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A bit hard to define, and probably another case of IKnowItWhenISeeIt?. Something like trying to abuse rules technicalities in games against opponents who aren't aware of those rules technicalities.

How about: the invoking of some subtleties of the rules of a game to jar the progression of that game instead of helping it proceed naturally, especially when said subtlety is not usually relevant, but has a significant impact on the game in this situation, and one player is unaware of this subtlety prior to being ambushed by it. (Yes, I know there are 'subjective' terms in there, like 'subtle' and 'significant', but I'm using English; there are limits.) --NR

Some examples:

Oh Ouch.  RulesLawyer? alert!  Though not always, BabylonFive for example uses this mechanic to great effect.  (Announcing your intention early is bad, so you are motivated to pass - but you risk everyone passing and not getting to announce at all, which is worse...)
Does this phenomenon always result from the clash between informal evaluation of the rules and programmatic evaluation?  (i.e. can such situations arise if every event opportunity is announced explicitly?)  -- This isn't an entirely idle question, since computer games are currently stuck in a state where such explicit announcement is required.  --Vitenka
I think RulesCheese and RulesLawyer?ing do require that distinction to be present and unclear. You wouldn't get it happening in MagicOnline, for example. --AlexChurchill
I'd make a distinction about RulesLawyer?ing.  That can often occur due to misunderstandings about the rules, plain not knowing the rules or attempting to extend the rules to cover a situation that the rules themselves leave untouched.  --Vitenka
I suppose so. RulesCheese will almost always involve RulesLawyer?ing, but not all RulesLawyer?ing is RulesCheese. --AlexChurchill

How does this differ from simply taking advantage of something your opponent has forgotten / hasn't seen? -- Senji
An interesting question.  I'd think it has something to do with how actively you provoke it - and whether it is something that is obviously just missed or something that they may be deliberately chosen.  Then again, it's pretty discourteous to play chess and hope that your opponent just fails to notice the winning move.  Dunno.  --Vitenka (At a higher level of play it becomes the norm to take advantage of such slips, but it remains discourteous - you are implying that your opponent may ever make such a slip for any reason other than a temporary brain spazz.)
Surprise is the art of making your opponent see something that isn't true. -- Senji
I challenge your assertion that it is discourteous in higher levels of play to take advantage of slips: in chess for example there is no known way of winning other than letting your opponent make a mistake, and then exploiting that error.  At that level the errors are usually very subtle and take a great deal of exploiting.  It is regarded as a mark of considerable skill to manoeuvre your into a situation where it is very easy to make a mistake (and thought poor play to leave his situation simple so that he is unlikely to make a mistake). --NR
I believe a "slip" is defined as something like "trivially obvious nonsubtle mistake" in that assertion. - MoonShadow
Sort of.  It's a bit fuzzy, but there's a boundary there somewhere.  I acknowledge that it is the case that at higher levels of play, mistakes are mercilessly exploited.  I think that a game which requires this is, well, shitty.  I also have no idea how to determine the difference between a mistake and an error.  I think it's something like "An error is something that, on closer inspection, you still want to do, but which is wrong"  --Vitenka
A nice quote - but where does it cross the line into GamesManShip??  And when does it become cheesy?  Is it when the onlookers are holding their heads in their hands and silently willing the dupe ot not fall for it?  --Vitenka
For some reason, this gives me a mental image of tournament players being backed up by a gaggle of Armani-suited RulesLawyer?s, and responding to every question with "allow me to consult with my attorneys"... - tjm

CategoryGames, CategoryLanguageGettingInTheWayOfLogic

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