Comments: Computer characters mugged in virtual crime spree

I don't think that this is "unfair" advantage. If anything, it's a flaw in the game's design.
There was one a quiz game on Hungary's largest daily's website, where one had to answer 30 questions as quickly as possible, and there were some prizes handed out to the best.
One could play the game as many times as one wished, but it was always the latest result that counted.
The game had three fatal flaws:
1. The time was measured by the player's own computer (in javascript), and taken by the server on faith.
2. Secondly, after each answer (one had to pick the right answer from three possibilities), the computer told you whether or not the answer was correct.
3. Until you answered all 30 questions, you could restart the game, without affecting your last result.

This meant that it was trivially easy to assemble a database of the approx. 1500 questions that they had, together with the correct answers. And write a code that aced the quiz.

It was very funny to watch the organizers bounce around in panic trying to patch the gaping holes. Along the way, to save face, they made all sorts of bluffs (like the game had thousands of questions, etc.), that were, of course, immediately called. Finally, they kicked out a lot of players based on a visual inspection of the logs and then held a final round in their head office on "tamperproof" computers to select the winners. And most importantly scrapped the promise to play such games every month. This was the first and the last one.

Posted by Daniel A. Nagy at August 21, 2005 03:38 PM

in 1980, the person responsible for REX(X) had done a mainframe 3270 multi-user spacewar game. basically somebody started a spacewar game server ("the umpire") and local users (on the same time-sharing machine) and remote users could all connect and play against each other.

there was a provided client ... but the protocol interfacing to the server was fairly straight-forward and eventually somebody wrote their own automated bot and started beating everybody.

the game was then modified to consume energy inversely proportional to the time beween client commands ... below some interval threshold ... the amount of energy used started going up dramatically. this helped to level the play field between the automated bot players and the human players.

aka supposedly the big advantage of bots over humans wasn't so much better strategy ... but being able to play their moves faster ... so drastically increasing energy consumption for fast players ... introduced some additional player strategy trading off speed of play against energy consumed.

lots of past spacewar posts
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/97.html#2 IBM 1130 (was Re: IBM 7090--used for business or science?)
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2000b.html#67 oddly portable machines
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2000g.html#24 A question for you old guys -- IBM 1130 information
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2001b.html#71 Z/90, S/390, 370/ESA (slightly off topic)
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2001f.html#10 5-player Spacewar?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2001f.html#12 5-player Spacewar?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2001f.html#13 5-player Spacewar?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2001f.html#14 5-player Spacewar?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2001f.html#51 Logo (was Re: 5-player Spacewar?)
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2001h.html#8 VM: checking some myths.
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2001j.html#26 Help needed on conversion from VM to OS390
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2002g.html#57 Amiga Rexx
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2002i.html#20 6600 Console was Re: CDC6600 - just how powerful a machine was
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2002j.html#22 Computer Terminal Design Over the Years
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2002o.html#17 PLX
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2002p.html#29 Vector display systems
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2003c.html#0 Wanted: Weird Programming Language
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2003c.html#62 Re : OT: One for the historians - 360/91
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2003c.html#72 OT: One for the historians - 360/91
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2003d.html#28 Why only 24 bits on S/360?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2003d.html#38 The PDP-1 - games machine?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2003f.html#39 1130 Games WAS Re: Any DEC 340 Display System Doco ?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2003g.html#7 Any DEC 340 Display System Doco ?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2003i.html#27 instant messaging
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2003m.html#14 Seven of Nine
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2003o.html#10 IS CP/M an OS?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2004b.html#33 A POX on you, Dennis Ritchie!!!
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2004c.html#34 Playing games in mainframe
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2004d.html#45 who were the original fortran installations?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2004f.html#32 Usenet invented 30 years ago by a Swede?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2004m.html#20 Whatever happened to IBM's VM PC software?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2004n.html#8 RISCs too close to hardware?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2005k.html#22 Where should the type information be?

Posted by Lynn Wheeler at August 21, 2005 04:09 PM
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