Cheating is an act of lying, deception, fraud, trickery, imposture, or imposition. Cheating characteristically is employed to create an unfair advantage, usually in one's own interest, and often at the expense of others, Cheating implies the breaking of rules. The term "cheating" is less applicable to the breaking of laws, as illegal activities are referred to by specific legal terminology such as fraud or corruption. Cheating is a primordial economic act: getting more for less, often used when referring to marital infidelity. A person who is guilty of cheating is generally referred to as a cheat (British English), or a cheater (American English).
Another example where cheating has occurred is in sport. An implicit agreement exists among participants that they will play by the rules and eschew unfair measures to win. Cheaters violate the rules of competition. Examples include Ben Johnson's disqualification for doping in the 1988 Summer Olympics or the admissions of steroid use by former professional baseball players after they have retired, such as José Canseco and Ken Caminiti. Cheating refers to more than using illegal substances. Perhaps the most famous example of cheating in professional sport took place in the 1986 FIFA World Cup when Diego Maradona used his hand to punch the ball into the back of the net past the England goalkeeper Peter Shilton. Using the hand or arm by anyone other than a goalkeeper is illegal according to the rules of association football.
Another example of cheating frequently seen in sports is the use of non-regulation (vis-a-vis the rules) equipment. In baseball, a pitcher using a doctored baseball (e.g. putting graphite or Vaseline on the baseball), or a batter using a corked bat are some examples of this.
Circumvention of rules governing conduct and procedures of a sport is also cheating. Erstwhile Indiana University men's basketball coach Kelvin Sampson was ousted from his position for persistent circumvention of rules. Sampson, over a period of 7 years (including his tenure at The University of Oklahoma) circumvented an NCAA rule designed to protect minor student-athletes from incessant interruption of their home lives and studies. The rule forbids college coaches from contacting student-athletes during periods when students are expected to be focusing on school, family life, and high-school team practices. Between his tenure at Oklahoma and Indiana, Sampson evaded this rule over 600 times, thus giving his teams an unfair recruiting advantage over opponents.
Cheating in gambling is practiced to gain an unfair advantage over one's opponents or the casino, usually for monetary gain, but also to win wagers having a non-monetary forfeit. In poker and other card games, the cards can be manipulated by a skilled cheater. In casino settings, cards can be counted to predict when cards of a particular denomination are more likely to be dealt, and casinos regard this as an unfair advantage. Other gambling activities such as roulette and craps can give rise to cheating by the use of rigged equipment like loaded dice or rigged roulette wheels.
Gambling on sports events can give opportunities for cheating where a participant in the sport is disadvantaged (e.g. doping of horses) or disadvantages himself (e.g. a boxer "taking a dive") so that the outcome is known to selected gamblers who take advantage of this fact in placing bets.
Cheating is also used to refer to movements in strength training that transfer weight from an isolated or fatigued muscle group to a different or fresh muscle group. This allows the cheater to move an initial greater weight (if the cheating continues through an entire training set) or to continue exercising past the point of muscular exhaustion (if the cheating begins part way through the set). As strength training is not a sport, cheating has no rule-based consequences, but can result in injury or a failure to meet training goals. This is because each exercise is designed to target specific muscle groups and if the proper form is not used the weight can be transferred away from the targeted group.
The degree of acceptance or rejection of cheating varies in different cultures.
With regard to human relationships, couples tend to expect sexual monogamy of each other. If so, then cheating commonly refers to forms of infidelity, particularly adultery. However, there are other divisions of infidelity, which may be emotional. Cheating by thinking of, touching and talking with someone you are attracted to may be equally damaging to one of the parties. Emotional cheating may be correlated to that of emotional abuse, which to date is treated seriously in a court of law as physical cheating. With the expansion of understanding of other cultures, there is a wide spectrum of what cheating means. When in a committed relationship, the definition of cheating is based on both parties opinions and both parties may redefine their understanding to match the party at an either lower or higher extreme of this definition. Some couples simply believe that cheating constitutes doing anything, whether verbal or physical, that one would not do in front of their significant other. Such examples would include: expressing attraction to another person, electronic communications, kissing, making out, and sexual relations.
