Magnet cube should not be legal for BLD events

Discussion in 'WCA Regulations' started by Weston, Dec 11, 2016.

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  1. newtonbase

    newtonbase Premium Member

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    A lot of people will put magnets in non central positions on the face of a cubie so I'm pretty sure that would make it possible to tell if you had flipped edges. It would be easier to check your memo though.
     
  2. mark49152

    mark49152 Premium Member

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    Isn't the point of a magnetic cube to improve turning accuracy, throughout the whole solve, not just the final turn into solved position? I don't see how a correctly-made magnetic cube should feel different in certain unsolved states. A cube that feels different at different times would be horrible to solve.

    Of course, a cube could be deliberately made incorrectly for the purpose of cheating, but as others have said, that's not an argument against the legality of magnetic cubes and should be dealt with elsewhere in the regs along with uneven tensions and other means of cheating.
     
    Daniel Lin likes this.
  3. guysensei1

    guysensei1 Member

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    You can even argue that using different types of cubes in MBLD should not be allowed since it allows you to tell which cubes are which.
     
  4. Chree

    Chree Member

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    You COULD argue these things, but they tell you nothing about whether the different cubes are actually solved or not. The point of the OP is that magnets could potentially tell you, at the very least, that your cube is not solved yet. And that qualifies as "extra information".

    It's possible to install magnets that could tell you the orientation of the puzzle, say placing magnets in one center piece and then in a few edges, but nothing for the corners. This is the same reason we don't allow elevated logos for BLD puzzles, so we could add something akin to Reg3l2, but I think Reg3j covers this.

    Laura's testing during the WRC deliberation was, as far as I read, cursory. She tested a couple of the obvious configurations that were being talked about and determined that the advantages were not significant. She could not, however, rule out the possibility of a significant advantage being attained through other configurations, and in fact later, after sharing her support for magnetic puzzles, took a step back and shared her hesitation about making any sort of announcement calling all magnetic puzzles 'WCA legal'. The discussion never formally concluded.

    Since then, the community has devised lots of additional and potentially illegal configurations. I think it's obvious that there are illegal configurations of magnets in puzzles, especially taking consideration of their use for BLD... but Reg3j bans most (if not all) of these configurations. So I'm not convinced that there needs to be any change to the regulations, and I certainly don't think magnets should be banned, even for BLD. We didn't ban all logos for BLD, just raised/tactile ones. But in this brave new world of magnetically enhanced puzzles, and their growing ubiquity, we should remain vigilant. The discussion and experimentation should continue.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2016
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  5. AlphaSheep

    AlphaSheep Member

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    But the regulations already do cover this situation. No changes are necessary.

    • 3h) Modifications that enhance the basic concept of a puzzle are not permitted. Modified versions of puzzles are permitted only if the modification does not make any additional information available to the competitor (e.g. orientation or identity of pieces), compared to an unmodified version of the same puzzle.

    There's also this regulation which can be used to help enforce the one above
    • 3k) Puzzles must be approved by the WCA Delegate before use in the competition.
     
  6. Chree

    Chree Member

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    There is an opinion floating around out there that 3h and some of the guidelines drawn from it are enough to ban magnets altogether. I used to be on that side of the fence, but arguments making use of how we accept other puzzle modifications and things like ball bearings in pyraminx brought me back.

    As for 3k, in practice, does this really happen all that often? I know it DID happen for Drew Brads just before achieving the WR pyra average (because of magnets, ironically enough), but at a normal non-regional comp, I don't think I've ever seen it used. The most I've seen is a scrambler picking up a puzzle with nasty stickers and calling a delegate over for a ruling.


    With that in mind, here's a possible way that magnets could be in an illegal configuration: say you've installed only one very strong magnet pair connecting the UB Edge to the UBL Corner. This would provide tactile feedback after completing a BLD solving using M2. If you feel the magnets click on your last move, it could be considered more likely that you've successfully cycled the M slice/don't have parity/whatever. It still doesn't guarantee that you'll get a successful BLD attempt, but you've given yourself a hint to help along the way. You don't need your eyes or your memory to know at least 2 pieces are solved relative to one another, which makes this an illegal configuration.

