One altruistic programmer has released a free program for manipulating any PC title into letting players edit game data.
Poke, a freeware release from developer Márton Anka, could open the PC gaming world to frustrated or bored gamers everywhere with its simple ability to manipulate a game's memory.
The software, which was originally a paid program and has been recently offered for free, exploits the random access memory (RAM) every program running on a computer uses to store temporary information. Programs store pieces of data in the RAM; for games, this would include the number of bullets in a gun or the amount of money a Sim has in his pocket.
Using a straightforward interface, players can pause mid-game, submit the value of whatever information they're attempting to edit, watch as Poke digs through the game's RAM and changes the stats so the gamer is fully funded with Simoleons or armed to the teeth with unlimited ammunition.
Poke works with most computer games from the past, present and future, as long as the software uses RAM to store constantly changing and heavily used numbers. It only applies to single-player games, disallowing any questionable cheating in online games. The entire tool is squeezed into a tiny 170 kilobyte download, making it an easy install even for those put off by the idea of dealing with RAMs, integers and impassable boss fights.