2716: Game Night Ordering

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Game Night Ordering
One good trick, if you get called on a fake service, is to build a working version of it and mention it again the next week.
Title text: One good trick, if you get called on a fake service, is to build a working version of it and mention it again the next week.


This comic is poking fun at the proliferation of apps and internet services such as for food delivery and money transfer. The characters are discussing which to use during an evening of tabletop gaming. The group has a running competition to see who can mention fake apps or services without being called out. The idea being that, since there are so many, it is difficult to identify which are real.

Cueball mentions three food delivery services, Grubhub, DoorDash, and Food.net, and Ponytail asks him to reimburse her using Venmo, PayPal, or Yahoo Cash. Cueball expresses skepticism about Yahoo Cash, after which Ponytail admits it's a fake service (it's a spoof of Google Pay) and is thus obligated to pay for Cueball's meal. (Incidentally, Yahoo does provide a money transfer service to facilitate private party gambling on fantasy sports, called Yahoo Fantasy Wallet, but it uses PayPal.) Food.net, which Cueball mentioned without being called out, is not a real service; https://food.net exists, however, it is not related to food delivery.

Based on Ponytail's offer, if someone is correctly called out, they must pay for the player who caught them. If a player isn't caught like when Cueball mentions Food.net nothing happens. Ponytail is too afraid to call him out on this, and decides to order from a service that she knows exists, Grubhub. And then tries to bluff the others using strange payment methods.

It is not explained in the comic, but probably you also have to pay for the other person's food, if you call a bluff and it turns out the service did indeed exist. So if Megan had said to Cueball, "Grubhub? That must be fake," and he then proved that it exists (by ordering there), then Megan would most likely be obliged to pay for Cueball's food.

The title text offers a tip for winning the competition next week after being called out for mentioning a fake service: building a working version and then mentioning it again the next week. While it could be possible to prototype a user interface and possibly use it to perform food deliveries with a very limited number of drivers in a small area, or provide a front-end interface to an existing money transfer service with strong API support, building a full-fledged viable service for either in a week is humorously beyond the reach of typical gamers. Also, as in Ponytail's case, it could cause trademark issues with brand names.


[Cueball, Megan, and Ponytail are sitting at a table to order food. Cueball is on his phone, and Ponytail, sitting opposite, is on her laptop.]
Cueball: What should we use to order? Grubhub? DoorDash? Food.net?
Ponytail: I'll do Grubhub; you can send me money. Do you do Venmo? Paypal? Yahoo Cash?
Cueball: Yahoo Cash has to be fake.
Ponytail: Yes. Dang. I'll get your share.
[Caption below the panel:]
Our game night has an ongoing competition to see who can mention the most fake apps and services without getting called on it.

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Should we create a category for comics about game night? It can contain at least this and https://xkcd.com/2486/. Barmar (talk) 22:32, 26 December 2022 (UTC)

I'm not going to oppose it, but keep in mind that it would overlap with Category:Board games. -- 22:50, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
We absolutely need a general Category:Games because we have e.g. roleplaying games under Board games. Does anyone know how to edit in a superclass category? The last time I ever did anything sophisticated with Mediawiki categories was like 2008. 23:39, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
 Done Liv2splain (talk) 06:20, 27 December 2022 (UTC)

The rules would seem to be similar to the card game Cheat (or, at least, the version we used to play). Using an ordinary wholly-dealt pack of cards (for any number of players), it was a "blind bid and discard" game whereby each player has to state "<one to four> <card value>s" (or more than four, with merged packs, each of which might be whole or partial) was going on the discard pile, such that the card value was within one (-1, =, +1, with standard wrapping ...>10>J>Q>K>A>2>...) of the prior stated discard. And something had to be discarded, whether or not the player could technically do so. The forfeit for not continuing play or challenging, within a generally acceptable thinking time, was the same for either being successfully challenged (you stated you put down two threes, but on checking the dump pile you discarded two sevens) or for the person who wrongly challenged... to pick up the discard pile and be so much further from the ultimate goal of ending up with zero cards (the first the winner, optionally the second, third, etc to do so to earn further ranks just for the sake of continuing/last-ranking the one who ended up as the only one still with cards). - I presume this game just applies the same penalty (buying the food) to anyone who dithers over whether to challenge anything or 'play their own hand'. There doesn't need to be anything more complicated to it. Unless there's also an 'empty hand' winning state, that I can't discern from the brief discourse given in the comic. But it seems more geared to finding the eventual 'loser' (the one who pays up) than any single beneficiary. 23:17, 26 December 2022 (UTC)

