Problem Set 1, rules write-up Econ 327 Game theory
Choose a “game” in the sense of this course, one that involves strategic interactions instead of just individual decision-making, games of pure chance, or competitions of pure skill (see Section 2.1 of DSR4e). [For example, Scrabble, poker, billiards, and baseball are actual “games” in the strategic sense, while Yahtzee, solitaire, and many individual athletic events do not involve strategic interactions.]
Categorize the game you’ve chosen according to the dimensions discussed in subsections A through F in Section 2.2 of DSR4e (pages 20-27), for which you will be practicing when doing exercise 2U2 above. Then, write the rules of the game so that they could be understood by someone who has never seen the game (or anything like it) before, and make your description detailed enough so that they could play the game themselves based on your write-up of the rules.
Don’t underestimate the difficulty of doing this assignment well. It’s not easy to be able to teach a game to someone who’s never seen anything like it before. As a consequence, it’s advisable to avoid writing about complicated games such as baseball, football (soccer), American football, or a great many of the more interesting table-top games.
This part of the assignment will take serious thought and consideration. In order to explain your game to a novice, you will have to be careful to describe the object of the game, the basic layout of the game and any equipment used to play it, and how the play of the game proceeds. Be sure to define all of your terms carefully. For example, you would need to say exactly what a “hand” or a “trick” is in a card game, exactly how one scores a point in soccer, or exactly what a “pocket” is in billiards before you use these terms to describe game play.
Your description should be one or two typed pages. You may optionally add a one-page appendix if you wish to include diagrams that you will refer to in the text, such as a sketch of the playing field. The specific formatting you use (margins, line spacing, typeface, and so forth) doesn’t matter.
This assignment must be done in your own words. [That is, this assignment isn’t intended for you to show off how well you can copy and paste text from the internet or elsewhere. With that in mind, your responses will be run through the plagiarism detection software VeriCite.]
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