Game theory is a fascinating topic that has gained immense popularity in recent times. It is a branch of mathematics that studies the strategic decision-making of individuals or groups. The objective of game theory is to analyze and determine the optimal strategy in various decision-making scenarios.

The concept of game theory dates back to ancient times, where philosophers like Sun Tzu and Machiavelli wrote extensively about military strategy and political games. However, the first formalization of game theory can be traced back to the 18th century when mathematician Jean le Rond d’Alembert introduced the concept of minimax.

The minimax theorem is a fundamental principle of game theory, which states that in any two-person zero-sum game, one player’s gain is equal to the other player’s loss. This theorem laid the foundation for further developments in game theory.

In the 20th century, game theory gained significant attention from economists, mathematicians, and social scientists. John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern are credited with developing the first comprehensive mathematical theory of games in their book “Theory of Games and Economic Behavior” published in 1944.

Their work provided a framework for analyzing various decision-making scenarios by defining games as mathematical models with players, strategies, payoffs, and outcomes. They also introduced concepts like Nash equilibrium and dominated strategies that became essential tools for analyzing strategic interactions.

Since then, game theory has been applied in various fields like economics, political science, biology, psychology, computer science, and more. It has helped us understand complex social phenomena like market competition, voting behavior, conflict resolution, cooperation among individuals and groups.

In conclusion, while philosophers have been writing about strategic decision-making for centuries before that formalization was missing until Jean le Rond d’Alembert introduced Minimax theorem in 18th century which laid down foundation for John von Neumann & Oskar Morgenstern’s comprehensive mathematical theory of games in 1944, which is considered as the first game theory.