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# Game Theory: A Very Short Introduction

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Games are everywhere: Drivers maneuvering in heavy traffic are playing a driving game. Bargain hunters bidding on eBay are playing an auctioning game. The supermarket's price for corn flakes is decided by playing an economic game. This

*Very Short Introduction*offers a succinct tour of the fascinating world of game theory, a ground-breaking field that analyzes how to play g ...more## Get A Copy

Paperback, 184 pages

Published
January 1st 2008
by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published October 25th 2007)

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*"...game theory isn't able to solve all the word's problems, because it only works when people play games rationally."*

--Ken Bilmore, Game Theory, A Very Short Introduction

Ken Binmore's Very Short Introduction (VSI #173) to Game Theory is my second selection of Oxford's huge, gigantic VSI series (quickly approaching 500 books). It was probably closer to 3.5 stars, but mainly because of the structural problems with surveying Game Theory in less than 200 pages. At less than 200 pages Binmore is abl ...more

some of the interesting points:

* discussion of auction mechanisms, with ...more

I was disappointed by this introduction. The author writes with considerable style and covers some aspects well, but I think that the core principles of game theory are not explained at all well and the examples and diagrams are explained particularly poorly. Not surprisingly, the book is best when covering the author's speciality - auctions. I also feel that the author devotes too much time to arguing against the straw man of ethical objections to game theory analyses - these could be dealt wit ...more

While I agree it is hard to be thorough in short introductory books, I think using terms without introducing them by examples or definition (not for short introductory books) is worst kind of mistake in books. Now, to be fair, I might have enjoyed other VSI books as I was familiar with t ...more

May 26, 2017
Muhamed
added it

Ken Binmore is the right person for introducing Game Theory. He knows what he is talking about. Although, at times I felt like a short introduction like this could be easier to read. Some pages, I really needed to stop a few mins and read it a few times.

Even though I struggled to turn each page, I'm glad I got an introduction to game theory... So it lives up to its name. But, geez, it seemed SO MUCH tougher than it had to be. I had a question about every three sentences. It read like a textbook, but occationally, Binmore would drop some strange word or phrase, and he seemed to be breaking the tone...inserting a nonsequiter that didn't ever feel welcome. I was con ...more

Think of it not so much as a primer or cliff notes version of Game Theory, but more of a sampler appetizer platter -- you get to try a little bit of everything before deciding if y ...more

I think this is a good introduction, especially as I found the book light on maths—a good thing for my Greek symbols anxiety. Still, I found some chapters difficult, especially the last one about bargaining, Though, I have been too lazy to grab a pen and paper and work out the various games on ...more

1- interactive.

2- rational.

3- remunerative.

However, the author is being egoist on some positions and his arguments are sometimes undeductive. Some of the examples he uses and the figures that accompany them I have no idea what they are about esp ...more

I don't think I came away with any deep knowledge that I can apply, but that is the nature of introductions. There's no way you're going to become a game theorist after one sitting. It is a useful primer to the field and a good choice when combined with other sources. I also ...more

**Binmore**could be a thought leader in

*Game Theory*but as an author he can definitely do better.

I took on this book hoping to get just that... an introduction to Game Theory. My problem with this book was that it got into the weeds too fast too soon, the awkward prose not helping at all.

What I did take away was some of the concepts and terms associated to Game Theory such as the Nash Equilibrium, Minimax and Maximin or Folk Theorem to name a few. Now my homework i ...more

A couple of areas needed multiple readings (eg all the terminology around bees) and the last chapter would need further knowledge to really get a handle on why it works, but author clearly loves the topic which is pretty infectious, and lots of jumping off points to pick up books from the bibliography.

Date finished: 03/08/2020

Rating about 4 stars.

I don't want this book to go into my reading stats of the year, since I decided to read this for studying and researching. With that in mind, this book is easy to go through and I learnt a lot about game theory in general. The author knows a lot about the topic so I was happy to read from him. Prisoner's Dilemma, Monty Hall problem and many more games. A lot of good stuffs.

Look up some of the terms and see some other examples

"Play" the games and try to find the equilbruem when germane

This ruins the short and sweet aspect of it, but I imagine it would help!

As for the book, the author has a fun style that makes a subject that some may find banal into a more enjoyable read.

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Professor of Economics at UCL, after holding corresponding positions at LSE and the University of Pennsylvania and Michigan. Onetime Professor of Mathematics at LSE.

Author of 77 published papers and 11 books. Research in evolutionary game theory, bargaining theory, experimental economics, political philosophy, mathematics and statistics.

Grants from National Science Foundation (3), ESRC (1), STICER ...more

Author of 77 published papers and 11 books. Research in evolutionary game theory, bargaining theory, experimental economics, political philosophy, mathematics and statistics.

Grants from National Science Foundation (3), ESRC (1), STICER ...more

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