further thoughts on cheating

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.


  1. Robert on July 16, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    What about fudging? Fudging is different from outright cheating. Fudging is what makes for a good pinball game. We have fudging built into our traffic game: we have speed limits which usually include a 10 mph fudge factor along with a roll factor built into stop sign regulations. Same is true with the income tax game. Fudging is a dance and you are never certain when the limit is about to be exceeded.
    Robert B, Bellingham, WA

  2. Lily on July 17, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I think Fudging is what Bernie would call “minimal cheating” http://www.deepfun.com/fun/2011/10/prui-and-the-concept-of-minimal-cheating/

    I like her concept of cheating being a way to keep playing a game that otherwise isn’t working for her. Isn’t that what you said recently about playing solitaire with real cards? Cheating is a way to keep playing when otherwise you would have to start over.

    Love and laughter,

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