Each group develops its own rules and the games on the internet are no exception. You would expect the basic decencies to be observed and by many they are but sometimes I do actually despair.
I play Scrabble and on the Facebook version it's really quite civilised. You can choose how long your game might last and make real friends as you opt to carry on playing regularly with people. One of my friends interrupted the game last year to tell me she was in labour. We chatted as she got herself ready for the birth and have stayed in touch ever since. Two people I play with were friends long before Facebook emerged and its a great way of keeping in touch.
Backgammon however is different. Its not civilised. It's often dog eat dog, with screaming and shouting abuse and as much cheating as is possible. So why do I do it? There are times when I don't. I leave, vowing never to return. But the bottom line here is that I love playing the game. I don't mind if I lose if the game has been a test of skill.
I play on Fibs, and have made friends there from all over the world. One man from the USA is hoping to visit soon and to have a renewal of his wedding vows. Another man, who was mourning the death of his father asked me to light a candle for him. He was Jewish. Strange and wonderful things happen on Fibs. And then there are the cheats. The people who wait till your winning and then drop out.
They are preferable to the womanisers who seem to think that its reasonable to ask your age and sex before and during a match and get very abusive when you chose not to.
I used to chat politely . Now I don't. I've changed my name so no one knows who I am. Some names are just dreadful. Why would anyone want to play anyone with a screen name of swear words or racist attacks.
So I am careful. I don't talk I just play the game.
I can play with my son in the next village with out leaving home.
The world wide web, far from restricting me has brought me into contact with people and situations I could never have dreamed of.
I enjoy the contact with all sorts of different people enormously and count myself lucky to be able to have so many contacts with so many people. We often discuss our various religions when a real friendship has developed. We are not as different as people would like to think. The core of faith exists in most of us even though we may give it different names.