I posted this in the heartless thread ('Lets play a cheater'), but it is so buried within the thread that I am worried no one will see it. I spent a good 10 minutes typing it up, so I don't want that time to be completely wasted.

This will be a huge, but hopefully decently formatted, "wall of text", so I thank you in advance for taking the time to read.

After reading, if you can give a coherent response, that would be so excellent! If not, feel free to do the "tl;dr" or "you hack, stfu" stuff :). Or feel free to sit back quietly and enjoy the show.

Original text

I will not state my opinion on heartless; however, I will state my opinion about how you people 'argue', if you can call it that. I am saddened by the tactics you use, although I always suspected it would be something like what I have seen.

I am accused myself, and therefore I have great insight into how accusers operate and how arguments play out. You can see the thread "MICR0N?" to better understand where I am coming from. I will not comment on whether or not I am guilty or innocent, as that is for the other thread.

After some time observing and reading the many threads here and elsewhere, I think I have a good enough understanding of the people in this community to make this judgement: Any statement an accused cheater makes, as becks says, is used against him as further evidence that he cheats. Here are some examples:

1) If he says he does not cheat, then this is what "any cheater would say" and is in fact an admission of guilt.

2) If he doesn't defend himself, and instead pokes fun of the situation, then it is brought into question why he does not defend himself. People then suggest that his actions in this case provide evidence that he is cheating.

3) If he does not comment at all, then people wonder why he is so quiet. They state that the silence is an admission of guilt.

So, what choices are the accused given?
In my opinon, just one: Admit to it.

What about the other 'choice', you say? Going to a lan.

This does not seem to be sufficient. kgb and walter, both heavily accused of cheating, decided to attend lans; however, many still seem to believe they hack, and it looks as if people still give them a hard time about it.

Now you may say: What about going to a lan and doing extremely well? That will prove you were legitimate online!

Sadly, this also doesn't seem to be the case: strenx has proven himself as a strong player on lan. I will not immediately say "world-class", but if he isn't, he is close. I am told (whether or not this is true, I do not know; however, with this community, the truth doesn't really matter. Rumor rules. The idea of "reasonable doubt" is thrown out the window.) that he cheated in the past. He was never caught, but people believed that he cheated. Many people have not forgotten this, and it will follow him forever, regardless of whether or not it is true and what he has achieved.

Now to an ex tent the above paragraph makes sense. Just because you do well on lans does not rule out the possibility that you cheated online. What I am trying to get at is, it should not matter. Unless you blatantly cheated and were *CAUGHT* online, you should be given the benefit of the doubt. If you did well on lan, bumped heads with some top players, you should be respected and treated as a strong player both offline and online. Your reputation should not be destroyed because of accusations from the past that haunt you.

Another thing to notice is the lack of people with real opinions on the matter. I have stated this before and I think if unbiased people study the replies made both on forums and in IRC/IM conversations, they may understand where I am coming from: Most people are followers of the masses, *ignorant* to the evidence presented. This is true not only of this community, but of many others. It is how people work. It is the "tl;dr" mentality combined with the desire people have to want to fit in with a group.

In general, people do not want to spend the time going over the evidence. In what I have observed, with cheat accusations against players like walter, kgb, heartless, satan, and myself, it is one person who brings in a demo they think is questionable (our evidence) who states their opinion. This is fine! This is good! This is also where proper evaluation of the evidence breaks down! You have a collection of people stating (in perhaps more words) "I agree.", without justifying why they agree. They do not justify, because in many cases they have not gone over the evidence thoroughly. Maybe they haven't even looked at the evidence at all. They see that the person who posts the demo is either (or a combination of):
a) someone who has busted real cheaters in the past.

b) someone who is a respected member of the quake community.

In accordance with the fascination people have with always being right, these people will agree with the original poster solely because they want to be in agreement with someone who has a good chance of being right. Their own opinion is non-existent.

So I pose this question to the community, and I want to see if there can be some agreement reached: If you are a relatively unknown player and you are doing extremely well, well enough that people begin to suspect you are cheating and the rumor starts to spread, is there truly a way to rid yourself of the accusations? Are you damned? Is it really as easy as "go to a lan," because from what I have been reading, it isn't.

My personal opinion: If you are accused and the rumor builds up enough momentum: simply put, you're fucked.

I know that I will get mostly short responses with useless content, flaming, etc. That is to be expected, and I am fine with it. What I hope from at least a few (or even one!) of you readers is a coherent response that addresses some of my points. Whether or not you agree with me is besides the point. I would be happy to see someone in agreement, sure; however, I would be happiest to see someone *FORM THEIR OWN OPINION* and back it up. I am sure that even on a forum like this at least a few people are capable of this :).

To those who are not the "tl;dr" types, thanks for reading this long rant. I appreciate your donation of time.

*A Note: While I am no expert in psychology, my college minor was in this subject. I am no stranger to human behavior and my statements are not baseless. I leave it as an exercise to the reader to locate studies (of which there are many) which explain the leader-follower mentality in more detail.