t care about it
    and some people don’t know how to vote, so the cheater usually stays.

    Some programs have been written to combat cheating, but these programs are in
    their infancy and still don’t manage to catch all the cheats. Plus the
    number of servers which run these anti-cheating programs are only a
    minority of the servers out there, so often you can’t find a server that
    is running a map you like.

    The situation is getting better however, less people are cheating in
    counter-strike than six months ago because there are less cheats. The
    counter-strike team and Valve have done an admirable job keeping
    cheating under control. They prove, to some extent, that vigilance and
    determination can stop cheating. They also know that widespread
    cheating make their games less fun and turns people away from them. So
    to keep fans, a developer needs to keep the games cheat free.

    Email Ed

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