Advancements in anti-cheat software have been receiving overwhelmingly negative feedback in recent weeks, most notably Vanguard, used in Valorant, and Denuvo, used (briefly) in Doom Eternal and in Metro Exodus. These programs have access directly to the core of the user’s OS—the kernel—interfering deeply with their computer’s performance even when the game is closed. Not to be outdone, a small development company has created a brand new anti-cheat software called Slapstik, where if the program thinks you’re cheating, it sends a bunch of dudes with clubs to beat the shit out of you in real life.
It requires a delicate balance to protect one’s game from cheaters and hackers without inconveniencing the non-cheaters who comprise the vast majority of the player base. It’s a fine line that Slapstik carelessly marches straight through without so much as a second thought. Not only does it have kernel-level access and flag totally unrelated programs for potential abuse, but it also uses your computer’s GPS technology to receive your exact location without your consent in order to send a small crew of big burly assholes named Damian to just really rough your shit up.
“Our response time is incredibly competitive,” reports Donny Vespucci, a lead developer in Slapstik’s creation. “There’s a good chance that in your area, we’ll be at your house faster than the local police force, and with just as much gratuitous, unnecessary violence. We’re aware that our methods are a tad unorthodox, but be honest with yourself: if you didn’t want a group of strongmen in tank tops to push you down a flight of stairs, then you shouldn’t have opened Apple Music. This is your fault.”
“Personally, I’ve got some pretty mixed feelings about the software,” comments local gamer Andrew Langley. “I understand that anti-cheat protection is important. No one wants to have their online experience ruined by a fifteen-year-old with basic scripting knowledge. But Slapstik sent between three to five large brawlers with scars and missing teeth to my house in order to, in their words, ‘kick my shit in.’ They said it was because I opened Notepad on a Tuesday. Luckily, my doctor expects me to make a full physical recovery, but the mental wounds may never heal. Overall, I’m on the fence.”
Many game studios have already announced that they will be removing Slapstik from their games, except for the Grand Theft Auto team, who claim that it “makes the immersion much more authentic.”