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In the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's anime episodes "Return to the Spirit World", Part 1 and Part 2, Professor Frank hypnotizes his opponent, Luna, during a Duel Monsters tournament duel. In addition to having an ulterior motive of getting her to access repressed memories, he uses that hypnotic influence to get Luna to play her cards in a certain way that benefits him.

In the real world, would it be against the Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament rules to hypnotize your opponent during a tournament duel in order to get them to play tactically in your favor? Is there any rule that would actually prevent this*, or would it entirely be a matter of the judge using his discretion to call out bad sportsmanship?


* I'm not expecting a rule that says "You cannot hypnotize your opponents", but am instead wondering if there might be a rule that covers this sort of behavior, like perhaps one that says you can't interfere with your opponent's decision-making.

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    I bet there is no rule against a dog playing Yu-Gi-Oh..... – Malco Feb 7 at 22:34
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    @Malco on the internet nobody knows you're a dog. – Andrew Feb 8 at 14:51
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From a link on the page that ConMan so helpfully provided:

Penalties are carried out in the event of rule violations which may cause hindrance to others and/or disruption of the event. Please note that the penalties listed on this page is not exhaustive, and the actual penalties enforced may vary depending on severity.

The Official Tournament Rules & Regulations will be used as a guideline for Judges to determine the penalties to be issued, including its severity. Heavier penalties may be issued for Duelists caught repeating these violations.

Duel/Match Fixing

Deciding the winner of a match without dueling (e.g. Rock-Paper-Scissors)
Penalty: Disqualification

Bribery involving money, cards, or any other means
Penalty: Total Disqualification

Hypnotizing your opponent would most likely be considered a type of match fixing, leading to a disqualification or a total disqualification.

Additionally, note the verbiage I bolded at the top. Judges are given broad authority to exercise their own judgement in determining misconduct and applying penalties. The fact that "there's no rule" against hypnotism would not prevent any competent judge from slapping the misbehaving player with a heavy punishment.

Now, if the judge has been hypnotized too...

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The main parts of the Tournament Rules and Guidelines that may be applicable in an official match, as far as I can tell, are:

  • During the duel, all actions taken by either duelist must be made clear and acknowledged by both sides.

  • [It is considered misconduct to be] Talking and/or exchanging advice/information other duelists, spectators, or other third parties during a duel.

If a hypnotised person is considered to be under the control of the hypnotist, then either it seems unlikely that they are able to consciously acknowledge the actions being taken in the game, and you could argue that they are receiving advice from another person (even if that advice is clearly favouring the opponent).

Additionally, that page notes that duelists must follow any rules set by the tournament organisers, which includes some common rules such as:

  • Always aim for a fair duel, and for its smooth progression.

  • Do not play in such a way that would be discomforting to your opponent.

A duel in which one player is under hypnosis is certainly not fair, and is very likely to be discomforting (especially if they are also being forced to remember traumatic events).

Additionally, from a legal standpoint*, a person under hypnosis would probably not be considered to have sufficient capacity to agree to the actions being taken, and possibly even to the tournament itself, and therefore there may be an argument that the game was won through deception, and any gain received as a result may well be fraudulent.

*This is very rough and not made from a particular jurisdiction's standpoint and I am not a lawyer, so don't take what I've said here as any kind of legal advice.

  • It specifically says "Giving advice during the duel". Giving someone advice before the duel isn't against the rules, and would be rather bizarre if it were (no one is ever allowed to discuss the game with anyone else?) – Acccumulation Feb 7 at 23:59
  • Good point. So it might make a difference whether you hypnotise them before the duel and tell them what to play, versus telling them what to play during the duel. Which also raises the issue of post-hypnotic triggers and what they fall under. – ConMan Feb 8 at 1:08

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