When Nintendo debuted its DSi game console earlier this year, it closed the loopholes hackers had used to run homebrew applications—unofficial software distributed freely on the Internet—on its predecessor, the DS Lite. But hackers soon found holes in the DSi’s software too, and now DSi-compatible “flash carts,” specially modified cartridges that allow you to run custom code, are coming to market.
Most game hacking is fairly benign; some is inspired. But cross paths with the wrong hombre in Diablo II, a fantasy role-playing game that has spawned a large interactive community of online players, and you could find your game persona naked, penniless, or dead.
Like most role-playing games, Diablo II involves creating a character and then, through skilled play, acquiring special attributes and possessions. Most serious players spend hundreds of hours to enhance a character with skills such as spell casting, and valuables such as armor and weapons.