Friday, January 13, 2006


More on Game Theory

As long as we're talking about Game Theory, I'd like to be the first to say that it's a fun and interesting way of looking at the world. The best part about it is that in most games, individual actors can have different payoffs and different preferences for different actions. In other words, values are always subjective. It's not necessary that we assume that everyone wants exactly the same number of widgets or nuclear weapons or whatever the payoff might be.

Also, I'd like to quickly sum up the three most common games that theorists use to describe the world:

First and foremost, is the Prisoner's Dilemma, a non-zero-sum game wherein cooperation is best for both players, but difficult to attain.

Secondly, a coordination game of Stag Hunt, which describes the conflict between safety and social cooperation.

The Chicken Game is suitably named after the game made famous in Rebel Without A Cause in which drivers steer their vehicles at eachother (or a cliff) until one or the other or both "chicken out" and swerve.

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