Heather Styles wrote: ↑
Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:52 am
No, I don't think cheating does have to benefit the person doing the cheating. I refer my right honourable friend to Oxford Online Dictionary definition 1.1 of cheat (verb): "Gain an advantage over or deprive of something by using unfair or deceitful methods." Selecting out 4th consecutive vowels is depriving points to players on other tables who are not doing that. Not a lot of points, and people may not care that this has happened, granted, but let's not be afraid to recognise what is going here.
I think the solution to this and other instances of cheating (or anomalies, or whatever you prefer to call them) would be to have identical letter sets at each table. I appreciate that this is a lot of work.
First of all, identical letter sets doesn't work as a solution.. or at least it solves a problem which is not really there. Even if tables have inconsistent letter sets, as long as they're randomly distributed (they are) and players are assigned to tables randomly (they are) then nobody is gaining an unfair advantage, because everybody has an equal chance to benefit from the inconsistency. When I've adjusted the letters previously it was to get rid of long runs of consecutive letters. Which by the way happens on TV gameshow Countdown, the game that we are playing.
Back to the accusation that I am a cheat, which is the first in my 13 years as part of this community.
I wasn't being deceitful, so if your dictionary definition above is accepted then I must have been being unfair. Firstly it's unfair in a very small way, as I've probably raised the average max in each letters round by about 0.1 to bring it closer to the average max of the TV show by removing the horror rounds. Therefore over the course of a tournament I have probably raised the average max on letters in the games I have hosted by around 4 points, if we are being generous. And therefore I have probably influenced the scores of people in games I have hosted by a much smaller amount as most people don't get near 100% of the max on letters. Have I ruined COLIN? I doubt I've even cost anyone a single place.
Secondly it's unfair at the expense of enjoyment for the people involved. I will admit that I see COLIN more as something to be enjoyed than an Olympic sport with rigorous rules that must be unsmilingly adhered to. This is also why I have also advocated against cash prizes, and why I decided to bring this up as now there is effectively a worthwhile prize in the FOCAL finals.
Here are some other examples of cheating that I've done in the past, for full disclosure:
Two people declare the same dodgy 6 - don't bother checking the word, it doesn't make a difference.
Two people declare a word that has been inconsistently adjudicated on the TV show - just give the points.
The target in a numbers game in a not-close match is 101 with a 100 and a 1 in the selection - re-spin the numbers generator (here I have actually cheated against the people in the game!)
I will happily take my punishment from Gev 'n' Hev if I am felt to have cheated COLIN, FOCAL, Ben, my parents and Armand Jammot.