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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The Philosophy of Scamming ~ Viewers, please comment feedback

(Warning; Long Post Ahead)
It seems that, in every server, there is a scammer. The question is, why would they take away the most precious element, trust, for a mere pixels?

If you look in the dictionary, scam is defined as ‘a dishonest plan, usually to get money.’ However, in Animal Jam, it would be defined as a ‘dishonest plan to get rares or betas’. The words ‘scamming’ and ‘scammer’ stem from that word. We define ‘scamming’ as a verb ‘to carry out the dishonest plan (scam)’ and ‘scammer’ as ‘the person who carries out the dishonest plan ‘scam’. 

Now that we have clearly defined the meanings, we can get on to the ‘why’ part.
Why do they scam? I speculate the reason is because of greed. They want the rares/betas for themselves. Let’s face it, all humans are selfish. We all want the best for ourselves, and if we see something that some else has, we get envious. Envy is defined as ‘feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another's advantages, success, possessions, etc’. The feeling can have a positive or negative affect on your actions.

The positive and negative effect comes from motivation. Motivation drives you forward to achieve what you want. However, this leads to a fork in the path. You can either work hard and honestly to achieve that dream item, or you can cheat and deceive others. After all, they all have the same result in the end, right? Wrong. Though you have the same item, the feelings you create/have are different. If you work hard for the item, and you finally get it, you feel exhilarated. You feel like you’ve climbed the highest mountain and made it all the way to the tippy top. You feel like all the hard work has paid off, all the setbacks you have encountered were worth it.
But if you got the item dishonestly, you will not feel the emotions I have described. Sure, you might feel happy about it, but you do not experience your work being paid off, and guilt is still lurking in the corner. Scammers think that this way is a ‘short cut’ up the mountain. But this ‘short cut’ is filled with brambles, thorns, steep cliffs, and most importantly, guilt.

We humans have many feelings, and guilt is one of them. However, guilt and shame are different (to make this clear, here are 2 sentences I have found that define them; ‘I feel shame for who I am’ and ‘I feel guilt for what I did’. Everyone has felt guilt in their lives, whether it is stealing candy from the candy jar, watching TV when you’re not supposed to, etc. But wait! Isn’t Animal Jam a virtual world? Virtual worlds simply don’t exist in real life! So why do all those scammers break someone’s heart for those meager pixels? Haven’t they heard that trust is easy to take, but near impossible to gain (that rhymes)? That’s one great mystery there. I don’t think having the most rare item on AJ get you straight A’s on your report card, or land you a job. This sounds illogical here. But to be fair, let’s try to think of it from the scammers’ point of view.

To them, having the rarest item is EVERYTHING. They probably think of it all day and night, fascinated by the dreams they think they will achieve. I know y’all viewers are thinking, ‘why don’t they use the darn trading system like everyone else?! It’s there for a reason!’ Heh, at this point I’ll have a barrage of scammers exclaiming things like, ‘I don’t have the betas/rares to trade for it!’ etc, but that is NO excuse for cheating someone out like that. Everyone else can get by with the trading system, so why can’t they? Well, to be blunt, scammers are ‘addicted’ to Animal Jam. It’s not like a drug addiction, but it’s almost the same. Your dreams are enraptured by the game, and your senses are snared in. It’s like you’re glued to the computer, unable to leave, because, oh look, a wolf party is coming on in a hour! How about I stay awhile? I know there are others who are also ‘addicted’ to Animal Jam but they aren’t like scammers. Because the scammers know they are doing the wrong thing, but they can’t help it. Almost like their self-control flew out the window, and thoughts of betas flew in.

After all of that talk, I have thought about the reasons of why scammers scam.

1.    Popularity/Media. 

Look at all those famous jammers out there, Snowyclaw, Wolffeycat, Wootmoo, Wisteriamoon, Libertyy, Julian2, etc. They’re all wearing the coolest/rarest items on Animal Jam. Adorned in spikes, worns, and betas, they are the role models for the other jammers that wish to be famous. One might think that having the rarest items might not get you the most viewers, but that is not always the case. Other players look up to them and try to be like them. As they say, ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’. Having good blogs and excellent videos can make you popular, but since all of the ‘famous’ players have betas and rares, this implies the fact that ‘to be popular, you must have tons of rares’.

