Simon McGregor on Sat, 4 Aug 2012 03:10:19 -0700 (MST)

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Re: [game-lang] Late to the party

On Sat, Aug 4, 2012 at 12:22 AM, Dan Percival <dan.percival@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Simon,
> That's quite an overview of the computer-Mao problem!

> I'm curious if you have an example in mind of a game in which intentional
> rule-breaking formally causes a loss while unintentional rule-breaking
> doesn't.

In pool tournaments at my University, the rules stated that
intentional fouls led to a game loss. This situation could arise if
you were snookered and likely to foul anyway - in principle, you are
supposed to do your best to play one of your balls, but there could be
an advantage to playing a different shot instead to leave your
opponent in a worse position after your foul.

It seems that the official enforcement rules of the Magic card game
also provide different penalties for intentional and unintentional

> In a large part, the rules of games "just are," and enforcing them
> is outside the scope of the game. (A counter-example I can think of is
> Diplomacy, which specifically states that rule violations are allowed but
> must be rolled back once discovered, if possible.) GDL implicitly uses this
> formulation, such that state transitions that break the rules are
> impossible. This is reasonable(!), but worth noting.

Yes - in a computer implementation of a game, rules violations can be
prevented (leaving aside the possibility of hacking). But one can
imagine a variant of Mao in which it is not legal to deliberately and
knowingly play a "violating" move in order to strategically incur the
card penalty without otherwise changing game state. It's not clear how
to formalise such a rule.

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