While hacking video games may not be illegal in and of itself, it could land you in the clink if your hack enables a player to gain an otherwise unfair advantage over other players in an online gaming experience.
Recent busts of video game hacker rings who sell cheat codes have created awareness and scrutiny to this seemingly innocent endeavor.
From a legal perspective hacking a video game is not illegal, the issue comes when that hack is used to gain an advantage over other players in a competitive or shared gaming experience. Personally, I don’t believe our legal system is equipped to handle these kinds of cases at this point, but new cases will set precedent for future cases.
The case Epic v. Rogers The video game producer actually went after a minor for using cheat codes in a video game. The case is worth reading for entertainment value alone.
As more gaming is taking place online and virtual currencies and goods are being exchanged and as cases are being brought to criminal courts for cheating and hacking video games, it is safe to say, that real life consequences are playing out in a virtual world.