Lets just get this out of the way right now...I cannot play games in life or on a playing field. I do not play cards or golf or even word games unless I am coerced into it. Oh you can coerce me but it will not make me happy.
Playing is entirely different...I love to play at golf or, back in the day, even tennis. Playing at something is just fun. Reality is suspended for a piece of time and a person can pretend to be good at something or other.
So the fascination with games and the people that play them both seriously and in life is interesting.
Take the game of golf for example. Golf is a sport where the word "cheating" some easily to people's lips. There are no "mistakes" or "misunderstandings". Certainly no second chances. But cheater is attached to those people who made a mistake or are new to the game and just don't understand how it goes. The tag will follow them around for a very long time. Don't play that game unless you are clear about what and what not to do.
The society of golfers is made up of some very conservative people that hate socialism. And yet, in spite of what they believe, the game they love is a socialist game. Everyone is equal and are rewarded for not being good with a "handicap", a number of points given as a gift. They play a game and then subtract the "bonus" points from their score so their score will be lower. Everyone gets a chance to succeed even if they have never succeeded at any game in their life.
This point system is calculated on what you score in the immediate weeks before competition and those real cheaters will play badly so the people that calculate how may bonus points they get will give them extra points so they will be equal with the people they compete against. Those people are called "sandbaggers" for reasons I cannot explain. That is why keeping score for those previous rounds is supposed to be witnessed. In this case, it is very hard the catch a cheater.
Plus, the way you win is by scoring the fewest points...unlike basketball or football, you win when you get a very low score. Odd huh?
Playing at golf is frowned upon by serious golfers. Picking up your ball before it is in the hole or dropping an extra ball to practice is taboo. Even when you are not competing. And if someone get mad at you for making a mistake, you will be in bad trouble out in the real world too. Trust me I know this for a fact...it has happened to me. You remember I am not capable of playing golf right...and believe me I have tried. Sigh.
But back to playing at the game. I love to "play" a round of pretend golf. My husband and I used to travel around our country and have stopped in a Nebraska cornfield hiding a golf course. We would play with alligators and under palm trees. We pushed our rental cart up hills in Mexico and laughed about our poor play. We played at the game of life each of every day. It was just simple good fun.
In life, it seems to me that we have used the word "cheater" way too much. It is tossed around like a bean bag filled with nails. Having fun at Corn Hole or tennis or even golf is so important. Real life can be serious and is filled with important tasks. But a game...I don't think so.
And don't get me started on the game of football...2 inches to a first down when referees have been putting that ball down in the wrong place for 4 plays? Really!