It pains me to say this, but I had to kick someone off Figment today.  There’s no sense printing that user’s name, but suffice to say he was cheating by creating alternate accounts and then becoming a fan and buying/listening to the albums he created under his main account.  The first time he did this I deleted his alternate account and explained to him that he couldn’t do it.  He was issued a warning that if he did it again his main account would be suspended, but I chose to give him the benefit of the doubt and didn’t delete the lucre he had created for himself.  I figured that a warning was enough and that maybe he hadn’t understood our terms and conditions, but for some reason he chose not to heed the warning.  Instead he created more bands on his main account and then proceeded to create a series of alternate accounts.  With these alternate accounts he became a fan of each of his real account’s bands, bought their albums, and listened to them, all in an attempt to create lucre for himself.  At this point, I had no other choice but to suspend his main account and delete the alternate accounts.  I’m not sorry I did it. 

We are committed to keeping Figment as level a playing field as possible, because we want the people who play the game to feel as though their creativity and the rewards it produces are honestly gained.  It’s not fair to you as a Figment user if someone else is cheating the system, because they’re not just cheating our site, they’re cheating you too.  Whether it’s cheating you out of a chart position or contest prizes doesn’t matter, the bottom line is they are cheating.  We won’t stand for it and neither should you.  So rest assured we’re on the lookout for this type of illegal activity on our site.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure I can tell you that I have an alternate account on Figment, but it’s not for any personal gain.  No, I created another account so that I could play the game myself merely for the fun of it.  In fact, at the end of the year I plan to hold a Figment contest where I give the lucre I earned to the winner.  You’ll also notice that my main account (eric) has no bands and earns no lucre.  I’m not in it to reward myself like the user I kicked off Figment today.  I’m in it because I genuinely enjoy seeing what all of you create.  So I hope you will continue to trust Figment with your creations and rest assured that no one else is rigging the system.

Over the past year we’ve seen pro sports humbled by a series of scandals.  One of them, in the NFL, hit close to home for me because I’m a long time fan of the New England Patriots.  It’s been hard reading about how the team I have rooted for since I was a kid has been cheating, but that is what they’ve been doing.  I hope they have realized the errors of their ways, but I don’t expect anyone else to forgive them anytime soon.  Rather we the Patriot’s fans will have to deal with the stigma caused by their cheating as a form of penance.  But my personal discomfort aside, what is most bothersome about the whole scandal is the pall it casts over the integrity of the game itself.  Although I think this goes a bit far at times and may very well be a media creation, I think it is important to consider that one team’s transgressions can cast doubt on the whole game.  That is something that I don’t want to have happen to Figment.

So let’s all play fair and try to create an environment we can trust our imaginations to – cuz if that becomes corrupted what’s the point?

Eric

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