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Subject: Paradox in Game Theory: Losing Strategy That Wins rss

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Joe Cappello
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He who loses most, wins.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9500E3D71F3DF...
 
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Matthew Kloth
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Thanks for bringing this to my attention. The ratchet idea is interesting.

The way that "two losing strategies" produce a winning one is because one of the losing strategies has both a very good and very bad component, while the other one has a slightly bad component. Then you alternate back and forth in such a way that the slightly bad is used instead of the very bad often enough you end up with a positive return.

at the end of the wiki article is a good example:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parrando%27s_Paradox
 
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Marc P
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Gloomhaven is a great niche game
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What a great way of eliminating Brazil nuts from a mix!
 
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Daniel Danzer
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Another, rather simple example is 3 SPOT game, where each player scores points (putting his own tile on one of the 3 spots), moving his and a neutral tile at each turn.



The object is to score 12 points provided that the other player scores at least 6 points - if the other player scores less than six points then the player reaching 12 points is the loser! Whereas in most games the person scoring the highest number of points is the winner - in the 3 Spot game the 'winner' can be the 'loser'.

 
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Nate Straight

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This doesn't seem so much to be a paradox as a very specific setup of games and the variables controlling them that leads to interesting results. If you go play around with the second flash applet here, you can see that the "two minuses make a plus" outcome depends on very specific ranges of probabilities and whole number multiples for decision-making rules. If you select a number higher than 3, for example, to be your decision-making rule in game B, then the whole system fails. The results also depend heavily on the probabilities of each coin winning. If you set the probability of the first game too low, for example, the results simply don't work. This just seems to be mathematical smoke and mirrors for the most part.
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D Weimer
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I wish I knew what parameters they used in Game A and Game B. Because I can't seem to reproduce their results.
 
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Mike Cooper
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Quote:
Brooke Buckley, an undergraduate student from Eastern Kentucky University, mentions in her honors thesis that it's a well known fact in agriculture, "that both sparrows and insects can eat all the crops. However, by having a combination of sparrows and insects, a healthy crop is harvested."


Distilled down to "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." wherein given a choice, the sparrows prefer the insects. Not so much a paradox as a symbiosis.

I'm going to suggest that in game development, designers usually take into account the actions of one person making bad decisions, but not the accumulated result of more than one person playing badly. It is this which unseats the expected outcome.

/call me Ace Ventura, 'cuz I'm talking out of my ass.
 
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Joe Cappello
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As a bear of very little brain, this concept fascinates me in that I wonder if an effective game may be derived using this mechanism.

When it comes to losing, I am the winningest mofo out there!



 
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Mike Cooper
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kennylibido wrote:
As a bear of very little brain, this concept fascinates me in that I wonder if an effective game may be derived using this mechanism.

When it comes to losing, I am the winningest mofo out there!





Then The Mad Magazine Game is the game for you.
 
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Mark Machado
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tenhole wrote:
I wish I knew what parameters they used in Game A and Game B. Because I can't seem to reproduce their results.

Read the wiki article linked above - it has the details you need.
 
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Jeff Hinrickson
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kennylibido wrote:


The confinds of your mind is an enigma.
 
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