Hacking Video Games In A Personal/Isolated Environment
Question for anyone knowledgeable in software/ video game laws and Islam:-
Context:- There is a legal memory editing software out there called cheat engine which you can attach to computer games and enhance player experience via editing memory values and changing the game speed (Slow motion/Fast motion). In a nutshell this software allows a player of the game to modify game data and speed such that one can enhance game experience and potentially get more freedom in the video game and have more fun and is hence cheating in the game.
Potential problem/dilema:- vast majority of video games require people to comply with the EULA (end user licence agreement) which in almost all cases prohibits cheating in online and/or multiplayer mode which has the potential to ruin the experience of other players and thus directly or indirectly cause monetary damage to the production house which is hence copyright infringement and clearly wrong to do so.
However there is still an online debate as to whether using softwares like Cheat Engine violates the EULA of the video game if you are cheating in offline single player mode such that it’s only for your own personal use and the experience of other players is not being effected and no monetary damage can be attributed to the production house.
From my own research on various forums etc the majority of people argue that it is ethically fine to do so and it does not violate EULA to hack in single player offline mode as there is no proof of monetary damage to production house and no one is being harmed and along the lines that it is none of anyone’s business on how you choose to entertain yourself in this isolated environment. Even if there is something in the EULA that looks prohibitive to do so, it does not apply as monetary damage can’t be proved and it falls under fair use (using this logic, a company called Lewis Galoob toys won a lawsuit against Nintendo who sued them for copyright infringement but lost source:- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Galoob_Toys,_Inc._v._Nintendo_of_America,_Inc.)
However according to some other people and Chat GPT it is still considered a violation of EULA as it interferes with the intended game design and violates integrity of the game (does not make sense to me personally as I’m just having fun with a game I payed for and no one is being harmed 😕). But in this case, the production house will not enforce any breach of contact as there is no monetary done to them and also maybe as it’s hard for them to detect an activity of this nature done on a personal level.
Question:- if I use Cheat Engine on single player games I’ve obtained legitimately just to enhance my own fun in a manner that does not amount to any “Haqtalafi” on face value (monetary loss/stealing from game developers/ruining the fair play and/or experience of players who I’m potentially playing with), is it a still a sin to do so even if I’m potentially violating the EULA but harming no one in the process?