There has been some talk on GT about cheating. What is cheating? Cheating is purposefully violating the rules of the game being played. In sports this could be anything from an illegal hold on another player or the object in play (ball, puck, etc.) to crossing a boundary with intent to get ahead (offside, out of bounds, etc.). In board or card games, cheating could be moving a piece or card when not your turn (or not your piece) or having extra pieces or cards.
All of the above are governed by rules of the game that set forth the manner in which a game is to be played. These rules are generally written somewhere and participants may choose to abide by the official rules or play by house rules. Either way, participants of a game are bound to play by the rules. A player who does not play by the rules is said to cheat and one who consistently eschews the rules is deemed a cheater.
There are many ways of cheating in games we play in the natural world. One may cheat by sleight of hand, by cover of other playing pieces or players, or even openly, daring another player to call him to task. Sometimes cheating is allowed to occur to keep the flow of a game such as in hockey, soccer, or street basketball. But, that does not change the nature of the act. Cheating is still cheating whether we call the foul or not.
There are many rationalizations for cheating. The aforementioned "flow of the game" is one. "Because he is cheating," may be another. Some people cheat merely because they can. Many people cheat because they feel they have to win or want to win. According to most rules though, one can not win unless he has played by the rules. Therefore the cheater is not winning. He is only beating the other player(s).
In the virtual world there is a difference however. There are rules set forth and these rules must be followed. There is no way to break the rules because the rules are set forth within the parameters of the program that has been written. The only way to break the rules is to break the program or "hack" it. When this is done however, one is merely changing the rules from the official rules to house rules. The game, when played, will still have a set of rules that must be abided. There is no way to slip another card into the deck or in one's hand. There is no way to move the other piece on the board. There is no way to do other than what the programmer has intended.
On GT there is no cheating. There is however etiquette which should not be confused with house rules. Etiquette in the natural world would dictate that one not cheat (at least egregiously or more than your opponent). Etiquette on GT is what is referred to as "GG" ("Good Game"). Such things as not attacking in the first round, not attacking before your opponent reaches 80, not attacking for the sake of attacking without regard for winning are all based on etiquette. If they were rules, they would have been written into the program.
Enjoy the game. Be the best you can be. And play with abandon.
- Mike Watson
Zack Kosnitzky, P.A.