Think you’ve got a solid strategy for Puerto Rico? Think again. A pair of professors from the University of Manchester and University of Oxford claim that, other than the simplest games, most games are just too complex for the human mind to fully comprehend. After simulating thousands of two-player games, Drs. Galla and Farmer concluded that with games such as Chess and Go, human behavior is irrational and players will have a difficult time finding optimal strategies.
Their paper, “Complex Dynamics in Learning Complicated Games“, is published in the January 7th issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
That people often behave irrationally is not news. But the mathematical Theory of Games of Strategy is based on the idea that if the other player plays less than perfectly, you’ll do even better than expected. I think they’ve misrepresented Game Theory in the press release.
Furthermore, puzzles have equilibriums, have solutions, but true games do not. I suspect the researchers haven’t quite understood this.
So what’s new? Apparently nothing.