The Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) community was all up in arms this weekend because a well known player got banned for “Stream Sniping”. What is Stream Sniping you may ask? It is watching a player’s live stream, figuring out their location, and then killing them with that info. Crafty and underhanded to be sure, but it hardly seems like a ban-able offense.
I mean it is hard to prove for one thing. I guess since most people’s PUBG accounts are linked to Twitch, you could try and get the logs from the stream and see if that player was watching, but that would take a lot of work, and Twitch would have to be willingly giving out streaming data. That seems unlikely. Not to mention the act itself would be hard to pull off. You would need to be watching the stream, somehow get in the same match with the streamer, and then pay attention to both the stream and the game at the same time. That is not even taking in to account the lag between the stream and real time. If you can do all that you should get an award not a ban.
In the end though, if you are streaming your game, you are willingly giving up your game information anyway. Unless it is in a tournament or something, this is a choice the streamer is making to let everyone watch their every video game move, so guess what? Some people may use that information against the streamer in the game they are playing, and I think that is why the community has come to the defense of the player that got banned.
Is it cheating? Sort of, but no more then screen looking while playing Halo or Golden Eye back in the old days. It is just a hazard that comes with participating in this new hyper-connected digital age. If you don’t want people knowing where you are in your stream, build in a ten second lag. That is enough to keep it ‘live’, but it would make it even harder, if not impossible, on all those super talented Screen Snipers. Though I doubt it is necessary, since I think amount of Screen Snipers our there may be close to zero, successful ones anyway.