Many people consider cheating to be any violation of the mutually agreed-upon rules or boundaries of a relationship, which may or may not include sexual monogamy. For example, in some polyamorous relationships, the concepts of commitment and fidelity do not necessarily hinge on complete sexual or emotional monogamy. Whether polyamorous or monogamous, the boundaries to which people agree vary widely, and sometimes these boundaries evolve within each relationship.
There are various forms of cheating in video games. On console platforms cheating is commonly a combination of buttons. An example of this is the Konami Code of "Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start." This code appeared in a number of games, most famously in Contra, for the NES, where it gave the player 30 lives, rather than 3. In role-playing games one of the most popular methods is using "trainer" programs, which usually greatly inflate player's stats/attributes. In Strategy (real-time or turn-based) games, similar programs are often used to maximize player's own resources, or weakening opponents. Modifying game data files is also a popular way to cheat in games. This mostly applies to computer games.
Attitudes towards cheating vary. On one hand, cheating allows casual players to complete games at much-accelerated speed, and this is especially helpful nowadays as typical RPG's can take well over ten hours to finish. For single-player games, this is largely a matter of taste. On the other hand, as internet-based multi-player games, such as MMORPG's are becoming more and more popular, cheating in those types of games is often prohibited. In many circles, the purchasing of items or currency is also considered to be cheating.
In First Person Shooter (FPS) games, players can use multihacks containing different kind of cheats. These include: Aimbot (automatically aims at targets), Wallhack (allows the cheater to see targets through walls), and ESP (displays informations about the targets).
There is enough evidence to conclude that academic cheating is an extremely common occurrence in high schools and colleges in the United States. 70% of public high school students admit to serious test cheating. The information comes mainly from students. 60% say they have plagiarized papers. Only 50% of private school students, however, admit to this. The report was made in June 2005 by Rutgers University professor Donald McCabe for The Center for Academic Integrity. The findings were corroborated in part by a Gallup survey. The new revolution in high-tech digital info contributes enormously to the new wave in cheating: online term-paper mills sell formatted reports on practically any topic; services  exist to prepare any kind of homework or take online tests for students, and camera phones are used to send pictures of tests; MP3 players can hold digitalized notes; graphing calculators store formulas to solve math problems. Increased competition for college admissions in recent years may also be to blame.
Cheating is defined as an act of deception, fraud, trickery, imposture, or imposition. Cheating characteristically is employed to create an unfair advantage, usually in one's own interest, and often at the expense of others. Cheating implies the breaking of rules.
"CHEATING the fraudulently obtaining the property of another by any deceitful practice not amounting to felony, which practice is of such a nature that it directly affects, or may directly affect, the public at large" (Stephen, Digest of Criminal Law, chap. xl. § 367). Cheating is either a common law or statutory offence, and is punishable as a misdemeanour. An indictment for cheating at common law is of comparatively rare occurrence, and the statutory crime usually presents itself in the form of obtaining money by false pretences. The word "cheat" is a variant of "escheat," i.e. the reversion of land to a lord of the fee through the failure of blood of the tenant. The shortened form "cheater" for "escheator" is found early in the legal sense, and chetynge appears in the Promptorium Parvulorum, c. 1440, as the equivalent of confiscatio. In the 16th century "cheat" occurs in vocabularies of thieves and other slang, and in such works as the Use of Dice-Play (1532). It is frequent in Thomas Harman's Caveat or Warening for. .. Vagabones (1567), in the sense of "thing," with a descriptive word attached, e.g. smeling chete = nose. In the tract Mihil Mumchance, his Discoverie of the Art of Cheating, doubtfully attributed to Robert Greene (1560-1592), we find that gamesters call themselves cheaters, " borrowing the term from the lawyers." The sense development is obscure, but it would seem to be due to the extortionate or fraudulent demands made by legal "escheators."
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Cheating happens when someone breaks rules or lying. Cheating can be done in many ways. Some students cheat on a test by copying someone else's answers and writing secret notes. This is can get them kicked out of school. People who break the rules of a game are cheating. For example, if someone holds the ball when playing soccer, they are cheating.
Local and national governments have laws. If someone breaks the law, they can be punished. If someone cheats in a way that is not illegal, they can't be punished by law. Some common punishments include jail and fines.
Organizations, such as schools, can have rules. Rules are not laws, but people can still be punished for breaking a rule.