2.    Pressure

This is also like the media factor. Your (online, not real life) friends are wearing rares and betas, and you’re left wearing the common items. You feel uncomfortable as you sit down to chat with them in Jamaa Township. I don’t fit in with them, you think as you admire their spikes and headdresses. What can I do? I don’t have rare enough items to trade for one of those headdresses… although… you let your eyes wander over the screen. A player catches your eye, and they are wearing a spike. “Trust me for this spike! I don’t accept!” The wolf sings, and immediately, the yellow trading symbol hangs over his head. Curious, you wait and watch. After a few more minutes, you see the wolf chanting, “Last 10 seconds! Miss Prettylily is winning!” Glancing over to the tiger named Miss Prettylily, you notice that she isn’t wearing much items, only a head flower and a couple of Rare Item Monday rares. A few achievements are plastered on her player card. Interesting… Suddenly, your attention is jerked away by an artic wolf. She is sobbing, crying: “Scammer! He scammed me of my rare purple headdress and worn!” An idea begins creep into your mind, a twinge of guilt as it begins to develop. You try to brush away the guilt, thinking, it's for the best, right? At least I can fit in…
I don't think I need to extend the rest of the scenario for you to know what’s going to happen.

3.    Enraptured

These are the types of scammers who are the scariest, in my opinion. They scam for the pure enjoyment of it. They enjoy cheating others out of their items, delighting in being ‘smarter than them’. One might say these scammers are heartless, or to be blunt, psychopaths (psychopaths are people who can’t feel emotion, but I’m sure there aren’t a lot of people like that in the word, or on AJ for that matter).

To conclude what I’ve just written in a simpler format, I shall use an analogy:

AJ – real world
Scammers – thieves
Rares/betas – gold/money/gems
AJHQ – police
Jammers – people/citizens
SWS and other scam-catching agencies/individuals – volunteer police

Before, the thieves were just ordinary people. But they were driven by greed to get gold/money/gems, so they devised a plan, a scam. Since the police aren’t patrolling 24/7, the thieves take advantage and begin to grow bolder, stealing in ‘broad daylight’ (<- advertising publicly). Many citizens notice this, and since the police don’t really care/have time, they begin to form volunteer police societies/officers. But because the volunteer police do not have the ‘legal right’ to send the thieves to jail, they can only create awareness. And because the thieves are aware that only the official police can stop them, they think that the volunteer police are not a threat. What they don’t realize is, education/awareness is a very powerful factor. The more the citizens are alerted to these thieves, the less valuables will be stolen.

I can conclude this post in many ways, but I have chosen a rhyme and a quote to end this. Before I do that, I would like your feedback, questions or comments on this post.

Signing off,

Agent Fem


  1. I think AJHQ is more of the Government then the Police, and Societys are the police.

    1. AJHQ is pretty much like the law enforcement that just count money all day

    2. Technically AJHQ is the government because it 'controls' everything that goes on. However, if we were the 'police' we would have the legal right to send them to 'jail' with sufficient evidence, but, sadly, we can only report them.
      Of course, there is always the option of court. From what I've gathered, the rule in SWS is 'guilty until proven innocent', but I don't think AJHQ has enough time/employees to patrol Animal Jam 24/7, or to go through all the logs of the players.

    3. AJHQ doesn't control, they dominate. I think that AJHQ is like a police, and the societies are like the copwatch.

    4. The SWS is not the copwatch. They are a group of corrupted figures, who's cons outweigh the pros. Everything has to go their way or else they rant. If something goes wrong, it's always your fault. They cannot take responsibility.

      Am I a hater? Well, in the way you're explaining it, yes. Do I deserve unnecessary hate and to be forced down the drain by my brothers and sisters? NO.

      Your corruption is caused by fighting for a doomed cause. AJ is dying and you know it. You are not heroes, yet you are not villains.

      You can fix your corruption by giving up. This game isn't worth fighting for.

