AGE OF TWINKS [Author: Arcadian Del Sol]

“The sad truth is that the Internet is full of people that love to ruin the online experiences of others. They get off on it. A great many cheaters use hacks, trainers, bots, and whatnot in order to win games. But while some openly try to wreak havoc, many really want to dominate and crush opponents, trying to make other players think they are gods at the game — not the cheaters they are. The only thing that seems to bother them is getting caught. Beyond that, no ethical dilemmas seem to concern them.” – Matt Pritchard

To quote another well read internet pontificate, these people are simply “broken.” I was raised by a father who had only one rule. Abide by that rule, and your world was Nirvana. Break that rule, and you would suffer never-ending labor and toil. That rule: respect others. That’s all, just respect others. It is a short, simple, and basic rule; but one that far too many parents fail to teach. In order to “scam”, or “cheat” in any competition, you must first convince yourself that “victory at any cost” is justified. Second, you must have no respect for the person you are in direct competition against, and no respect for the rules of competition. Twenty years ago, it was a tremendous scandal when a Canadian Olympic track champion was stripped of his gold medal and sent home in shame. It set the sporting world on it’s ear. In Sidney, you could have filled entire airline flights with Olympians who were disqualified due to cheating, and it was marginally newsworthy.

In the #lummies IRC channel, Delusion said something that I think exposes the cheaters and exploiters and all-around “grief players” in proper perspective. To them, in a game of chess, it is perfectly acceptable to take an opponent’s bishop and throw it across the room, and then when he is completely void of any playing pieces, to leap onto the table and dance an Irish jig. There are no specific rules in any chess manual that state you cannot reach across the table and punch your opponent in the mouth, and nothing restricts “post game dancing” on the chessboard. To the exploiting cheater, because these actions are not specifically disallowed, they are perfectly acceptable tactics. Nevermind the fact that he has no idea what “castling” is, or what “en passant” means. He found a winning tactic, and victory is the only important thing. When the “World Series of Chess” was held around the turn of the last century, the winner would stand, and embrace the loser, and they would shake hands. In many cases, they were long time friends who would likely share a pint of ale after the big match. There was no stigmatism attached to being the loser, and there was no shame in having fought an honest match, and been found wanting. When did we stop teaching little league teams that the winners are the one’s who play their best? When did we stop instructing our children that it is better to play fair and lose, than to cheat your way to victory?

My father taught that, and not only to his sons, but to the teams he coached, to the troops he trained, and by his actions, to everyone who met him. Victory cannot be taken; it must be earned. Honor cannot be won; it must be earned. Respect cannot be reaped; it must be earned. I learned that lesson many times over, and I suffered the penalties when I failed to respect others in my words as well as my actions. In hindsight, I’m grateful to him that his form of punishment was to copy a book to paper, or to memorize a page of vocabulary words.

It is a shame that they have failed to learn what most of us consider to be “basic human respect”. It is a shame they had such weak and vacant fathers.

Gamasutra article on Cheating, by Matt Pritchard.