History of Games

Essay by dp1993College, UndergraduateB+, November 2014

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Diana Petrenko


Professor Cunningham

GAM 206- Section. 101

Critical Review

The theory of games was initially created to find a rational technique of how to solve and answer questions that were once considered unattainable. The purpose of this theory was to find a method that allows one to make an educated prediction of all possible outcomes. In John McDonald's Strategy in Poker, Business and War he thoroughly explains this concept in the "A Theory of Games" chapter. This theory was devised by Oskar Morgenstern and Jon Von Neumann, which they aimed to be applied to games that require strategic planning rather than just plain luck. By looking closely into each player's moves and decisions, one can begin to understand and analyze the options and strategies that are possible. Based on each player's decision, two assumptions can be made. The first possible assumption is that the players seek gain while the second is that the players are both rational and base their own strategies on the opposing side.

Before one is able to devise any form of strategy, the four elements contributing to this theory must be touched on. Von Neumann draws focus to chance being irrefutable and many times unavoidable when playing many games, including poker. Chance allows the lines to a predictable outcome to be blurred. An example of this is when cards are dealt or drawn in poker. Although this is a great example of chance, outcomes can be also affected by the choices a player makes. The players can choose to when they want to play their chances which then shows the connection between chance and choice. Based on the players choices the chances are then played out. This brings in the second element of choice which is based on the player and what...