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An Object Lesson In Gamified Systems…Or Why Cheating Doesn’t Pay

An Object Lesson In Gamified Systems…Or Why Cheating Doesn’t Pay

ClickTrackProfit is fundamentally a training tool to teach people how to use traffic exchanges and other vital tools for affiliate marketing.

Learning to use traffic exchanges, while ultimately rewarding, may not be everybody’s idea of fun. But CTP is a gamified system and it is fun.

CTP Teams could be looked upon as a gamified system within an existing gamified system but it has a very serious purpose indeed – to give people practical experience of collaborative team work and to develop leadership skills.

But as with any gamified system there are a series of rules which do not need to be formally stated but which are understood by all.

Here are some of them:

  • there must be rules
  • players must accept and play by the rules
  • players may try to seek advantage for themselves and their teams
  • attempting to seek advantage is good as long as it is done within the rules
  • the system must be fair to all players

Now as with any rule-based system there will be people who are so determined to gain an advantage that they are willing to ignore all the rules in order to do so…this is cheating and it is not acceptable.

Yesterday on one of the teams a member was noticed to be behaving suspiciously. It appeared that he had found a way to claim badges that he had no entitlement to claim.

The team in question discussed what happened and kicked the culprit off the team. The owner of the traffic exchange which was being cheated banned the user from the program and he has now been banned from CTP too.

In a good gamified system the members will police themselves – this is what happened yesterday. It is a credit to all who behaved honorably yesterday to nip this in the bud.

Cheating does not pay.

Good call folks.


55 responses to “An Object Lesson In Gamified Systems…Or Why Cheating Doesn’t Pay”

  1. Sig says:

    Thanks A LOT for Bringing this up and out!

    This is a must to read for all really.

    With respect

  2. Nice Post Patrick,

    As a member of the team affected, it is disheartening that someone we brought into the fold on our team decided that he was above everyone else and felt the need to cheat in order to gain an advantage.

    This is a lesson to all the team leaders out there to train and encourage your members to abide by the guidelines set up by CTP and that if you cheat, you will be discovered and dealt with accordingly.

    It is not fair to those of us that spend hours surfing at several different TE’s per day for one bad egg to ruin it for the rest of us.

  3. Here is a story
    I lived in a valley once and a motorcycle was stolen. a posse was formed and after one phone call the valley road was blocked (a community working together), the posse headed down the road and when reaching the road block realised that the thief had obviously turned off before the block, so tracks were followed and the bike found, the thief caught red handed. The thief was a newcomer to the community. For the next year every time that person tried to build something they were thwarted and blocked by the community. It took another two years for that thief to gain some semblance of trust from the community and gain the ability to move forwards.
    A mistake can take a long time to heal, especially when a Community is exactly that, a Community which is a group of like minded people watching out for each other and communicating with each other.
    Good Job to all concerned

  4. The ultimate victim of cheating is actually the cheater themselves. It’s a self defeating practice. Even cheaters that don’t get caught ultimately cheat themselves.


  5. Tom Wacker says:

    For those that don’t know, Lucky 13 was the team. I was way sound asleep when the ‘event’ happened, but the team swung into action and by the time I got up all that was left was to adios this member from the team.

    Way to be, team. This is how teams work and behave. I am incredibly proud to be affiliated with you all today.

  6. David McKay says:

    Sorry to hear about this and well done to Lucky 13 for sorting it out quickly.

  7. Joao Ramos says:

    That’s why we never sleep.
    There’s always someone taking care of the team. We caught a cheater on our team, but it could be on any other team.

    Rules must be accepted by all members, whatever the business or game. Like Patrick put in the list “there must be rules”.

    This is a wake up call to all the cheaters: Sooner or later you’ll be caught!

  8. Awesome work by Lucky13 – teamwork rocks!

  9. Jon Olson says:

    Very good post and points Patrick. This is supposed to be fun, and when you abuse that, it ruins it for everyone. Play by the rules, and let the people enjoy ‘the game’.

  10. Jaco Alberts says:

    Good post. When you are in control of your game, you have fun and you have the game. When the game starts to control you, there is no more fun and the game owns you, because you become a slave to it.

  11. Frank says:

    Great Post Patrick!

