Apr, 2014

Today, in my first Social Gaming lecture, I found myself thinking about Game Theory, specifically the Prisoners’ Dilemma, and how to translate this into an actual game. For those of you, who aren’t familiar with this gedankenexperiment, I will outline it in a few sentences, the others can safely skip the following paragraph.

The basic idea is that you have two prisoners, A and B. The two of them committed a crime together, but you cannot exactly prove it. Both of them get the same deal: rat out on the other and go free, the other gets to serve three years in prison. If both talk, both get a two year sentence, if both keep their mouths shut, both will get one year. They are held separate from each other and have no means to communicate. Now, while it would be more beneficial for them collectively to keep silent, each individually would always benefit from betraying the other, resulting in a higher penalty for both of them, than they would have to serve, if they cooperated.

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