I kept track of how often I play the "MS Zone.com" games that come w/ Windows XP, and what the results were. For those that don't know, these are on-line games (Checkers, Backgammon, Reversi) where you play with a random player. They are similar in concept to the yahoo games, except you can't communicate w/ the other player other than a handful of presets.

I noticed that a lot of games appeared to go unfinished, and it was frustrating when that happens. I suspect that people just quit, or click "find new player" when they start to lose. I wanted to know how many games are quit early and how many are completed properly. For a game to complete properly, one user must win, lose, or resign.

I tracked my stats in October for Backgammon and Checkers. I never got around to setting up the Reversi connection.

BackGammon: Games Played: 48
White: 23
Brown: 21
Percentage White: 47.92%
Percentage Brown: 43.75%
Wins: 13
Losses: 6
Ended Properly: 19
Ended Properly %: 12.50%
Ended Improperly: 26
Ended Improperly %: 54.17%
Bad Connection: 3
Bad Connection %: 6.25%
Total Rounds: 100
Average Rounds Per Game: 2.083333333

I, personally, did not quit any backgammon games. I believe that the high rate of improper ended games here is because many people will quit after a single round, but most games do not end at the first round. The reason the percentage of white games vs percentage of brown games is not 100% is that some games ended w/ a bad connection before I found out which color I was.

I did have one backgammon oddity. In one game, at the start of the second round, I was given the opportunity to move my pips backwards. Something went screwy somewhere in the programming. I had never seen that before.

Onto Checks:

Games Played: 113
Red: 57
White: 57
Percentage Red: 48.67%
Percentage White: 48.67%
Wins: 51
Losses: 12
Draw: 3
Ended Properly: 66
Ended Properly %: 58.41%
Ended Improperly: 43
Ended Improperly %: 38.05%
Bad Connection: 4
Bad Connection %: 3.54%

I was expecting a lot more "ended improperly" games w/ checkers. But, still 38% is a lot of games to just end w/o finishing them. There were 6 games out of the group that I quit. That was because the other user was unresponsive. Most of the times I'll wait at least a minute before quitting myself.

I think part of the problem w/ improper game endings is that there is no repercussions if they quit. It isn't like Yahoo Games, where you have an overall score, and if you leave, you lose when your opponent force quits. It's kind of like the good people who steal your TV after the town floods. They won't get caught, so bad things are now okay.

T says I reached a new level of geekdom.