  12. Charlotte Ericson says:

    Cheaters, hackers and scammers is one if the things that almost made me quit a couple of months ago. It makes me sad to find out we had a cheater on our great team. I am happy to hear that members of my team took action fast. Great job.

  13. Nana Carreras says:

    Really is a sorrow , there are people who try to cheat. This is an unrespect the rights of another members.
    The respect to another people´s rights is the peace.
    I totally agree with the decision to suspend this cheat member. I don’t want to be a fellow of anyone to try cheat.
    Good post. All of the members needs to stay informed.

  14. Cheating never gets people anywhere but, into BIG TROUBLE so, what is the real purpose for cheating… Come on folks why can’t we all play by the same rules and collect them badges honestly? GREAT JOB on kicking that cheater out. Now let’s get back to work PEOPLE! There is a Team competition going on here! Let the BEST Team be on Top this month… Now how is that for a little MOTIVATION? LOL

  15. Raj G says:

    All Games must be enjoyed and played in
    ‘The True Spirit of the Game’

    Maintaining Fairness requires Courage!

    Anyways, hope all bad elements are shunted
    out immediately upon discovery … !

  16. Boris says:

    My first reaction, when I heard it happened on our team, was proxy embarrassment and next a disbelief that TE owner could do something like that. In my book it’s like shooting oneself in the foot.

  17. Georgia says:

    Sorry to hear that this happens, but kudos to all involved for tracking it down and dealing with it.

  18. I congratulate Lucky 13 for taking swift and decisive action. What this individual hopefully is learning is that this is not just a community but is a family and as such, we will take action as a family and protect one another. To cheat the family is to in essence say that you are not one of the family and you are not one of the community. So I have no qualms about banning that individual at each of my sites as well.

  19. Glenn Witmer says:

    Way to go everyone for working together so quickly

  20. Well done all, the team, the TE owner and TimTech 🙂

  21. Way to go Lucky 13 to take care of this in such a quick fashion.

    Yes, It could happen to any team. We all need to be on the look out for things that don’t look right.

    Way to go Hopeful this X member will think twice before trying something like this again. It doesn’t pay

  22. Ken Hulit says:

    good info thanks

  23. kathi says:

    WAY TO GO it’s SO SAD to see even in a place like this there ALWAYS HAS to be a CHEATER the team leader of this cheater should REPORT HIM TO ALL PTC TEAM SITES to warn them about this person and have them banned from ALL TEAM EVENTS THIS WAY the person can’t join and cause MAYHAM for other sites

  24. Charlotte Ericson says:

    Cheaters doesn’t belong anywhere, especially not in the CTP teams.This is a teameffort and it’s a fun way to network with others and help and motivate another. Thanks to my great teammembers the Cheater was stopped.

  25. Good that they took action

  26. welob77 says:

    I agree so much with you, we all have a reason the we log in everyday. I have tried for 2 years to market on the internet with PTC sites and I am not bashing it in no way, however I got no where with it. Since joining CTP not only am I apart of a great team, “Kore4” all the way baby! But I am learning so much. It is sad for someone to cheat it hurts the team they are on and I hope that anyone else who feels they need to cheat will see this as a lesson.

  27. Victoria Stein says:

    Thank you Patrick,
    …and to everyone who will read this and truly understand,..that whether ‘caught’ or not,…those who take advantage,… hurt themselves the most.

    This read was especially imp,..as we need to clarify some things for ourselves,..and our standards w/in a team…..conduct of 1 may affect all.

    In whom do we trust?,..if not ourselves first!

  28. John Brewer says:

    There are enough problems in the world without adding to those problems on purpose.
    We, the Lucky 13 team were offended by this action.
    Hats off to our alert team members for noticing this, and having the integrity to report it.

  29. Selya Rollins says:

    Good to see team members are paying attention.

