I am fairly new to Diplomacy, and have played in about ten to twelve games, never doing better then a three-way draw, and having many eliminations. After I found The Diplomatic Pouch, I told my dad about the possibility and fun of playing on the net. He has not played the game since the board game was popular in the 60's and 70's. So, I agreed to tutor him and play a few games with him, so that he could be reassured of what to do and how to play.
To do so, I of course registered myself a second time with the judge -- through a free email account, disguising my identity. I was Bond, James Bond. My dad and I played a couple a games together. We didn't really prosper, but obviously we planned things together by phone, and therefore, we had an unfair advantage. I really never thought much about it before until I read the article in the Spring 1998 Movement issue of the Zine. I realized that it was unfair to the other players (who were trying to find a fun and straight game) to have a pre-determined alliance working against them. As a result, I am no longer using my false identity; I have dropped it and I request that others do the same.
I was startled to read that there have been occurrances of single people playing two or three countries. Pretty meaningless; seems like mental masturbation to me. But who am I to point fingers, right? So, the article worked; I am no longer "cheating," and told my father he is ready to move on and play on his own.
I also suggest that the GM's consider not allowing free e-mail accounts access to "gunboat" games, and perhaps even track who each player plays with, not allowing a player to play against the same player again for a month after a game is finished. This will make it harder for cheaters, although if they really want to cheat, they still will find a way.
So, for my final comment, which I direct to unreformed cheaters: "just don't do it." If you think you're having fun, you're fooling yourself, and your actions hurt the community a lot more than you realize.
(Mail forwarded by The Pouch)
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