What is game theory? Which domains is it applied to?

What is game theory? Which domains is it applied to? by Naman Chakraborty

Answer by Naman Chakraborty:

Remember the 2014 Indian General Election Campaign?

While Congress and other opposing parties were busy trying to project Narendra Modi as a divisive political figure – He came up with a slogan:

Sabka Saath – Sabka Vikaas.

Loose Translation:
Along with everyone – Progress for everyone.

We all know the final result.

This is game theory.

Game Theory is the mathematics, economics or science of taking an action, after you’ve taken into account how other participants are expected to behave.

Generally, since more than one participant is involved in complex real world scenarios, you do not make a guess work and instead make use of the awesomely interesting algorithms and mathematical models of Game Theory.

It’s kind of like you as a kid pretending to want the Orange flavored ice cream instead of the Cola flavored one, secretly hoping that it makes your sibling choose Orange.

Remember, you can only apply Game Theory in case where the participants are rational decision makers (So you do not apply it on Pakistan…pliss).

Today, Game Theory is considered an important tool in many fields like diplomacy, town planning, marketing and warfare and has earned a total of 11 Nobel Prizes in Economics for its masters.

This guy is known as a father figure in Game Theory:

When he was a 22 years old student, he wrote a 28 page dissertation, with a lot of graphs and equations, basically explaining why one should always hit the second hottest woman in a bar, to increase the chances of getting a date (inference, not the conclusion) – He called it – The Nash Equilibrium[1].

44 years later, the Nobel Prize Committee finally got impressed and decided to give him the Nobel Prize in Economics, which made him kind of like the Brad Pitt of Mathematics, around the world – sadly, he was 67, happily married and suffering from advanced schizophrenia. He died two years ago, in a car accident.

Hollywood made a brilliant feature film based on the life of Nash, starring Russell Crowe, it’s called, A Beautiful Mind[2].

With a hope that this generates more interest in you to perhaps read more about the Game Theory. Thank you for reading, cheers and peace 🙂


[1] http://www.columbia.edu/~rs328/N…

[2] A Beautiful Mind (2001)

What is game theory? Which domains is it applied to?


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