What Is Game Theory Video Games?


Martha Robinson

Game Theory is a fascinating subject that can be applied to many areas of life, including video games. In this article, we will explore what Game Theory is and how it applies to video games.

What is Game Theory?

Game Theory is a branch of mathematics that deals with decision-making in situations where multiple players are involved. It involves analyzing the strategies and outcomes of different choices to determine the most optimal course of action.

At its core, Game Theory aims to understand how individuals and organizations make decisions when they are aware that their actions will affect others. It helps us understand how people behave in situations where there are incentives or rewards involved.

How Does Game Theory Apply to Video Games?

Video games are an excellent example of a situation where Game Theory can be applied. In many modern video games, players interact with each other in complex ways, and their decisions can have significant impacts on the game’s outcome.

For example, in online multiplayer games such as League of Legends or Overwatch, players must work together as a team to achieve a common goal. Each player must decide how best to contribute to the team’s success while also considering the actions of their opponents.

The Prisoner’s Dilemma

One classic example of Game Theory in action is the Prisoner’s Dilemma. This scenario involves two criminals who have been arrested and placed in separate cells. Each prisoner has two choices: they can either cooperate with their partner by staying silent or betray them by confessing.

If both prisoners stay silent, they will both receive a light sentence. If both confess, they will both receive a harsh sentence. However, if one prisoner confesses while the other stays silent, the traitor will receive no punishment at all while the other prisoner receives the maximum sentence.

This scenario applies to many video games where players must choose whether or not to cooperate with each other. For example, in the game Among Us, players must work together as a team to complete tasks and identify imposters. However, some players may choose to betray their teammates by sabotaging the mission or killing other players.

Game Theory and Strategy

Another way that Game Theory applies to video games is through strategy. Players who understand Game Theory can use this knowledge to develop effective strategies that give them an advantage over their opponents.

For example, in the game Hearthstone, players must build decks of cards and use them to defeat their opponents. A player who understands Game Theory may choose to include cards in their deck that are less popular among other players but still effective. This strategy can give them an advantage when facing opponents who are not prepared for these cards.


In conclusion, Game Theory is a fascinating subject that has many applications in video games. By understanding how players make decisions and interact with each other, we can develop strategies that give us an advantage and improve our chances of success. Whether you’re a casual gamer or a professional esports player, understanding Game Theory can help you take your game to the next level.