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Policing Online Games -- Defining A Strong, Mutually Verifiable Reality in Virtual Games

Date and Time
Wednesday, October 3, 2007 - 4:15pm to 5:45pm
Computer Science Small Auditorium (Room 105)
Kenneth Steiglitz
Ronald Reagan was fond of saying "trust but verify". Alas, the modern virtual world of games gives users no basis for trust and no mechanism for verification. Foolish people wager real money on a hand of cards dealt to them by an offshore server. Some of the virtual worlds have been rocked by scandals where sys admins take bribes to add special features like unbeatable armor to favored players.

The good news is that we can build strong, virtual worlds that give users the basis for trust and the ability to verify the fairness of a game. The algorithms are well-known and tested, to some extent, by time. This talk will review a number of the classic results designed for playing poker or distributing digital cash, and explore how they can be used to stop some of the most blatant cheating affecting the more sophisticated online world.

Peter Wayner is the author of 13 books including "Policing Online Games". (www.wayner.org/books/)
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