Economic Games

The theory of economics games was introduced by another badass, Hungarian-American polymath John von Neumann. Like Euler, Von Neumann made significant contributions to fields such as mathematics, physics, economics, computing and statistics.

Perhaps the most famous game studied in the field is the Prisoner’s Dilemma, what is known as a simultaneous game with an asymmetric payoff matrix.

In general, game theory has applications in devising strategies for an array of game, including deterministic games of complete information such as Chess. However, these combinatorial “playgames”, Chess, Go, Checkers, are not inherently economic. We tend to think of them as battlefield games—the goal of Chess and Checkers is to capture the enemy’s pieces; Go is a game of surrounding an enemy’s forces to dominate the field.

[M] games are inherently economic. They are games of positional valuation in a regional context. A core mechanic is the concept of influence. It is a contest of acquisition in a condition of flux.

[M] games add dimensionality to Latin squares/Sudoku by introducing magnitude—the numbers now have corresponding values and are not simply “placeholder” symbols. In [M] games, the integers can be understood as population, resource or technological densities, as positions in a set of inter-related markets, and many other contexts.

Like most placement games, [M] is a finite game of diminishing resources.