Lecture #19: Life Online: Cheaters 3 of 4


Let’s not mince words: cheaters are idiots. What exactly is the point? And what could possibly be more boring than pushing pieces around in a game that you have fixed to win?

Cheaters at PlayDip get caught. There are A LOT of volunteer resources and IT tools that go into making sure of that. Cheating also is uncommon. Only about 1% of games involve any kind of cheating (and not all cheating impacts the game; some just impacts the site, like multiple accounts used in different games.) As a result, it is not that big of a problem here, so I don’t want to overblow the issue, but questions about it do come up from new players. Plus, people can run afoul of the rules by accident because they don’t understand the hobby standards.

The house rules on cheating all come down to this:

* Don’t multi-account: one player, one account. That is simple enough.

* Don’t collude (nor hold grudges) based on anything outside of the game you are playing. Personal friendship, concurrent or past games, bribes or threats, all have no place in influencing your actions. In short, team-play, cross-game play, and out-of-game play are cheating. All of these are collectively called meta-gaming.

Sometimes new players worry too much about meta-gaming. Diplomacy is a 7 person game where all of the powers should be independent of one another and start each game with a clean slate. Anything else unbalances the game. But that doesn’t mean you have to ignore what you know about the other players. It only means what I wrote above: don’t collude & don’t hold grudges across games.

If you do suspect you have run into cheating, don’t make an accusation directly or in public press. The later is itself a violation of house rules, and the former serves no purpose and will only antagonize others if you are wrong. Instead, report your suspicions to the moderators. Here are the steps:

1) Gather your evidence. Guidance and the information you need to provide the Mods is listed in this post:


2) Post in the Cheaters forum or send a PM to the Cheater-hunters group to request an investigation. Do not put player names or game numbers/names in a forum post title to avoid unnecessarily raising attention until a Mod acts on the investigation.

A last word of warning: do not purposely post false cheating reports or try in any way to use the forum to influence a game. The mods do not take kindly to having time wasted and the there is a strict separation between games and the forum. You will be sanctioned if you violate these rules.

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