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10 How to Cheat. What is Cheating?  In your groups, briefly consider the question: “What is cheating?”  Consider all kinds of games (not just digital).

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Presentation on theme: "10 How to Cheat. What is Cheating?  In your groups, briefly consider the question: “What is cheating?”  Consider all kinds of games (not just digital)."— Presentation transcript:

1 10 How to Cheat

2 What is Cheating?  In your groups, briefly consider the question: “What is cheating?”  Consider all kinds of games (not just digital).

3 What is Cheating?  “to break the rules intentionally”  “to gain advantage through lying”  “to defeat someone through tricky”  “to deprive somebody of something by deceit”  cheating seems straightforward:  crossing the line beyond fair play  perhaps not so clear cut  magic circle and lusory attitude…

4 Magic Circle  play = an interlude from ordinary life  magic circle = the context or frame of the game  a temporary ‘space’ created by the players  e.g. football match: 90 mins, 100x65 metre pitch  in this magic circle different rules apply  e.g. dashing about shouting, kicking inflated animal skin

5 Lusory Attitude  entering magic circle = adopting an attitude or mind-set  players willingly adopt the arbitrary, inefficient rules  this allows everyone to play the game  e.g. the rules of boxing  more efficient to use bare fists or an iron bar

6 Contract  adopting lusory attitude = unspoken contract  everyone agrees to abide by the rules  this agreement maintains the magic circle  without it, the game won’t work Any Questions?

7 Five Player Types  Salen and Zimmerman’s 5 player types  standard player  dedicated player  unsportsmanlike player  cheat  spoilsport

8 The Standard Player  respects the rules  adheres to the magic circle  possesses a lusory attitude

9 The Dedicated Player  hardcore gamer  respects the rules  very keen to become an expert, to practice, to win  e.g. Blackjack  Standard player: win some/lose some, have a bit of fun  dedicated player: counts card, tries systems, aims to win  has a deeper investment in lusory attitude  takes game too seriously?  difference is contextual and comparative  e.g. Solitaire, Freecell, Minesweeper

10 The Unsportsmanlike Player  even stronger desire to win  won’t break operational rules  will break implicit (unwritten) rules  e.g. muttering wicket-keeper  no rule against this, but unsporting  even keener to win than the dedicated player  enters magic circle  rejects the spirit of the lusory attitude: inefficiencies  winning is more important than fun  thus, not (quite) a cheater

11 The Cheat  breaks rules (operational and implicit) in order to win  e.g. hide-and-seek, Monopoly, board games  cheat pretends to be honest  thus cheating doesn’t destroy the game (magic circle)  the cheat has some lusory attitude  the cheat still wants to win

12 The Spoilsport  doesn’t acknowledge magic circle  ignores rules and winning  e.g. Twister player, chess player  spoilsport breaks magic circle: “shatters the play-world”  contract broken, the meanings of magic circle are lost

13 Summary  5 player types:  standard  dedicated  unsportsmanlike  cheat  spoilsport  S&Z: boundaries between types are blurred  continuum: acceptance of magic circle & lusory attitude Any Questions

14 Exercise: Are You A Cheat?  What type of player are you? Where on this continuum do you come?  Are you always the same type of player, or does it depend on the game? Or who you’re playing with?  Have you been each of these types of player at different times, or is there a type of play you’ve not tried?  Try to think of an example of each type of play from your own experience (either yourself or someone you’ve played with).

15 How to Cheat  what about cheating in digital games?  same as cheating in traditional games?  S&Z: types of digital cheating:  cheating  hacking  cheat codes  guides & walkthroughs  workarounds  degenerate strategies

16 Cheating  breaking the rules  e.g. Sissyfight 2000: backstory, objective, 2 cheats

17 Hacking  breaking the code  hacks available online  e.g. Counter-Strike: backstory, objective, cheats:  wall-hack, speed- hack, aim-bot

18 Cheat Codes  included by game designers  for testing or for players  e.g. DOOM II: key combinations: weapons, health, invisible, invulnerable, et al.  e.g. Civilization II: cheat menu: additional units, cash, tech, destroy civilization, et al…


20 Guides & Walkthroughs  step-by-step instructions  official or amateur  e.g. Tomb Raider: backstory, objective, cheat  is this cheating? violates spirit of game? implicit rules?

21 Workarounds  creative use of unanticipated game elements  e.g. Deus Ex: backstory, objective, cheat  a workaround  a cheat?

22 Degenerate Strategies  e.g. Pac-man:  backstory, objective, cheat  a ‘degenerative strategy’: not intended by game designers  a cheat? Any Questions

23 Exercise: Do Digital Gamers Cheat?  Consider each of the different kinds of digital game ‘cheating’ in turn, and think of an example:  cheating  hacking  cheat codes  guides & walkthroughs  workarounds  degenerate strategies  Are these all examples of cheating? Why are they cheating (or not)?

24 A New Philosophy of Cheating  can rule-breaking enhance play?  Bernard DeKoven, The Well-Played Game (1978)  we should change our attitude toward game rules  players should assume authority over the rules

25 Players or Designers?  should feel free to break the rules  or rather, don’t break but expand the magic circle  play with frame as well as within it  players as game ‘designers’?  this already happens: different types of player (or play)  ‘cheating’ is a way to play a game  For more, see Module Website Any Questions

26 The Essay: Titles  Module Handbook, p. 11:  objective: explore a topic in greater depth  10 titles  can design own title, but must be approved (in writing)

27 The Essay: Brief  Brief: 1500 words (+/-10%) worth 50% Harvard word-processed numbered pages word count no plastic pages name, student number, module number on cover  Deadline: 12.30pm, Friday 27.04.07 (Week 11)  Submission: B1/12 (SAE for feedback)

28 The Essay: Advice  answer the question (don’t waffle)  read some books/articles  fulfil the Assessment Criteria…

29 The Essay: Assessment Criteria  Module Handbook, p. 13:  Reading & Research  Writing Skills  Academic Skills Any Questions?

30 The Essay: Support  several forms:  Upgrade (p. 14): for anyone, for all study skills  Dyslexia/Learning Difficulties Support:  International Centre for English Language Studies (ICELS): for English second language: personal tutor/me Any Questions? Next Week: FG/14

31 Further Reading  Cheating: Salen and Zimmerman (2004, pp. 266-85); Suits (1990, Ch4); Consalvo (2005a); Consalvo (2005b).  New Philosophy: DeKoven (1978, Ch2,3,5).

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