If there is a link for Cheat you should add it. 23:20, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
Well, I think there's far too many variations... Though, surprisingly, it does look like Cheat (game) actually describes my learnt version quite well. But I don't think I see any 'time out' penalties mentioned there, and that was th XXX oe key part of the "play or challenge, don't dither, or you lose" bit to my (sorry, rather long) description above... 23:27, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
Never apologize for verbosity on talk; devote that energy to brevity on main. 23:41, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
We need a quotes page. 02:13, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
(Plus there's the inverted "loser finder" rather than "winner finder" primary nature of the gameplay. It makes the methodology of play a bit too different.) 23:30, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
My favourite tactic (knowing that I'm unlikely to identifiably play against anyone who reads this...) in Cheat is that when I have four (or more, in multipack) of a particular in-range card value, and not chosen to ignore someone else's clearly false declaration of that rank, I declare one or two of this (but dump something else, as convenient) on one pass, on the very next opportunity (fellow players tending to random-walk the ±1 bracket-change) I declare/dump 'another' one or two (for real), and then on the next opportunity I truthfully get rid of all the remainder. That adds up to greater than the possibly held number of cards. But when the suspicions are ramped up against me (I've now declared six of the four jacks in the pack!) I'm proven correct. And yet, when I was lying, I knew that nobody else could hold any (or enough) of the rank to have reasonable doubts about me.
As a bonus, so long as I remember what I dumped in the first bit of this tactic, I can conceivably have still had those cards if gameplay forces me to submit something in thir separate range. Meaning that now it's fairly safe to pretend to dump them (but actually dump any further different card-values as I decide), without increased suspicion. Especially when all this is slotted into a more general "honesty is the best policy" gameplay, save for some of the above traps or strictly necessary bluff, meaning it's high risk to challenge me. Even upon my having just declared the latest in a running total of seven deuces, or whatever it turns out I've apparently racked up since the last forced pickup (which I treat as opportunity, should I suffer it).
Though none of this relates easily to the comic's game, of course, which is more a combination of knowledge, prepartee and hutzpah... 08:31, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
What?? 10:52, 27 December 2022 (UTC)

We should make a payment service for providing crowdfunded rewards to the best contributors to explanations. 01:16, 27 December 2022 (UTC)

I love this idea but it would conflict with the ethos of completely anonymized contributions here. Unless someone can propose how it might not? I mean, if there was some way to include an SHA-256 identity-confirming hash in edit summaries? Would keeping track of them in terms of surviving text after, say, a month be a decent leaderboard scoring? 01:42, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
My meager anonymous IP contributions to explanations have been completely dwarfed by my attempts to revert vandalism on the official main page leaderboard, but is that a good or a bad thing? The idea needs to be carefully considered. I would absolutely kick in $25 to support other explainers, but I would need some assurance that the system couldn't be gamed by, e.g. paraphrasers, which I'm not sure is even possible. Liv2splain (talk) 01:54, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
It's easy to hijack someone else's contributions with paraphrasing and refactoring. It's a dead end. 02:05, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
True, but is there a way to avoid the cheating? 02:28, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
I would probably also kick in $25 if the system was well-designed, even if it was vulnerable to paraphrasing or refactoring, as long as someone could call out such flaws as they happened. Never let the perfect be the enemy of the good. 02:39, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
The operationalism issue is how to set up actual payment flows while still allowing criticisms of them. The cost to reverse a payment is too high compared to the relative number of payments you might want to reverse. 05:33, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
You could make this simple by having it be opt-in and having contributors identify themselves in their summary. Like, just put a payment address in the summary, and then link to the contribution in the discussion here. 14:46, 27 December 2022 (UTC)

Is this about cryptocurrency scams? 02:50, 27 December 2022 (UTC)

I want to subscribe to your newsletter. 05:20, 27 December 2022 (UTC)

Am I an idiot because I didn't know Amazon did food delivery before clicking on that first link? 05:42, 27 December 2022 (UTC)

I didn't know either until you brought it to my attention, but firstly their prices are high compared to established players, and secondly it's a dystopian vision of capitalism which everyone is trying to avoid even though we all know it's inevitable. 07:39, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
Dude! You can say that again! 07:45, 27 December 2022 (UTC)

Does anyone else see the food : money :: atoms : bits analogy? 07:26, 27 December 2022 (UTC)

The strategy mentioned in the alttext might not be faecetious- consider the alternate categories of apps and services that might exist, such as randomisers, colour pickers, specialty search engines, wikis, en and decoders, photo editors, etc. I could pull off somehting like a list of encoding bits in python in a couple hours off of seventh grade computer science. ~Tanz

No, you could make a fake, standalone site that might even suffice to phish payment details from the sufficiently gullable.
OTOH, there are eCommerce-focused Content Management Systems out there that you can pay to host something that (with further effort, including effort to advertise to consumers and recruit supply-end businesses to service the orders) might then be considered valid, and might eventually even make an honest profit from. At least before taxes/business rates, financial services/payment handling fees, etc. 15:27, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
It reads quite serious to me given the historical content re hacker culture, but editors clearly disagree. Being a reseller or using a tool like chatgpt makes this much easier. 01:01, 28 December 2022 (UTC) edit: it's a joke in that only somebody who spent all their time building software would spend a week making an app for one game night. although, if you have an upcoming release ... 01:05, 28 December 2022 (UTC)
It's not the programming, it's the logistics of recruiting drivers and having them ready and scheduled, and having contracts with financial institutions approved which involves a due diligence process which absolutely takes over a week. You're also going to need a lawyer draft up contracts, terms, and policies. You'd be lucky to get a lawyer consultation appointment in a week. 03:11, 28 December 2022 (UTC)

Going from the description, cheat sounds remarkably like the game BS. Are they two names for the same thing? Or is there some fundamental difference? ~NotFromAiPhoneGuys (talk) 15:41, 29 December 2022 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

The wikilink to Cheat clearly says yes, if you follow it, and a few other game-names as well. Or at least to within the same general cloud of games. i.e. any given BS is likely no more different to Cheat than any other local variation upon Cheat is. 17:12, 29 December 2022 (UTC)

Can someone explain to me what food.net is really about? Like, who owns this stuff and why do they keep a static webpage with a couple of broken pdf links about CNET and a snippet about a coding experiment? 17:20, 3 March 2023 (UTC)