I guess I'd probably "vote" for it being a somewhat gray area, but I'm going to go on and bring in a couple of examples -- possibly for criticism, but at least trying to make them food for thought.
The first example I'm going to use comes from my own experience and in a different game -- Dreamblade, in fact. An unfortunately dead game. The game in question, was in the first round of the first tournament I had played in at a higher level than FNM-equivalent. This was a $5K event, so the winner would have a pretty good payoff. I got off to a pretty fast start and was ahead on points. If I had managed to hold on to the time limit, I would have won the match. In fact, following my fast start, I was completely outplayed and had nearly no chance at all of "winning" the game other than by holding on to my, increasingly slim, lead. I played trying to find some way to break loose, but was unable to find one. As time was running out with less than 2 minutes left I was still in the lead on points, but completely locked down. I conceded.
Frankly, I don't think I did anything wrong. Some of you may disagree, but that's why I'm bringing up the example. I was/am a (mostly former) chess player and although the clock is a real part of that game, tournament rounds don't have the same hard limit that Magic or Dreamblade rounds do/did. In chess, not conceding when your position resembles the position I was in is considered quite rude. I may have "won" that game, but it was pretty obvious that at that time, I was not likely to be in contention to win the event. I considered the "scoop" to the person who clearly played better (and who had me essentially locked down) to be the right thing to do under the circumstances.
@brianpk80 said in Ethical Dilemma: Scooping on MTGO:
@revengeanceful said in Ethical Dilemma: Scooping on MTGO:
That person may not have a chance to make top 8 in this scenario, but I don't see why it would be considered a "dick move" to not hand a top 8 spot to the other person.
Because you have nothing to gain from winning aside from ruining the record of the person sitting across from you. I would only do that to someone I hated and there is no one in the Vintage community I dislike, let alone hate.
Another example from the world of "paper" Magic (and I do mean paper): A couple of weeks ago I was playing Vintage (with unlimited proxies). Only four of us had showed up, including none of the real locals. All of us had come at least 50 miles and one considerably further. We all agreed that a round-robin would give us the most Magic, so that's what we did, despite the "warning" from the store owner that it might make determination of a winner less clear. Two rounds would be quite sufficient as an elimination mechanism. Three could end up with a more muddy situation. In fact, that's exactly what happened.
In the third (last) round, the two 1-1 players were paired up and the 2-0 was paired with the 0-2. The last-place player, in fact, won the match 2-0, which (by what kind of tie-breaker calculation I'm not sure) resulted in the winner of the 1-1 match ending up as the overall winner and the formerly 2-0 player finishing second.
I will note that the formerly 2-0 player was the person who had driven the farthest and was also quite emphatic that he came to play Magic and wanted to maximize the amount of Magic he was able to play. The loss did cost him the difference between 1st place ($25) and 2nd place ($15) where we had each tossed $10 (x4 = $40) into the entry kitty. The 3rd and 4th places got nothing (except the chance to play). Did the guy who placed 4th make a "dick move"? I, for one, do not see the formerly 0-2 player as having made a "dick move" at all. He also came to play Magic and that's what he did. The result of that last game did not change his prize ($0) and did reduce the prospective prize of his opponent. So what? We all came to play.
It's not MTGO, so it isn't directly related to the original topic, but the "dick move" comment struck me as worth some response. Have at it.