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further thoughts on cheating

by Bernie DeKoven on July 16, 2012

In her article called Cheaterpants, a person I have come to know and love (virtually speaking), one PinkNinya Yammer-blastLil, muses deeply on the nature of cheating. You’ve probably already mused deeply on the cheating thing, having read my most recent of many articles on the art of cheating.

At any rate, I loved what she had to say, and felt well-nigh compelled to share it with you in its entirety. But I decided that it would be better if you were to click over to her article for that. In the interim, here’s a taste:

She writes:

I’ve noticed that the urge to lie or cheat in game, is often an indicator that the game structure isn’t quite right for me, in some way, and the cheat is an attempt to reestablish or maintain flow, that state of effortless immersion that a good game creates for us and is so delicious and life-giving to experience.

The cheat is me trying, in my little mangled, human way, to reestablish flow for myself without leaving the game, or changing the entire game.  Sometimes, it’s an indicator of an update coming through, some kind of inspired betterment for the game, and the urge to diverge from the established structure is trying to make a little room to both hear and accommodate the update. Sometimes, the cheat is more of an adaptation because I’m not up to speed with the game, it’s way to far ahead, and I’m being dragged along, so the cheat is a little like doing a standing version of of Crow in a yoga class rather than the full twisting pretzel.  But other times, it’s a wild and exciting diversion from the game, that runs parallel to the game, while keeping me near enough to the game to keep playing.  In the first wild flush of letting myself cheat, or think of cheating, I realize instantly what I would actually want to be experiencing, because you never fake cheat, you cheat to get the experience you really want.  If I feel an urge to cheat or lie, I know I’m not trusting of the game, not relaxed into it properly, and therefore not benefiting from it as I could be.  I know that whole-hearted willingness is the beginning of true play.  If I’m cheating or thinking about it, I’m not yet truly willing to the experience.

O, how difficult to refrain. How strong the urge to share her article here, in its delightfully insightful entirety. It would, however, be something like cheating, only not as fun.

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A Playful Path photoA playful path is the shortest road to happiness.
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Draw Something & the art of cheating

by Bernie DeKoven on July 6, 2012

In his article in the LATimes, Cheating rampant on OMGPOP’s Draw Something — what to do? David Sarno writes:

“There’s no real way to flag a player for cheating, or to ban or block them — or even to message them to ask them to stop. (Enterprising players, this writer included, have tried to use the actual game interface to paint out a plea to opponents to please stop cheating. Sometimes it works, most times not).

“When people write out words, the other player usually doesn’t answer and deletes the [match],” (OMGPOP CEO Dan) Porter wrote. “We log this behavior which helps us figure out which players are best to match. So people who write out words a lot over time get less matches.”

I, on the other hand, like this about the game. A lot. I like the game (well, I like helping my wife Rocky play it) anway: I like how it invites creativity, how you really don’t have to be a good artist, how the people you play with keep on coming back even though they don’t have to… In fact, I like that part also especially, the part where you don’t really have to commit to playing, so that by playing you demonstrate the fact that you want to play, that you are having and sharing fun together. But I especially value the cheating part. It’s a strange kind of cheating, because it helps both of you. But it is really cheating. It breaks something. It makes the game fragile enough to make you want to protect it. It is, after all, an unwritten rule. I mean, nowhere does the game tell you your not supposed to cheat. And there are times when you really almost have to cheat, because the word you chose turns out to be much more difficult to represent than you anticipated. Sure, if you write down the whole word you kind of break the game. But you can make it a kind of art, the cheating thing. Make it an act of, well, shall we say “creative cheating.” You could make a rebus, write maybe just the first letter (starts with…), or last. Or the last couple letters. Or write the etymology of the word, or its Hebrew root. Get, you know, creative about the whole cheating thing.

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A Playful Path photoA playful path is the shortest road to happiness.
Visit aplayfulpath.com. Free ebook!

Prui (and the concept of “Minimal Cheating”)

October 28, 2011

I think I might have made this game up. I thought I read about it in a book about games from many cultures, in the section about games from Holland. I have since not been able to find that book. And when I visited Holland, I couldn’t find anyone who heard of the game. I […]

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Cheating for fun

February 5, 2010

It’s been a long time since I sat down with a deck of cards and played solitaire. So used to the well-ordered clarity and immediacy of computer solitaire games have I become that I had almost completely forgotten about the many charms and “affordances” of a physical deck of actual playing cards. Aside from the […]

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ye olde new games 2-hour game session games list

October 17, 2013

Getting in touch people pass – uplifting people to people- very touching knees – cross-handed cyclic knee-touching Getting together shoes – a ritual panther person porcupine – three-team rock-scissors-paper elephant/giraffe/toaster – and beyond Sitting around estray bonajour – follow the leader with a shoe numbers – your basic, alcohol-free drinking game dum dum da da – try singing it to the tune of […]

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Knots, cont’d

September 22, 2013

Inspired by some beautiful photos that were taken by the curator of Playful Culture at the 2013 Athens Plaython, I decided to take the opportunity to delve a bit more deeply into the various vicissitudes of Knots. I start the game by asking people to gather in a circle (usually as many people as want to […]

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Question Tag

October 17, 2012

Here’s a little game for a large group – one that will get them talking, thinking, and connecting. I found it in a post by Paul Levy on the Applied Improvisation Network discussion board The task is simply to state an important question you hope will be addressed during the conference. Once you have shared […]

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cooperative games

October 4, 2012

There has to be at least two different kinds of cooperative games. There are probably seven, for all I know right now. But two kinds seems to be a good enough place to start. There are your endless games, like catch, that go on and on and on and then on again until everyone else […]

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knots

September 26, 2012

The last two posts exemplified cooperative games of the endless variety – games that can just go on and on and on and also on until everyone is clearly ready to play something else. In this post, we begin our contemplation of cooperative games of yet another variety – games that have a goal. Specifically, […]

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playing catch

September 24, 2012

There has to be at least two different kinds of cooperative games. There are probably seven, for all I know right now. But two kinds seems to be a good enough place to start. There are your endless games, like catch, that go on and on and on and then on again until everyone else […]

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