Weimar Republic on Theodore James Tedofsky

Nick Boragina

Theodore James Tedofsky is a cheater. He was caught for cheating a year ago. He was 15 at the time. Theodore James Tedofsky made up story after story to try to get back into diplomacy. Theodore James Tedofsky even made up new identities to try to fool the Judges. Theodore James Tedofsky is me.

Yes, I am 16, and I cheated a year ago. Some of you who are reading this are more than likely the same age, and have done the same thing. Some of you may have read articles from older people who have done it, but mostly, kids and adults cheat for different reasons. An adult will cheat to up his rating. A kid will cheat to see if it can be done. An adult will cheat so he can brag to his friends how he won. A kid will cheat so he can brag to his friend how we cheated. I am not 100% sure what happens in other minds when they cheat, but I can share my experiences.

I cheated. I barged into a game and attempted to fool the GM and ruin the game for everyone involved. I committed an act, in the Diplomacy world, equal to murder in the real world. But this is only one side of the story...

In 1999 I found this website, www.diplom.org, just a bit after creating a new e-mail address and falling in love for the first time. russia1914@hotmail.com quickly rose to become a good diplomacy player... well that's not true, but I did play in a fair bit of games. I eventually tried more variants and became interested in history. One thing that interested me was the lull between WW1 and WW2. The time of the Weimar Republic in Germany. I found a variant that was about this period in time and signed on. I was so excited.

An example of a day in my life back then would be like this:

So as you can see, 5 minutes is a long long time for someone like this. The game took 2 weeks to get 6 players... needless to say it was taking for ever and ever and ever... or so it seemed. I eventually got angry and decided to sign on from my other address to get the game moving. I decided that I would take this advantage and resign which ever e-mail address got the power I liked least. But the GM was wise to my plot, and banned me from diplomacy forever. I was angry to say the least. This was, I am sure, an OK story and if I had left it at that, I may have been allowed back in then. But...

I tried to fool the JKs by using my friends names and address, getting them banned in the process. Eventually, when caught one to many times, I exploded and made up a story about being the son of a high-ranking Russian politician and that we were gonna "sue the pants off" the JKs. I also made up stories about how the KEE Empire was going to avenge my diplomacy death... and how there was a street battle over it... and how.. well I don't remember it all, just that in the end I send an e-mail saying, "if you get this, it means I am dead". I decided to take a break from diplomacy and invented the address weimar_republic@hotmail.com. Eventually, when I thought it was safe, I returned under that address, using a fake address and name on my registration. Things were going rather well until I wanted to get into the Vermont Group. In order to do this, I needed to give Doug Massey my banned e-mail address. I freaked. If I gave it to him, he would know, and I would be banned forever. If I didn't give it to him, he would get suspicious, find out its me, and I would be banned forever. So I decided to lie.

Eventually, google.com took over the deja forum, so I couldn't send any kind of reply to anything up there. I ran into an article I wanted to reply to, about how cheaters are dealt with, and sent it to all JKs. Eventually Doug Massey connected my banned address, with my weimar_republic address, with the JK I was banned on, and this reply about cheaters. I knew that unless I wanted to continue the lies I would have to stop. So I decided to tell the truth. It took about a week when I didn't know if next time I signed on to a game it would tell me I was banned or not. Today, David Norman, USTR judge, the JK that had banned me, replied that he would let me back in. I still don't know whether the other JKs will or not, and I may lose half of the games access or more. But most of all, what I have lost, if any chance of getting into the Vermont Group. It all seems bad, but I could not tell the truth when I approached Doug, and I could not just back off, cause if he looked into my record, he may see that its really me. One lie starts many, and if I had approached the JKs after it happened, things might have been different...

My gripes:

How to fix it:

  • Simple. First, write down the rules. My suggestion would read as such:

    So in closing. Yes I cheated, yes I lied. But I feel like Emilio Estevez's character in that movie where he is a crook and cant get a job cause no one wants to hire a crook. So he decides that rather then rot away he will go to banks and, not rob them, but burn their mortgage papers so that the people late on their mortgages don't have to pay until the papers are made back. If you make one wrong act should it ruin your life? Would you hire a crook? What if you stole some money in a drunken stupor, and became a crook? "well I am sure I could just explain I was drunk at the time..." honestly, would you listen to a crook go on about how he is innocent? Things like this make both parties feel wronged, and I am sure that the JKs feel just as wronged as I do right now. This is why I think that cheaters and JKs should rally around these 3 suggested rules.

    It's always hard to see someone else's side when you have been wronged. But David Norman has done a lot of working through anger and other emotions to see my point, and I have seen his. Hopefully, this act will not die with the both of us, I would hope that if these 3 rules are not implemented, that similar rules will be. Prevention is the key. Both sides need to see the other side. JKs need to accept that some cheaters truly intend to never cheat again if given a second chance. Cheaters need to accept that the JKs are volunteers and that they could be paying a fee to use the judge, (good idea actually). And that the JKs responsibility is to ensure that other players don't get their game ruined by a cheater.

    ~Nick Boragina


    ~Theodore James Tedofsky, Emperor of the KEE Empire

    {the KEE Empire is an organization, we will have a web site soon, I hope}

    Nick Boragina

    [Ed.: -- I happen to totally disagree. There is absolutely no excuse for cheating, and I fall into the "tough on first offenders" category. "It was the first time I broke the law" is not really an excuse, and people should learn to live with the consequences of their actions, whether their age is 15, 55, or 115. Bet you didn't expect THAT from a Canadian :) -- TH]

    If you wish to e-mail feedback on this article to the author, click on the letter above. If that does not work, feel free to use the "Dear DP..." mail interface.

    [Ed. note: It appears that e-mails to this address are bouncing, if you have a reply, you can send it to me at tdhill@student.math.uwaterloo.ca. If you could include the word 'pouch' in the title, it would help my sorting. :) --TH]