Cliff Bleszinski: Industry Should Embrace Hackers, Homebrew

Epic Games design director and developer lead on the Gears of War series Cliff Bleszinski says that the video game industry needs to embrace the hacking community for a number of reasons. In an E3 interview with to promote Gears of War 3, Bleszinski said that it was a chance for companies to foster more homegrown, user-generated content.

"I was on a panel with Kudo (Tsunodo, Kinect creative director), and we were talking about Kinect Fun Labs, and he was saying they’re embracing a lot of the homebrew and hacker stuff that’s going on with Kinect," said Bleszinski.

"Generally speaking when it comes to hackers, you want to embrace a lot of what they are doing instead of fighting it. I think the industry is slowly learning that," he added.

One of the benefits Blezinski didn’t mention is using hackers to highlight or locate security holes in various online systems. Many are more than happy to oblige.

You can check out the full interview here or to your left.

Source: GameTrailers

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  1. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    One way to look at modding is, without it, we would have never had the likes of Counter Strike or Team Fortress 2.

    Both of those originally started as mods.

  2. 0
    rma2110 says:

    Let me be clear. There is a HUGE diffrence between hacking and modding. I am all for the modding and Homebrew communities. Cliffy is right about that one.

  3. 0
    Neeneko says:

    The problem is, how tech people use the term internally and how the rest of society uses the term have diverged so much.  We can jump up and down all we want ranting that people are using the word ‘wrong’.. but at the end of the day, we do not own it,.. and ultimately we will have to accept that the meaning has changed from when it was an internal term and if we continue to use it our way, all we are going to do is make communication with mainstream society even more difficult.

  4. 0
    greevar says:

    I have a better term: Innovator. Without the likes of GeoHot, nobody would be able to unlock their iPhone to use on a different carrier than AT&T. It’s innovative to enable new features of a device that didn’t previously exist. (e.g. the PS3) Anybody who mods, is an innovator. Oh, silly me! What am I thinking? The industries claim that only they are innovators!


    –verb (used without object)
    to introduce something new; make changes in anything established.
    –verb (used with object)
    to introduce (something new) for or as if for the first time: to innovate a computer operating system.
    Archaic . to alter.
    One who innovates.


  5. 0
    Bennett Beeny says:

    The definitions should be fairly simple:

    Hacker = good guy who wants to make a system better.

    Cracker = bad guy who wants to break a system to gain an advantage.

    The problem is, people don’t use dictionaries anymore. Instead they go online and do a word search, click on any old link and hope for the best. Then, when someone calls them on using the word incorrectly, they give the whistle-blower a hard time because they think they should have a right to be ignorant.

  6. 0
    Mr.Tastix says:

    The term "hacker" is such a horrible word, mostly because it has no truly universal definition and because people rarely inform the audience of what kind of "hacker" they’re talking about.

    I don’t call those who make homebrew software as "hackers", I find "modder" to be a more appropriate term for them. Likewise, I don’t call someone who accessed your Facebook account because you left it logged in on a public computer a "hacker".

    — Randi Tastix

  7. 0
    Bennett Beeny says:

    Wait… I just got a flashback to 1998 when Talonsoft threatened to drag me to court over the unofficial patch I made to correct their Battleground Waterloo game. I would have thought that, by now, developers would all be on board with taking advantage of user-generated content. I mean, if it takes 13+ years for them to evolve on this issue, I worry about other issues they may also be dragging their feet on.

  8. 0
    Thad says:

    As always, such positions by Cliffy B and others in this regard must be sure to define the type of hacking that they are talking about.

    Only if their audience is too thick to figure it out from context.

    I think it’s pretty clear what type of hacking they’re talking about.  I just wish GP would be more consistent in its use of the term.

  9. 0
    captain_cthulhu says:

    not only did Cliffy mention Homebrew but stealing credit cards is an extremely narrow definition of what a hacker is and shouldn’t be your default definition regardless. Heck, everyone on is a hacker and none of them are stealing anything. but Sony disagrees: all hackers/hacking are destroying society.

    keep in mind that with PSN, Sony doesn’t know if CC’s were stolen – they must err on the side of caution and assume they were. lately the trend of hackers against gamer/consumer-driven network services like PSN and Nintendo have been to show them that security should not be taken lightly along with a painful example. just like there are good people and bad people, there are good hackers and bad hackers. NPR had a story about this perspective as well as some other sites like boingboing.

    contrast this statement with Kaz’s yesterday and you can see the disconnect – Cliffy is a lot more in-tune with what’s going on in the wild world wide web than any Suit (though you could probably make an argument that Cliffy is a Suit in gamer’s clothing). But Cliffy is at risk from hackers too and he’s not afraid… let’s hope that levelheadedness and openmindedness like this will continue and eventually prevail. <starts to hold breath>

  10. 0
    Zerodash says:

    At risk of a non-sequitor here, but there is no way in fuck that stealing credit card numbers can be a GOOD thing for the industry.  As always, such positions by Cliffy B and others in this regard must be sure to define the type of hacking that they are talking about.   

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