I used to play cribbage when I was a kid, but until starting with USGS, hadn’t played in many years. However, there’s a long-standing cribbage tournament at work, and I started playing again because of that tournament. I also enjoy playing cribbage on my iTouch. Until recently, that was just playing against the computer. However, recently, “Cribbage Premium” on my iTouch upgraded so you could play someone online. Not that the computer AI is that bad, but it’s certainly more unpredictable playing against someone online.
But MY GOD. I wasn’t always a cynic. The human race has MADE me a cynic. Even in something as innocuous as a game of online cribbage, people show that they’ll lie, cheat, steal, etc. to get ahead. One of the fun features of Cribbage Premium is that it provides you with your “rank” compared to all other players. It’s fun to see your stats, how you improve (or not) over time, etc.
So, what’s the relationship between online cribbage and my cynicism? It took me ONE game playing online cribbage. I had the game well in hand, was up 115 to 90 or something on the last hand, and RIGHT before the final card was played, the other player just quit. In this game anyway, that means the stats don’t count for your wins and losses.
Really? Really?? You get behind, and so to pad your own stats, you just quit whenever you are behind at the end so the stats don’t count? I now have had the same person, by chance, do it to me twice. Player “ronmortti”, I’m calling you out!!!
This brings up an issue though in general with online human activity. People’s face-to-face, or at least voice-to-voice, relationships are now being replaced with digital, faceless relationships. Is this making society as a whole “meaner”? It’s certainly MUCH easier in a world of anonymous user names and anonymous online relationships to completely forego any sense of morality, decency, or just simple kindness. In a simple case like this online cribbage game…would “RonMortti” be as much of a jerk, if we were playing face-to-face? I doubt it, because people tend to try to avoid conflict over little things like that, when you are face-to-face with another human being.
This is obviously a minor issue, but it doesn’t stop with online cribbage. What about online bullying? Is bullying now much more pervasive in what can be an anonymous digital world? Is the world of INCREDIBLY shallow, meaningless Facebook relationships making the way human beings interact with each other, well, meaner?? Less kind? I would be inclined to say that yes, it is.