  30. Scott Rohn says:

    Excuse my french, What a scumbag, Why the hell would anyone fell the need to cheat. I am so glad team Lucky 13 saw this and took quick action getting this piece of Sh%&^ off there team, And bravo to Tim Tech for giving em the Boot. Now I sure hope that one f-up doesn’t ruin it for everyone else who is loving the game

  31. Evelyn Kramer says:

    WTG Everyone. The Internet has enough scams and lies out there. I am happy to be part of an online community like CTP that keeps true to the spirit of fairness and truth. Helps me trust all of you even more. 🙂

  32. Lynn M says:

    This was such a very sad situation and it’s a shame that this person felt they needed to cheat. This person wasn’t much of a “team player” and had never spoken with nor responded to messages from anyone else on the team as it were, so I don’t feel the loss as I would have any others, but it is still frustrating that someone our team tried to get away with such a thing. It is very heartening that my teammates saw what was happening so quickly, investigated it first thoroughly, and took swift action. Go Lucky 13 – the team that never sleeps and is (now) cheater-free!

  33. Gamification is the fun side of the coin. The other side is that this is a business. The game side is made to encourage people to do the right things needed to make their business successful. A person willing to cheat on the game side in certainly not a person that anyone wants to do business with.

  34. Anton Parvov says:

    The ultimate victim of cheating is actually the cheater themselves.

  35. Patricia Dean says:

    Patrick thanks for sharing this. Lucky 13, sorry this happened, great for taking action.

    TimTech obviously set a standard with their action.


  36. Stephen Whittle says:

    So glad the cheater got dealt with and we can move forward (hopefully) cheater-free!

  37. Whoever coined “Cheaters never win and winners never cheat”
    Had it all right. I am sorry for the team that had to go through it, but proud of them for doing the right thing, CTP as well

  38. Tony says:

    I am proud to be on this team that never sleeps.

  39. Virginia Herron says:

    I know that sometimes cheaters get away with it but why bother? Nobody wants to have a cheater on their team. It takes away the enjoyment of honestly winning and truly claiming the top prize as a group.

  40. Howard Fullmer says:

    I am glad I am on an awesome team that works well together.

  41. Kris Rogers says:

    Oh my! This is meant to be fun (game) isn’t it. Why cheat?

    • David McKay says:

      Exactly Kris, what’s the point?

      There are no million dollar prizes here. What went through their head?!

  42. David McKay says:

    Just reading through again.

    To clarify – Was this member a T.E owner or a surfer?

  43. Karen Kuty says:

    Kudos to Lucky13 for behaving like grown-ups and removing the cheater. It seems that there is always “someone” who tries to take advantage of every situation and get “extra” at the expense of others.

    By self-policing as a team and behaving ethically, you not only preserve the integrity of the game, but demonstrate why people would want to do business with you in the first place!

    I’m sorry that you had this problem. It’s so sad when someone abuses your trust (and probably thought on some level that he/she was “helping” the team as well).

  44. Great post Patrick,

    Cheaters need to be strung up by their balls.

  45. Wendy Scott says:

    Sorry to hear that someone felt the need to win so strongly that they had to do this act. If it feels like a compulsion -get out. Happy to hear what a strong team Lucky 13 is. I hope we are not supporting the TE he owns.

  46. Haider Ali says:

    Well done Teams Awake Now All 🙂 and enjoy the game

  47. Myra P says:

    Gee it takes the same amount of energy or possible less to do the right thing as oppose to cheating/scamming…some will never learn

  48. Kathy Clouse says:

    Lynn M. thank you for answering my question..”.was this investigated thoroughly before action was taken”. I have seen TE owners jump on someone before, who had done nothing wrong, before they investigated the situation. And it was very harmful. The right process was done.

    Why cheat? This is for learning and for having fun while learning. I for one, tend to fall a sleep when I surf, except one the chat sites and watching for the badges, etc. It livens it up and makes it fun. why ruin this for your team, for yourself?? More and more in life, there seems to be less and less I understand about human nature. I feel sorry for that person who felt he had to be a cheater and feel encouraged that his team went about the right steps to expose him and take the right actions.

    Just my thoughts.

  49. Little slow commenting on this… As a child, I got caught cheating on a Spanish vocabulary test. I was having so much trouble learning the new words. I wrote some on my palm and I guess I was not very subtle. I was so upset and embarrassed when the teacher pulled me aside after class. It scared me so much that I finally started really learning. I guess it must have scared the smarts into me.

  50. Wow, awesome post lots of long comments to go with it!

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