    5. It may be true the game isn't worth fighting for, but something that is worth fighting for is all the innocent players. And we will never give up until we quit but even then, someone will still be there to stop all the evil in the game.

    6. It's worth fighting for to us. AJ could be a wonderful game if it was actually a "place of peace" that AJHQ brags about it being.
      If we're corrupted souls by fighting for justice and having hope in "a place of peace", what does that make the scammers?

      Plus, you were the one telling us to stop bothering you, so why are you here commenting again? If you don't want us bothering you, then don't bother us.

    7. It is your opinion Balaur. Some people think animal abuse isn't worth fighting for. Some people think world hunger isn't worth fighting for. In your eyes you see a wasteland that cannot be fixed. In our eyes we see a gem covered in dirt.

    8. If the dirt was removed, Arsenic, you would see a pointless game. Being no rares means no trading, which pretty much ends scamming altogether. All there is to do on AJ is:

      -Play knockoff mini games
      -buy clothes and furniture
      -decorate your house
      -talk to people
      -learn pointless facts about hedgehog babies

      Cerise, even if peace is restored to Jamaa (which will never happen because AJHQ are idiots) the game would be as boring as the dirt that covered it. Take Play Wild for example! It may be Animal Jam mobile, but it's just so boring! All it adds are new items and these things called "animal bases." Oh, and treasure hunts that give you- guess what? RARES!

      Oh, and about the deal, you said that it was never accepted by your side, so, in any case, I did cancel my membership, but since you continued bothering ME on another post where I wasn't even THERE, I guess I'll continue bothering YOU on another post. I don't care if you're not there. All I want to tell you is that the fight for AJ is worthless.

      You will never take AJHQ's spot in this. You're only kids.

    9. Nicely said, Alpha.
      To us, this game is worth fighting for. And please, Balaur, I would like your honest and sincere answer to this question; can you list our cons and pros for us? It's always nice to have another opinion, provided with truthful and logical evidence.
      About the hate thing, as I said before, to be blunt, you knew we were going to protest in the first place. If you can't handle it, you know, you can just DON'T comment.
      I also forgot something else; how is this society 'corrupt'? If you think it's corrupt because some agent have backstabbed us, it doesn't mean everyone's going to. Based on this reasoning, because there are thieving people in the human race, then all humans are bad. That's quite illogical, if you don't mind me saying so.
      ~Agent Fem

    10. You think it's boring, that's your opinion. I don't think it would be boring and that's my opinion. Respect my opinion and I'll respect yours.

      And that's about the stupidest logic ever. "I TOLD YOU TO STOP BOTHERING ME even though i was the first comment in the argument AND MADE A DEAL YOU DIDN'T AGREE TO SO YOU SHOULD HAVE STOPPED BOTHERING ME even though you didnt agree on the deal AND YOU DIDNT STOP SO I SHOULD BE BOTHERING YOU EVEN THOUGH I DONT WANT YOU BOTHERING ME!!"
      The fight's worthless in your eyes, not in ours.
      Whatever course you decide upon, there's always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.

      If you're just going to waste your time bothering us because we didn't agree to your stupid deal (which you followed along with anyway, which is about the stupidest thing I've ever heard), I'm simply going to disable comments for non-blog members until you get over this petty situation.
      The actions of one person effect everyone else around them.

    11. Play wild is funner than AJ in a way but not. Have you even played it before?

  2. Beautiful Fem. That was truly amazing. I would like to see your writing more often, you have a gift.

    1. Thank you, Electro. I actually had this post written on paper long ago, but I couldn't find it until last week. I will try to do more writings on this kind of topic, but it may take me some time.

    2. I agree Electro. It isn't a writing thing, it's more of, well, a speech kind of thing. I could see you in a political job in the future, Fem.

  3. Omg, this is sheer brilliance as far as all this logic points out too :D
    Thanks Fem!

    ~mz5963 aka Agent Beta ~ Animal Jam

    1. You're welcome :). I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  4. Replies
    1. What do you mean by that, Balaur?

