Merlin (with spoilers) Grundo, Coercion

Robyn Starkey rohina at
Thu May 29 18:10:55 EDT 2003

>It depends on the purpose of the "race" then.  There is a school of thought
>that says failing to make use of ones talents is immoral - up to a point. I
>know a genius-IQ friend of my son's was not considered to behave well when
>he deliberately handed in substandard work, just to look "like the others".

There is a great bit in one of Bujold's Miles books (A Civil Campaign) when 
Miles has to consider his behaviour. His mother reminds him of how he felt 
when he found out someone let him win a physical game as a child - he was 
absolutely devastated. I think that is key to understanding whether or not 
it is a good idea to let kids win. Is the child the sort of person who 
would be offended by being allowed to win if he or she were really invested 
in the skill? For example,  I would never let my daughter win at a physical 
contest, because she is so physically able she can already beat most kids 
her age and older in things like races or climbing. She needs to know that 
adults are faster and stronger.

>I have a tiny bit of experience with this reining in thing - and it doesn't
>tend to make most people feel good. I enjoy playing Scrabble, but the only
>person with whom I can play a fair-handed game is myself. If playing with
>social players or with my kids or most relatives, I had to rein in so as not
>to beat them by much - if at all. Thus they either complain that I'm not
>trying, or won't play me because I *am* trying.

Well, this is exactly the issue. No one likes being patronised. This is why 
I refuse to play chess with my husband, he is so good it is no fun for 
either of us.

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