Ask Lewis About Game Theory
The Game Theory Gamer
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Q. Lewis, what are the basics of game theory? Do you need to be an economist or statistician to understand it?
A. What are the basic elements essential to playing any type of game, as well as applying game theory and gamer psychology in the real world?
- To begin with, any game is essentially system “an organized framework or method as well as a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done”.
- That being the case let’s start out by defining a few terms commonly used in the study of game theory and gamer psychology.
- Game: Any set of circumstances that has a result dependent on the actions of two of more decision-makers (players).
- Players: A strategic decision-maker within the context of the game.
- Strategy: A complete plan of action a player will take given the set of circumstances that might arise within the game.
- Payoff: Also known by some as an “end-game”, this is the payout a player receives from arriving at a particular outcome. The payout can be in any quantifiable form, in HAGT – Harrison’s Applied Game Theory most individuals seek their payout’s in cash other resources including time, space, influence, etc.
- Referee: An official who watches a game or match closely to ensure that the rules are adhered to and (in some sports) to arbitrate on matters arising from the play. In the game of life, a referee might be an authority figure, a leader, a police officer, or a judge.
No matter what game you’re playing; sports, board games, video games, or the game of life; if you do not understand these basics you are bound to lose.
One way to measure player skills is through the Bartle taxonomy of player types. This is a classification of video game players (gamers) based on a 1996 paper by Richard Bartle.
The taxonomy is based on a character theory. This character theory consists of four characters: Achievers, Explorers, Socializers, and Killers. These are imagined according to a quadrant model where the X-axis represents a preference for interacting with other players vs. exploring the world and the Y-axis represents a preference for interaction vs. unilateral action.
At first, the classification described players of multiplayer online games (including MUDs and MMORPGs). This definition has changed and today it also refers to players of single-player video games.
There was a test known as the Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology based on Bartle’s taxonomy. This test was created in 1999–2000 by Erwin Andreasen and Brandon Downey, containing a series of questions and an accompanying scoring formula. Although the test has been criticized by some due to the dichotomous nature of its question-asking method, as of October 2011, it had been taken over 800,000 times. The Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology hosted by GamerDNA is no longer available, though alternative online implementations of the test exist, and are popular with some players.
The result of the Bartle Test is the “Bartle Quotient”, which is calculated based on the answers to a series of 30 random questions in the test and totals 200% across all categories, with no single category exceeding 100%.
From the HAGT Gamer Glossary
Algorhythm: A process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer. In game theory an algorhythm serves as a highly effective, sequential approach to problem solving. In an algorhythm there is usually a list of well-defined instructions for completing a specific task or solving a specific problem. The process will usually begin with an initial statement (state) or variable, and proceed through a well: defined series of successive states (steps), eventually ending with a solution to the problem (terminating in an end: state). Algorhythms are often used for calculation and data processing. All video games are created using software that applies algorhythms to the design process.
Note: All postings on this website are based on a unique concept within game theory and gamer psychology which we refer to as Harrison’s Applied Game Theory or HAGT.
HAGT (pronounced “hacked”) is an umbrella term for hundreds of game and gamer-based approaches to problem-solving, and self-awareness. HAGT is strongly influenced by John von Neumann’s original ideas concerning gamer-thinking as well as economic game theory.
HAGT expands von Neumann’s seminal work by combining logic, rational thought, deep introspection, and intuition. These processes create practical, efficient, precise, and productive strategies for solving problems. The goal of HAGT (pronounced “hacked”), is to enable anyone to maximize love, kindness, compassion, empathy, joy, freedom, clarity of thought, emotional balance, personal contentment, inner wisdom, and happiness, in creating a meaningful life and forming collaborative communities.
One of the key foundations for the philosophy that underpins HAGT is that human beings are seldom rational agents. Rather they frame their emotionally driven, irrational, and often dysfunctional patterns of thought and action in rational terms so that they may be accepted into a group they have been born into or have chosen to associate with. The skilled practitioner of HAGT has the ability to predict when another player (agent) whether, an adversary, friend, or collaborator is likely to behave irrationally. This ability is critical for anyone seeking to survive and prosper in the game of life.
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The Game Theory Gamer Research Team
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