Where Do I Start With Game Theory?


Jane Flores

Game theory is a fascinating field of study that has applications in a wide range of disciplines, from economics and political science to psychology and biology. At its core, game theory is concerned with understanding how individuals or groups of individuals make strategic decisions in situations where the outcomes depend on the choices made by everyone involved.

If you’re interested in learning more about game theory, you might be wondering where to start. Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Understand the Basics

Before diving into more advanced topics, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the basics of game theory. This includes concepts such as:

  • The different types of games (cooperative vs. non-cooperative, zero-sum vs. non-zero-sum)
  • The concept of Nash equilibrium
  • The importance of information and assumptions about other players’ preferences and strategies

2. Read Introductory Texts

There are many great introductory texts on game theory that can help you get started. Some popular options include:

  • “Game Theory: A Very Short Introduction” by Ken Binmore
  • “An Introduction to Game Theory” by Martin J. Osborne
  • “Strategy: An Introduction to Game Theory” by Joel Watson

3. Take Online Courses or Attend Workshops

Online courses and workshops are another great way to learn about game theory. Many universities offer free online courses on platforms such as Coursera or edX that cover the basics of game theory.

You can also attend workshops or conferences where experts in the field gather to discuss new research and developments in game theory.

4. Practice Solving Problems

Like any skill, mastering game theory requires practice. One way to do this is by solving problems and exercises. Many textbooks and online resources provide practice problems that you can work through to solidify your understanding of the concepts.

5. Apply Game Theory to Real-World Scenarios

Finally, one of the best ways to learn about game theory is by seeing how it applies to real-world scenarios. Examples of game theory applications include:

  • Understanding how firms compete in markets
  • Examining how countries negotiate international trade agreements
  • Analyzing social dilemmas such as the tragedy of the commons

By applying game theory to these types of scenarios, you can see firsthand how the concepts you’ve learned can be used to make predictions and provide insights into complex strategic interactions.

In conclusion, game theory is a fascinating field that has applications in many different areas. By starting with the basics, reading introductory texts, taking courses or attending workshops, practicing problem-solving, and applying game theory to real-world scenarios, you can build a strong foundation for understanding this complex but rewarding field.