Intel wants fair and balanced online gaming

Suspicious of the guy who is just blowing everybody away in Quake 3? Your future PC might be able to tell who is cheating.

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--There's always one guy who seems a little too good at mowing down players in a Quake 3 session. Intel thinks future PC gamers might be interested in technology that helps level the playing field.

Intel just caught Player 1 cheating at Quake 3. Tom Krazit/CNET

The company showed off a research project into "anti-cheat technology" during its Research@Intel Day at Intel headquarters. The idea is that Intel and the PC gaming industry would build technology into gaming rigs that could detect when common cheats--such as "aimbots" that handle targeting while the player just holds down the trigger--are used in an online gaming session, said Travis Schluessler, a researcher at Intel.

Cheats such as aimbots or "wall hacks" that expose players lying in wait send data to online gaming servers in unnatural patterns that could be detected by other PCs connected to the same server, Schluessler said. PCs equipped with this technology would notify a server that someone in the game is using a cheat, and then the game administrator could set a policy of kicking the cheat offline or some high-tech method of saying "nyeh, nyeh, cheater cheater," shaming the cheater and warning other gamers not to enter into sessions with that particular player.

Intel is still working out the details; don't expect to find this in a high-end gaming PC anytime soon. This also being Intel, there's more practical business-related implications for the technology as well, such as click-fraud detection. But with the amount of money that serious PC gamers spend on their rigs and software, there could be a market among those who don't want to see their investments ruined by cheaters.

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