My newest course is Welcome to Game Theory from University of Tokyo. Taught by Michihiro Kandori, this course does NOT focus on video games, which I originally thought it was. In fact, game theory doesn't even include video games. Game theory is the process of using a mathematical model to turn a game-like situation into a game in order to see all the possible outcomes. According to game theory, a "game" is anything that what's best for 1 person/group depends on what the other person/group does. Some examples of this are politics, poker, and traffic control. Game theory also has found uses in:
- Political Science
- Computer Science
Poker demonstrates game theory, so roulette gambling does too, right? Wrong. Roulette gambling has a machine, so one player's actions are definite. According to Professor Kandori, things have to meet 3 requirements in order to be made into games:
- Who are the players?
- What possible strategies can the players take?
- What is the payoff (reward) of each strategy?
Requirement #1 is pretty straightforward, since you just need to identify the participants in the "game"; for example, Democrats and Republicans. Requirement #2 is more complex, because each player has a range of choices. Each player's strategies make up that player's "strategy set". Finally, Requirement #3 returns to being straightforward, because the payoff is the reward; for example, the presidency of the United States.
Thank you for viewing this edition of School Stories, and I hope to see you again!