Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Game Theory: As viewed from a Southwestern Perspective (presented by Chris Schumacher, Clayton Freed and Glenn Gavi)

Game Theory and its’ applications will be expressed through a film called The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1966). Game Theory is the interdisciplinary analysis of interactive, social human behavior.   Games are found in most interactions and decision making methods between players, both willing and non-willing participants.  While Game Theory was officially “invented” in the 20th Century by Mathematicians, its basic concepts have been studied and used since Socrates. Analyzing options available to both you and others has been used successfully for millennia in many ways, including to achieve military victory, outsmart competing business, and even to form and run governments. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is a perfect example of the complexities of “playing a game” because of the unpredictable outcomes based on input given by the players decisions.  The concepts of Game Theory are hidden in every aspect of life.  There are two main attributes or assumptions made about the interaction between players: 1) there are two or more players 2) the players will try to maximize their rewards.  A list of games that have been identified provides enough material to teach numerous classes. The final scene in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is an excellent example of Game Theory. It shows an unknowing cooperative effort to maximize the desired end result.  Overall, allowing others to understand the basic ideas of Game Theory and its’ applications will be the main objectives of this presentation.

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