No, he hasn't cheated on me. I'm just referring to how he cheats on these games we've been playing. Since he bought me a new game for Christmas, and then I found him a game right after Christmas, we've been having to modify the "house rules" ("house cheat modes") for two new games.
These games are particularly appealing because they are collaborative, not competitive. In most games I grew up with, winning a game meant you beat the other competitors.
These new board games make the players collaborate to beat the game, not each other. One might pit all players against a related game app that is playing out on an iPad, or against a narrative that is dictated by random card choices.
I mentioned to someone at work that Gary, the most ethical human I know, cheats at these specific games.
"But those are collaborative games. You work together to beat the game. Why would anyone cheat on a collaborative game?"
I answered, "Because he has more fun when he isn't losing," but I didn't really think about it till later.
Why does my husband, the most ethical man I know, break the rules only for these games? He would never, ever cheat at a competitive game. I wouldn't either, but I can understand the appeal. You could tell yourself that you had bested the other players in more ways that one. You know, "I win, plus I did it because I'm smart enough to make fools out of the rest of you."
(I can assure you, Gary never would do that. I have a friend, let's call him "Joe", and thirty-five years ago Gary spotted Joe cheating at Hearts. Whenever I mention Joe, Gary interrupts with, "Joe? JoeWhoCheatsAtHearts?")
With a collaborative game, you aren't going to feel smug that you are besting your friends, because you're all on the same side. If anyone would be mad at you, it would be the game designers, or the programmers who set up the iPod app. It's like ignoring your wife when she gives you driving directions, versus ignoring Siri. Actually, when he ignores Siri, he also swears at her when she suggests any other route than the one he's set on.
And, similarly, when we cheat at our game, there is a lot of swearing too. When we read along with the instructions on the iPad, it sounds like this:
Gary: "it says, ‘Add the hotel lobby. Place a door where indicated. There are some chairs you could use as a barricade. Place a barr ’- Fuck barricades!"
Me: "Yeah! Fuck you and your barricades, game."
We don't do the barricades, what can I say? It's a house rule.
So I suppose we're looking at the game as an authority figure, just like Siri, something that's trying to boss us when we want to have fun.
God forbid we ever go to a square dance.