The computer cheats!

News The computer cheats!For me, game AI is interesting not in the way that one must make it smart (though this is, undoubtedly, a godlike feat at times), but in the way that one must make it convincing. I like to call this “stupidity coding”.

With that in mind, I found this column on GameSetWatch to be relevant to my interests. I forgot to mention it when I first saw it pop up in Gamasutra, so it’s nice to have an excuse to bring it up now.

It explains a funny little phenomenon that affects a lot of players: the illusion of unfairness in a system that is, technically, in perfect balance. The piece opens up by citing the apparent “cheating” of computer opponents in Puzzle Quest (a feeling which I totally sympathise with), then goes into a discourse that touches on human psychology as well as what gets to be considered a “fair” AI advantage as opposed to an “unfair” one.

I liked this piece so much, I read it twice. That’s commitment for you.