PBEM Security: An Alternate Approach

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WJPalmer1
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PBEM Security: An Alternate Approach

Post by WJPalmer1 »

From recent posts it doesn't appear that we're a very trusting group. Personally, I don't experience the same extreme reaction as those who demand that PBEM carry the same level of security as online credit card transactions in order for us to enjoy the experience. But I also recognize that everyone would feel at least slightly warmer and fuzzier toward our colleagues with some pro-integrity incentives in place. And, of course, it is worth considering whether, as a computer gaming community, we REALLY want Marshall spending his time developing an air-tight system of combat resolution rather than say, figuring out cool ways to minimize file exchanges & speed play?

With more and more Matrix gamers using PBEM, perhaps a more efficient mechanism would be to have players’ conduct self-regulated in much the same way Ebay requests buyers & sellers to police their own transactions -- through feedback. And, like Ebay, such a system could be used for aspects beyond just whether someone cheats. Characteristics such as promptness and politeness, also important to an enjoyable gaming experience, could also impact feedback received by a player. Such a system could span all Matrix games with PBEM capability. Here’s how something like this might work:

•A new PBEM game (for any Matrix title) is registered with Matrix
•Players agree to abide by a code of conduct established either by themselves, Matrix or some combination of the two, which establishes expectations as to integrity, promptness, handling disputes, etc.
•At the end of the game, players post overall feedback for each other ala Ebay (i.e., positive, neutral, negative together with a short comment field). This would be open and available on the Matrix system to other players

It would still, of course, be possible to cheat, stall or be obnoxious – at least once. Those who make a practice of anti-social behavior would soon find it hard to join a game. It would also provide a reference system for gamers looking to start new games with players who have a proven track record of integrity and reliability.

This type of system works exceptionally well for Ebay where users have much less in common than gamers and much more reason to “cheat” with real $$ on the line. And I bet it would be good for Matrix by making PBEM more attractive to everyone and, thereby, expanding its markets.

Bottom-line, once established such a system should be relatively low maintenance thereby freeing developers to do their real job: making EiA even better!
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DCWhitworth
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RE: PBEM Security: An Alternate Approach

Post by DCWhitworth »

This certainly looks like a good idea, I can think of one improvement and one problem.

The improvement would be to link the profiles to registration of the serial number of the game. If there is no such link it is probably too easy to create a new profile and shed negative feedback.

The problem is that, although some attributes and behaviour are obvious, how do you detect a careful cheat ? Someone who only cheats occasionally during the course of a game would be very hard to detect.
Regards
David
bresh
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RE: PBEM Security: An Alternate Approach

Post by bresh »

Actually i dont like it, sorry but i wont play policeman.
Nor be policed by someone who could just have a bad day.

A server resolving combats rounds seem way better.

Regards
Bresh



WJPalmer1
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Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 6:34 pm
Location: Colorado Springs
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RE: PBEM Security: An Alternate Approach

Post by WJPalmer1 »

The problem is that, although some attributes and behaviour are obvious, how do you detect a careful cheat ? Someone who only cheats occasionally during the course of a game would be very hard to detect
.

You're correct that it would not be possible to pick up every instance or subtlety that a dedicated player could devise if intent on getting away with something. And as with Ebay, there are obvious ways for the unscrupulous to “reinvent” themselves to the system if they want. However, players should be able to feel very confident when playing with someone who has multiple games under his belt and consistently high feedback. A dedicated cheater who changes identity and e-mail frequently to avoid detection would show up as one with no experience and no positive feedback.
Actually i dont like it, sorry but i wont play policeman.
Nor be policed by someone who could just have a bad day.

It would be any player's prerogative to refrain from giving feedback, but I, for one, would want to know if I was doing something that torked people off. And if I was being a doodoo head and received bad feedback, well then, I probably deserve it. [;)]

Again, the system works quite well in Ebay, where there are mechanisms for responding to negative feedback.
gwheelock
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Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 1:25 am
Location: Coon Rapids, Minnesota

RE: PBEM Security: An Alternate Approach

Post by gwheelock »

I dont think the "feedback" idea is viable in the context of pbem games - ESPECIALLY EIA.
 
Do you actually have any idea of how long a single full EIA game is likely to take?
 
(I have been thru several f2f games; we met almost every Saturday; 5-8 hours/per; FOR MOST OF
A YEAR in each one).
 
My guess is that a full EIANW pbem will take 3-5 YEARS realtime.  Are you willing to wait THAT LONG
before you can see feedback on someone?
 
Guy
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DCWhitworth
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RE: PBEM Security: An Alternate Approach

Post by DCWhitworth »

ORIGINAL: gwheelock

I dont think the "feedback" idea is viable in the context of pbem games - ESPECIALLY EIA.

Do you actually have any idea of how long a single full EIA game is likely to take?

(I have been thru several f2f games; we met almost every Saturday; 5-8 hours/per; FOR MOST OF
A YEAR in each one).

My guess is that a full EIANW pbem will take 3-5 YEARS realtime.  Are you willing to wait THAT LONG
before you can see feedback on someone?

Many groups seem to opt for 24 hour turnaround for phases. If players took about this amount of time the game would actually run *slower* than real time [>:]
Regards
David
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