www.whyville.net May 16, 2003 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

Smart Money

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I know that a while ago, several people wrote articles about cheating at the Smartcars. I didn't really mind because I had retired shortly before then, for other reasons. I haven't heard anything on the matter recently, but I don't remember City Hall saying anything about punishment (or lack thereof)  for these people!

Just about a week ago, I started racing again. After signing up and racing a couple of times, I felt inspired to watch some other races. I would watch a race, leave for a couple of minutes, and then return to watch a new race. I am sad to report that since these articles about Smart Cars cheating, the number of not-so-smart car cheaters has gone up!

Now, you might be asking yourself why you should care. At first I was a skeptic, and I didn't really care at all. But then I realized that it's not just anybody doing this. Do you know who it is? It's people who are ranked #6 like Gimlet and Tesslaa, who I believe was at the time ranked #5 (possibly #4). I watched a race, and Ahdieh, who is ranked #1, cheated! (And don't anybody tell me I can't use their names in this article. If you're doing what I consider cheating to get clams, the whole world deserves to know, and cheaters should still be proud of themselves.  Editor's Note: Ah, but you also need to be aware of libel, Giggler01 -- in real life, you can be sued for smearing somebody's name! Is this libel? Somebody research libel for us and let us know!)

This makes me question the system. Why should someone like Ahdieh get a 200 clam bonus each week until a bigger cheater can come in and beat her? Because honestly, that's what I believe is happening.

I have begun racing on only the Free-For-All, the Pike and Wiggly Wag. Why? Because you can't cheat on those! It's going to be a clean race. I think it's a real shame, because I used to love racing on Gasoline Alley. I'd rather lose to someone who raced fairly, and spent some time on their configuration, than beat someone who cheats, period.

I'm also curious to know how City Hall feels about the cheaters. Does she think that maybe there should be a punishment for these people? Or does she feel that they even deserve their bonuses? I understand that City Hall and all of her workers are busy, but they created Whyville for learning, not for cheating. And what are we, as citizens and challengers supposed to do when we see someone cheating? I have taken to writing letters explaining why they shouldn't cheat, but I can't see everyone doing that.

I would also like to point out that these cheaters only further demonstrate and prove Whyville's unhealthy obsession with winning, and earning clams. Today I walked into the Auditorium and people were sitting there comparing the amounts of clams they had. Point blank, it was a competition to see who was the richest, and prettiest. When someone wasn't ahead of the game, they resorted to insults and name calling. Yeah, that'll make you rich and famous. (Right after you've been taped, of course!) I hope that while cheaters may live forever in Smart Cars Arena, it never ends up looking like that.

I am also going to take the time to point something out to you today. I have met several people in Whyville in my time. Since becoming a member in the summer of 2001, I have learned something that I'm not sure many people can ever realize. Of all the people I have met, of all the people I have talked to, the happiest have not been the richest -- when I meet someone who has worked for their money, they are often the most pleasant. Why? Because after working hard for they money, they got rich... then the piles of money started to grow and soon they had a ton of money, but nothing to do with it. I'm never going to be able to spend my 30,000 clams on clothes, but I still come on Whyville!

I'm disappointed that it seems people have to cheat to get to the top. In a world where people will do anything to get ahead, I would have hoped Whyville was an exception. I guess you just can't find an honest person out there.



Editor's Note:  I believe City Hall hasn't punished any of these individuals because it hasn't been conclusively proven that this is really cheating.  Whyville is all about asking questions and finding the best possible answers -- if the best answer means drawing outside of the lines, isn't that what we want to encourage?  What's the difference, if any, in this case?


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