Game Theory

Game Theory

Article based on this YouTube video

What is game Theory?

Game theory is a bit of a misnomer by being called game theory as you might think of it as a game - but it’s anything but. It has the potential of destroying the world.

What is the game?

Submit computer programs (strategies) that would play each other for 200 rounds. The goal of the game is for the strategy to win as many points as possible.

  • The games will be repeated 5x to ensure the the successful strategy was not just a fluke.

Tit for Tat: Starts by cooperating and then copies exactly what the opponent did in the last move. If they attack you, you attack back, but only once. If the opponent goes back to cooperating so do you.

  • You attack me, I’ll attack you. If you treat me right, I’ll treat you right.

When you think about winning, you think about beating the other person. In most games, one persons gain is another persons loss. This is called a zero sum game. But most of life is not zero sum. To win you don’t need to get your reward from the other player.

  • You have to find those win win situations and unlock those rewards where cooperation pays.

Examples in History

  • Cold War (Nuclear warheads)

Overall takeaway from Game Theory

  1. Be nice
  2. Be forgiving
  3. Don’t be a push over (Don’t let others take advantage of you)

Fascinating Thoughts

  • We get to make choices that don’t only change our future, but also the future of those we interact with.
  • In the short term the environment shapes the player that determines who does well, but in the long run, it’s the players that shape the environment.
  • Being nice is better than being nasty/mean. Nice guys don’t finish last after all.

We’re all playing a game - the game of life. Make your decisions wisely as their impact may reach further than you think.

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.