    2. Seriously Balaur? Let it go. nobody wants to here more drama. Were done. Got it? done.

    3. Balaur stop it please! You may hate the society but bugging us more wont help. You'll just get into a big fight with one of us as a big waste of time. Do you really think you have the time to waste. Wow....

    4. Electro: Earlier you asked to be my friend. Sounds like somebody is a spy.

      Violet: This is it. I tried to keep you my buddy for as long as I could because I still trusted you in a way. Welp, down the drain you go!

      Fem: I think I like you the most of the entire SWS. And that's saying a lot.

      Cerise: Wow... You have a severe attitude problem. You may have anxiety, but guess what? So do I! And yet I don't go insane with hateful words, cussing at everything that moves! You need to cut down on all that swearing!

      To Everyone Else: I'm not done here. This will worsen over time. Either you take down the SWS, or the attacks will continue. And they'll get stronger and stronger every time it happens. And if you were wise, you'd take it down for the safety of your agents.

      And this is why you never anger a dragon.

    5. Electro: No opinion hrtr

      Violet: Telling someone you don't like them anymore because they're against something you're doing? How mature.

      Fem: No opinion here

      Cerise: Nice job ignoring absolutely everything I said and only pestering me for swearing. I didn't even swear anywhere in the comment. My swearing doesn't effect you, it only would if I insulted you, and I don't insult people unless they deserve it.

      To everyone else: You're seriously waging a war against the SWS because the leader swears? That's the funniest thing I've heard all day. What are you going to do? Hack us? Scam us? Keep posting your petty comments? Just so you know, they aren't effecting us.
      Plus, how is one person going to take down an entire society? You haven't even said why you want us to take down our society anyway - we didn't do anything wrong.

    6. Wait.... Do you mean Balaur to the Violet: because I never said I didn't like Balaur I told her to stop

    7. Is pinkring2, Balaur? Or does everyone else already know that and i'm just figuring it out. Because when Bal says electro: you asked to be friends, spy much?

      Umm I haven't talk to Balaur in about 3 weeks? But yesterday I did ask Pink and I too be friends because I was done with all the drama. But never Bal.


    8. @Violet, was talking to Balaur. I was just listing the points to her comment.


      No no no, Pink and Blue want people dead for no reason, Balaur wants people dead because they swear.


    10. Also, Electro commented on my blog just a few days ago. I have photographic evidence. Also, I have more photographic evidence of other agent activity which I can use against you. And this isn't GOOD evidence.

      Also, suggesting I'm Pinkring2 will get you nowhere. I hardly even know who Pinkring2 even is!

    11. It was an exaggeration, because that's how you're acting. You want the society to be taken down, and you haven't even specified a reason why.

    12. Because you're rude, corrupted jerks who have done little to nothing to help the world of AJ.

    13. So you want us to take down an entire society that has stood for a year, a society that great amounts of effort went into making, just because one person thinks we're rude and thinks we've done nothing to help AJ..? We've done lots to help if you think about it.

    14. Ooo, I did say I'd like to be friends with you on your blog 3 days ago. That was BEFORE I knew how dramatic you are.

    15. I don't want to be involved in this fight, so I won't make a huge comment, but just because someone is in the SWS doesn't mean you should delete them. Violet's done nothing to you. NOTHING. When and where was Violet participating in sexual behavior? (You said so on your blog.) I've seen some inappropriate language & sexual behavior on this blog quite a few times, but never involving poor little Violet. :c

    16. Yes?
      If you're going to comment, at least finish your sentence.

      If all you have to say is "TAKE THE SOCIETY DOWN OR I'M GOING TO KEEP COMMENTING STUPID THINGS!", you may as well not comment at all, because it's just a waste of your time.
      Your petty little comments aren't effecting us at all. They're mostly just more material for us to laugh about.

    17. Wait wut
      I heard my name
      And now I'm confused.

  5. We are the red berets of animal jam (yes this post is old)

  6. Browsing archives and random posts I bookmarked for no reason.
    I happen to notice that this 'Balaur' did something on his blog with Icy.
    Just wanted to throw it out there.

    1. Was this recent or old? Because Balaur certainly did do some junk with Icy and I think they even started their own society against us until they got tired of it.