Statement from ARG President Jim McMahan regarding ARG Orlando and Video Recording

To all of you who enjoy playing or have supported the Alter Reality Games Circuit Series, Thank you for support of Alter Reality Games (ARG).

For the first time, I would like to personally,officially address some of the issues that have been brought up over the past week regarding ARG Orlando and past recordings of featured matches.

These videos were brought to the attention of ARG because they showed instances of Circuit Series players demonstrating sloppy play egregious enough to entertain the notion of either deliberate or unintentional cheating.

ARG takes the issue of cheating very seriously, and have begun an investigation into the allegations.  We will be reviewing the video evidence and public statements; as well as discussing the matches with current opponents, peers, and teammates that may have witness any such evidence.

We will then take the time to deliberate on each situation before deciding our response and issuing a statement.  I will also be looking into an independent committee filled with outstanding members of the community to be in charge of ARG penalty guidelines and a new ARG public suspended player’s list for our events.  Unfortunately, unlike our counterparts in DCI/Magic the Gathering events, we do not have access to the official player’s suspended list or any other support or affiliation. This leaves us with no effective way to enforce the official player suspended list in a fair manner. .

I would also like to emphasize that ARG does not advocate or tolerate internet bullying, and condemns the treatment of any player in this manner.  Public condemnation and ridicule of players is unproductive, and most cases are just as bad as cheating.  Players actively participating in this behavior will have no place at a Circuit Series event.

A statement on filming at future Alter Reality Games Circuit Series (ARGCS)

I feel as if the future filming of feature matches should also be addressed at this time.  Having feature matches and any filming in and of itself is not a bad thing at all for this game.  Filming not only improves the accessibility of the game enormously; but also brings much joy to many players not in attendance. Filming provides an opportunity for these players to learn from the game, to discuss what occurs, and to keep up with their favorite players in the game.  Therefore, we will continue to standby recording feature matches as it is an important part of the game and Circuit Series.

This being said, it is important to remember that the increase in video coverage will in turn impact alleged dishonest playing and/or cheating.  Before video, there were only so many eyes that could be on a certain match. Now with video popping up Twitch, YouTube and other sites, every single shuffle, cut and move can be endlessly scrutinized leaving no stone unturned.  There is NO doubt in my mind that this is a good thing. If cheaters succeed, the validity of the entire Circuit Series event is called into question.

Everyone in our community loses when someone decides to cheat; but with video evidence available, more cheaters will be caught.  The thin line of success and failure at these events cannot be decided by a player who decides to play outside the rules.

It is with my sincerest hope that the ARG & YGO community learns something from these issues and will become stronger from it.

Jim McMahan
Alter Reality Games