Most people really do have it all wrong. Back in the day, cheats were "accidental"...they were exploits found by other gamers based on coding infractions, they were never INTENTIONALLY developed into a game until GTA3, unless you had a game with a cheat menu. But cheats like level select in Sonic 1, wasn't meant to be found, it was a glitch in debugging process.
Then you have cheat devices, such as Gameshark, Codebreaker or Action Replay, which utilize a whole different method, by FORCING the game to act differently then programmed by changing the Hexidecimal codec so slightly that it modifies your game.
If you can't tell, I was a huge utilizer of cheats...I loved them. They brought so much replay value to a game. It really sucks that the codec infrastructure is so complex now that guys like Pelican Accessories, can't make cheat devices anymore...I really miss them.
The only problem I have with using cheats in games that have them now is trophies being disabled. While it makes sense to do so, it shouldn't STAY that way after I turn my game off. If I come back to the game without using them, I should have my trophies available to me again.
Credit to ub4of for Sig & Av