    The only chance that a scrambler would notice this is if they felt it while scrambling. But if the first move in the scramble breaks the pair, and at no other point during the scrambler sequence do those pieces meet in the same orientation, there's a decent chance the scrambler will never notice. You could argue that the feeling of the pair breaking will be obvious to the scrambler, but when they're really busy and just trying to get through scrambling everything in front of them, it's possible the scrambler could attribute such tactile feedback to a small lockup, gummy lube, or just it not being a very good cube... and you've successfully "cheated".

    So the question could be asked, since there is such a thing as an illegal configuration of magnets, is that enough to ban all magnets? I don't think so. Once again, I think the regs already cover this. So if we added yet another regulation specific to magnets, I don't see a qualitative difference between a competitor breaking 2 regulations instead of just 1 that we already had. But I'm open to being persuaded back to the other side of the fence if a good enough argument exists.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  7. I guess you could argue that the delegate is giving the responsibility of checking cubes to the scrambler.

    3h really does cover this kind of thing. Enforcement could be an issue, but I hardly think that's a reason to disallow magnetic cubes as a whole.

    In regards to your example, the stronger magnets will still be stronger with other magnets, just not quite the same effect. I haven't really played around with magnetic cubes that much, but I think that'd be noticeable if you keep on having a stronger magnet(s) during scrambling. Than the Delegate gets a Migraine.
     
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  8. Chree

    Chree Member

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    You might've misunderstood my example... the UBL->UB magnet pair would be the ONLY magnet pair in the entire cube. There would not be other "weaker" magnets anywhere else. So there's not need to discern "weak pull" from "strong pull", it's just be "pull" or "no pull". I can edit the original post to make that more clear.
     
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  9. Ah okay. That's certainly illegal as it stands, but figuring that out could be difficult.
     
  10. Mastermind2368

    Mastermind2368 Member

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    Yeah you can tell the sides, but if you forgot a corner or an edge, you can create a system to tell if what the piece is.
     
  11. Fábio De'Rose

    Fábio De'Rose Member

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    IMO anyone sufficiently skilled to come up with such a system, apply it consistently and not get caught, is most likely too busy working on actual 3BLD to devise a way of cheating; In short, it would not be worth the effort and the risks involved.

    Anyone who does BLD at a reasonable level knows that it wouldn't make sense and not be the least worth putting all this effort just for the sake of an official succesful solve (well below one's average) instead of a DNF.

    Also, even if one were to succeed thuswise, I honestly cannot imagine a situation where a cheater (abusing tensions and or magnetic configurations) could come even close to a real world class BLDer. Even to an average one, to be honest.

    PSA: I noticed this thread is pretty old already. It was "bumped" and that's how I saw it, so apologies if I'm unknowingly breaking any rules. If that is the case, please let me know.
     
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  12. lucarubik

    lucarubik Member

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    this would be for MBLD, i totally used to use different brands of cubes to help me in mbld, is that against the rules? dam, the wca has evolved hasnt it
     
  13. Fábio De'Rose

    Fábio De'Rose Member

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    Using different cubes is ok. It doesn't give you any real advantage against other competitors; It's just a safety net for some people (myself included, since I'm very much a beginner in Multi) in order to know which cube is it, in case you get lost.

    Being able to tell "Oh, this is cube 5, I meant to pick up cube 4" doesn't count as cheating, but picking up a cube and somehow telling it had one twisted edge to go before you move on, on the other hand, would be cheating indeed.
     
  14. Mastermind2368

    Mastermind2368 Member

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    I disagree. What if you signed up for BLD on the Wednesday before a comp on that Saturday? You look up Noah Arthurs' and learn 3OP for corners, M2 for edges. You could have something as simple as If an edge and corner are both orientated the don't repel. Heck this could be very useful if you used POOP.
     
  15. AlphaSheep

    AlphaSheep Member

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    If the scramblers are anything decent, they will notice the cube feels really weird and call the delegate over. No problem.

    Also, minor thing, you probably mean OP (popular beginner BLD method) rather than 3OP (outdated intermediate BLD method).
     
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  16. lucarubik

    lucarubik Member

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    oh so thats legal? see i used to make up some really weird sentences for my mbld, so rooms not really my thing, not even outdoor rooms, that defenetly shouldnt be allowed, i used to just touch my old F2 and the sentence would come up, on the other hand that F2 was a popping machine
    something as simple as jumping between stickered and stickerless cubes is giving huge advantadges
     
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