On Gaming and Game Theory

by Martin Shubik


Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback33 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

Defines some game theory terms and explores the relationship between game theory and gaming. In a gaming exercise, people act out situations for experimental, training, or operational purposes. Game theory is a branch of abstract mathematics concerned with goal-oriented conflict and cooperation. It assumes that all are equally knowledgeable, quick-thinking, dispassionate, and mathematically skilled, whereas gaming often serves to reveal just how people really do act and what the rules and goals really are. Formal game theoretic analysis is valuable in planning or evaluating any serious operational game. Deviation from the game theory outcome is itself an important finding, providing measures of power, skill, social structure, or motivation. It may reveal that the game as played is not what the designer intended. Concepts such as side payments and games of status call attention to players' motivations that have been overlooked.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.