Game Theory – Rule Based Or Not?


Game Theory – Rule Based Or Not?

A game is generally a structured form of interactive play, normally undertaken for fun or amusement, and at times also used as an educational instrument. Games are quite different from work, which generally is carried out primarily for remuneration, and also from literature, which is mostly an expression of personal or aesthetic impressions. Games stimulate the human mind in such a way that it tends to find new ways of searching and discovering for solutions. The activity may include active problem solving, puzzle solving, problem solving with a pattern, card matching, etc.

In order to enter the game world of the player, the rules need to be properly drawn up. These rules will govern the actions of everyone who plays the game. When these rules are properly laid down, then there will be a feeling of unity among all the players.

It is the players who have adapted their game rules in such a way so as to let them interact with one another without any hindrance. In a perfect information system, if there were no rules, chaos would reign supreme. The very concept of a perfect information system is nothing but a strict application of the rules of a game theory. A game theory therefore is nothing but a set of rules, which has been successfully evolved into a working system.

This applies in the case of a game being played according to real world principles. The rules of such games need to cater to the real world conditions. This means that there should be some real world parameters by which the game can be judged. For example, if a game of golf is to be judged, then the rules that govern the game of golf should be implemented into the game design. There is no scope for arbitrary decisions. The players need to play according to certain criteria and the game design should be such that they cannot deviate from the guidelines provided.

On the other hand, we have games like war games, war strategy games, sports games, etc, where the rules are generally more or less known. A player is not supposed to adapt the game rules according to his own personal decisions and preferences. Instead, every decision made by the player has a link to the next action that will follow. This action will be based on the decisions that a player will have taken earlier. For instance, if a player wants to shoot at the enemy troops, then the next move will be to shoot the enemy troops and if he wants to run away, then next move will be to run away from the enemy troops and so on and so forth.

The best part about a game theory is that it makes the players take an active role in the resolution of the conflicts. If a player is able to make his/her own decisions according to his/her knowledge of the game rules, then he/she will be able to create a different path for the game, thereby creating a different atmosphere and making it a completely different experience. In the end, this will make the game more exciting as each choice will have a bearing on the outcome of the game, thus creating a more thrilling experience. The players can either follow the game rules or create their own rules according to their wish, creativity and experience.

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