A game is generally a structured type of play, often undertaken for fun or entertainment, and at times used as an educational instrument. A game, like a sport or recreation activity, is intended to have some goal, or purpose. Many games are very different from work, which often is performed for remuneration, or from literature, which often is more of an expression or aesthetic elements. In work, production is the standard, whereas in games the end result is the reward or completion of a task.
In most games, two people compete against each other with a goal in mind. The game concept consists of two interacting and opposing players who alternate turns, making choices, acting on those choices, and so forth. Often, if two people play a game where one is a controller and the other is a player, the latter has only advantage if his last action has resulted in a hit, allowing him to continue playing the game. This duality of control and advantage is important in game theory.
Chris Crawford is a game designer at Carnegie Mellon University. In his doctoral dissertation, he studies the benefits of board games in improving human leadership. His work focuses on how the interaction between two players can drive a relationship between them. Specifically, he focuses on how the element of chance creates an environment in which players have to negotiate their own kind of internal conflict, rather than a face-to-face confrontation. Using information from the social network software used by Facebook and Twitter to track user interactions, he was able to create a game with a real social dynamic, in which players could compete or cooperate, depending on their own decisions and the actions of others.
In the early years of the game, the player would select a number of options, such as colors or shapes, then choose a symbol from among the available choices. Once these choices are made, the player has no further options and must play a standard game with one pair of colors, no matter what the choice is. The concept of “matching” or “teaching” the opponent a move is sometimes used to describe such a game, but in fact refers to the player manipulating his own set of choices. The only strategy used in Stone-Paper-Scissors is to determine whether a particular move will strengthen or weaken a strategic position. In fact, no strategy is used, so the game relies on pure random chance.
In the later years of the 20th century, a number of different sets of pure strategies were developed. However, no comprehensive theory yet described a complete game theory. Most significantly, some people realized that it was possible to learn a limited number of optimal strategies for any number of games (such as twenty, for instance). With these discoveries came a need to specify a set of rules that could be universally implemented. Thus, the development of the game rules of stone-paper-scissors was born.
With the evolution of game theory, we are now able to study a wide variety of games. Thus, many problems in mathematics and science were greatly reduced through the use of game theory. Game theory, combined with the perfect information principle that governs all of reality, then offers a truly unlimited amount of solutions. A finite number of completely pure strategies can solve infinitely many problems. Thus, the game theory is one of the greatest unifying theories in mathematics and the natural sciences.