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Life As A Game Or The Game Of Life

"All the world's a stage and the men and women on it merely players" - Shakespeare
Applying game theory concepts to all sorts of things has become quite trendy, and probably for good reasons. So, what is it all about? A quick search into "the source of all knowledge" (i.e. Wikipedia) provides us with the following reference:
Game theory is a branch of applied mathematics that is used in the social sciences, most notably in economics, as well as in biology (particularly evolutionary biology and ecology), engineering, political science, international relations, computer science, social psychology, and philosophy. Game theory attempts to mathematically capture behavior in strategic situations, or games, in which an individual's success in making choices depends on the choices of others (Myerson, 1991).
Interestingly enough, people have been using these concepts long before the "unified field" theory got established. For example, in the 17th century Blaise Pascal (French philosopher, mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer, child prodigy, ... genius) posed a suggestion that became known as Pascal's Wager:
Even though the existence of God cannot be determined through reason, a person should wager as though God exists, because living life accordingly has everything to gain, and nothing to lose.
Today, the game theory is being studied and applied by professionals and amateurs alike. The applications vary greatly - from trying to predict or model certain situations, to attempting to manipulate or influence people's behavior, to endeavoring to prove or disprove the existence of Supreme Being. Digging through one of the modern goldmines, called YouTube, I found the following three videos that caught my attention:

It is always a pleasure to see smart, confident, young people eloquently expressing their ideas and opinions. And there's always something to be learn, for example - the 7 ways games engage our brain from the last video (by Tom Chatfield):
  1. Experience bars measuring progress
  2. Multiple long and short-term aims
  3. Rewards for effort
  4. Rapid, frequent, clear feedback
  5. An element of uncertainty
  6. Windows of enhanced attention
  7. Other people
or the four game dynamics from the video before that (by Seth Priebatsch, btw if you liked it you may also want to check out the following article):
  1. Appointment dynamic-a dynamic in which to succeed, one must return at a predefined time to take a predetermined action. (Real life example: happy hour)
  2. Influence and status-the ability of one player to modify the behavior of another's actions through social pressure. (Example: different color credit cards as a reflection of status)
  3. Progression dynamic-a dynamic in which success is granularly displayed and measured through the process of completing itemized tasks. (Example: linkedin profile progress bar)
  4. Communal discovery-a dynamic wherein an entire community is rallied to work together to solve a challenge. (Example: finding interesting content on
I, for one, am planning on investigating this further to see how I can apply some of these concepts in my everyday life.

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