Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Djinngate 2015

In case you guys didn't know, a scandal named "Djinngate" erupted at the ARGCS in Fort Lauderdale over the weekend.

This is the basic background of it: In the Nekroz mirror, players have recently been agreeing to side out Djinn Releaser of Rituals in order to create a more skillful match. However, this type of agreement can be exploited because unlike past agreements involving cards like Return from the Different Dimension or Sixth Sense, Djinn is not Limited. Your opponent can tell you that they're removing Djinn while either a) siding in another copy, or b) leaving in the main decked copy and using the sided copy to make you believe that they sided it out.

Apparently, a few players at the tournament including Patrick Hoban decided to engage in this trick to get their opponents to remove Djinn while still keeping a copy in for the match. You can see screenshots of such a discussion in this video: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX8BwewZ18Y]

People have been debating about whether or not this is cheating. The thing is, sometimes there are multiple ways to define a single word. There are several different dictionary definitions of "cheat" on this page: [http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cheat?s=t]. Several of them refer to tricking of deceiving somebody, but I did also find one that says cheating is the violation of rules or regulations.

Since Konami's policy documents don't say that lying to your opponent about something that isn't public knowledge (in this case, the contents of your deck and/or side deck) is cheating, technically, Hoban didn't actually cheat. It's also worth noting that in scenario 'a' from earlier (which Hoban does allege happened to him at one point), you aren't even lying to begin with.

But at the same time, is there really anybody who would dispute the idea that doing this is absolutely morally wrong, or at the very least detestable? If such a person does exist, then I sincerely hope I never meet them. For me personally, it just seems like we would all be better off if out-of-game trickery was just a bit more limited in its legality. But hey, maybe that's just me.

Situations like these are useful to those with an interest in philosophy because they help prod people into using a greater extent of their critical thinking skills, which most people simply don't do on a regular basis. It also helps to reinforce one of the biggest philosophical points of competitive gaming: for some people, there is a large amount of moral fiber that instantly goes out the window once you agree to play a game. I'm not sure why people still don't seem to be realizing this or that situations like these are the hideous results of it, but events like these are probably bringing us a step closer at least.

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