As posted elsewhere, my first playthrough is always my “official” playthrough for me…unless I die prematurely, since everything is brand new.
However, if it is a game I like, then I will try and explore the various side-branches/paths. In situations like that, especially if the game is on Steam, I will manipulate values/variables because I do want to enjoy the other stuff, but I don’t want to waste time all over again.
As others have stated, in multi-player games, cheating shouldn’t be allowed (unless someone is new, and there is an agreed upon ‘handicap mode’).
In a single player game? A lot of it boils down to time or frustration. People, especially considering the fact most gamers are now in their 25-30 range just don’t have as much time (family, work, etc.). If I want to play the newest JRPG, I don’t want to spend 3 hours to just gain 1 level.
The other aspect is frustration. I know there’s been a general trend to make games easier, but if something is hard for very little reason, then people will put it down…and it might put them off of buying other games from that dev. I know that is why I basically did a copy/paste cheat on Darkest Dungeon…I didn’t want to spend hours rebuilding groups if I suffered total party kills.
And the rallying cry of ‘just git gud’ only shows that person either has more time on their hands, or is an asshole. Ultimately, games are meant for personal enjoyment…especially single player ones…and while there certainly is pride in beating a frustrating level, if it takes you 10 hours to do it…no.