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Strangers and Two Game Security Issues

Bruce Schneier is a security analyst with an interesting blog. A recent blog entry was an essay on The Kindness of Strangers.

He starts out the piece with the seeming paradox that we tell kids not to talk to strangers, but the best thing a distressed child can do is find an adult and ask for help.

Schneier explains¬† “The difference is that in the second instance, the child is choosing which stranger to talk to.”

I think this relates really well to two recent topics in the Two Plus Two Bricks and Mortar forum:

  1. Selling chips to other players, as discussed in this thread on a cage mishap at the Borgata
  2. Finding “Underground” cardrooms

In the first case, some posters warn others not to sell chips to players that come up to you, in case those players have counterfeit bills. Others claimed that represensts no big risk, and they sell chips to players often with no problem.

This is analogous to Schneier’s example of children and talking to strangers.¬† If you are in line at the cage and someone comes up to you offering to buy chips, you may want to be cautious. But if you are sitting at a table and someone pulls out a hundred dollar bill, you can feel pretty comfortable selling them chips.¬† Like the child looking for an adult, the difference is who is doing the soliciting. In the case of selling chips at the table, the player seems perfectly comfortable exchanging with the house, and the player is just interrupting the normal process. When in line at the cage, someone looking to buy your ships may be actively avoiding an interaction with the house.

In the second case of finding underground rooms, there is a similar difference in how introductions are made. Anyone who runs a home game knows that it is necessary to recruit players to keep the game alive. An undergroundroom has to do the same. But it is one thing to mention the game to someone likely to be interested, and answering requests for information from just anyone, especially on the ‘Net.

And it works the other way for players looking for a game. As poster Colorado wrote, beware when “Someone is practically selling a game to you (as opposed to casually mentioning it and then talking about something else).”

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