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Posted: February 4th, 2008, 1:15 am
by NightOwl
Robert Scott wrote: ......on the theory of Gaming.....
Sorry, not the theory of Gaming. Maybe the begining of game theory in 1935 was talking about chess games or poker games, and von Neumann had the minimax criteria to solve the game. But even then, it is not about gaming, but rather about applying interaction/dynamics of strategies between opposing economic agents (agents may be firms, consumers, countries in trade situations, etc.).

From early on (after WWII), game theory was mainly used by political/public policy strategists dealing with issues of cold war (US v.s. Sovient Union on arm control and other political issues) in its early stages of development. One of 2005 Nobel Prize Laureates in Economics, Professor Thomas C. Shelling, is a distinguished University Professor in the school of Public Policy, who was specialized in military strategy and arms control in the cold-war era, and he contributed a lot in the field of game theory. Both 1994 and 2005's Nobel Prize Laureates in Economics were in the field of game theory. John Nash was one of the 1994 Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics, and he got his fame and popularity by the 2001 film "A beautiful Mind". However, von Neumann and Nash are non-economists, they were/are mathematicians. Game theory has expanded to other fields in social science, political science, regional science and urban planning, life science, artificial intelligence, and many other fields. One of the recent focuses of some game theorists are evolutionary game.

The major players of Game theory society in my university are mostly mathematicians. None of them are concerned or even interested in gaming, I believe. Actually I do not play even the simplest poker game, and I am not interested in buying lottery, because I know the payoffs of buying lottery would not give me sufficient reward for me to sacrifice my peace of mind (definitely a risk aversion behavior). I am more interested in human interactions while dealing with policy issues. For public policies, we have different objectives. We are more concerned about social welfare than the individual gains.


Posted: February 4th, 2008, 5:09 am
by NightOwl
I apologize for being lectureish, Robert.

I guess I just could not see other people misunderstanding game theory. Seeing the word "Gaming" set me off......

When I first put up a homepage promoting game theory years ago (since 1995, I believe), I was trying to connect game theory to everyone's daily experience. So people would accept game theory as easy and fun. However, that homepage was long gone and I have not been keeping anything other than my course materials online nowaday.

After my homepage was up, I've got an email from a high school graduate-to-be, asking me which courses to take before getting into college, for he/she is aiming at designing computer games. I was speechless. I did reply, believe me, but I can not help him/her.

I even got an email by a new Ph.D. from mainland China, asking me to give him the whole list of publications of John Nash's research papers and books. I was amazed by the power of internet...... But I have not been able to maintain a homepage/site since then. :(