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Games of Strategy Hardcover – 1 Sep 1999

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 624 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co. (1 Sept. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393974219
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393974218
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 19.7 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,050,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By KPOP on 30 July 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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1 of 15 people found the following review helpful By UZO AMAKA on 2 Nov. 2009
Format: Hardcover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
79 of 85 people found the following review helpful
Why won't anyone just call it the Battle of the Sexes? 24 Aug. 2000
By John M. Woodruff - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I used this book for the second half of a principles of micro. course, to supplement the shoddy, one-chapter-on-the-Prisoners'-Dilemma treatment found in most principles textbooks. Everything said here should be interepreted according to this. From this instructor, the book gets points for being the best one available for teaching low-level undergraduates, but it could have been a LOT better. For example:
The notation and terminology are in many cases non-standard, and tend to change from chapter to chapter. The BoS is the Battle of Cultures (though this is not the first book to mess with this game). Chicken is a Game of Assurances, except in Ch. 10. SPE are (quasi-)formally described in Ch. 6, but they are actually introduced in Ch.4, where they are called Rollback Equilibria. Many times, I would have to tell students, "this is what your book calls a..."
The authors use confusing and convoluted examples to motivate concepts. For example, it takes a confusing, two-page story about advertizing in a political race to motivate study of sequential-move games. A simple entry-deterrence story gets the point across.
Also on this point, sequential-move games appear before simultaneous-move ones. I reversed this, in part ot be able to show that the set of SPE is merely a subset of the set of NE (again, using the entry-deterrence story). In fact, there's no real attempt to relate many of (seemingly unrelated) concepts to one another, as equilibrium refinements, each of which conforms to some intuitive concept of the "right" way of playing a given game.
The disucssion of the special case of two-person, zero-sum games, introducing pre-Nash notation and solution concepts is merely confusing for the uninitiated. I see no reason that anyone not yet in graduate school should have to know the min-max theorem.
In some ways, the books seems to suffer from over- and under-reach at the same time. The subject of infinitely repeated games gets two pages on TFT and Grim strategies in a repeated Prisoners' Dilema. There's no real discussion of rationalizability, or Bayesian games; many important concepts are smooshed into a couple of chapters, like they're being swept under the rug. There IS, however, a chapter on evolutionary games, and a (math-free) chapter on auctions.
Again, these are points that, I think, led to undue confusion, and required undue effort to counteract. However, I don't mean to be unduly harsh. I'm not suggesting that the authors should merely have mimeographed Fudenberg & Tirole, and whited-out the math. This is a useful book, ahead (as far as I know) of other treatments appropriate for students at this level. But it could have been much better.
34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
From a student perspective 9 Dec. 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I used this book as a student in an undergraduate Game Theory course and have mixed feelings about it.
Positives: the book is written in a simple style with relatively good examples that promote conceptual understanding.
Negatives: the book is very poorly laid out. Some chapters don't seem to follow any logical progression, so the reader must frequently jump from one section to another. Additionally, the book doesn't utilize some fairly standard terms, and the index doesn't facilitate the book's use as a reference manual.
The reason I wrote this review was because I came online to try to find a better Game Theory textbook -- I ran into problem studying from this one.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Starter 2 Oct. 2003
By Erik - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I'm learning game theory on my own and found this book an excellent starter. The book provides a wide range of topics, building from what strategy means in game theory, to the sequential and simultanous play of games, to more specialized areas and applications of the theory.
Although it keeps the mathematics rather minimal, you'll need to do your own workings to better understand the text. To get more from this book, you'll need to be involved in the examples the book provides... breezing through may not help you understand the theory better.
While I do read other books on game theory, I find myself going back to Games of Strategy to review the basics and the examples. The example on the tennis game has provided me some starting ideas on the issues I've to face in some research areas I'm working on.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Excellent practical introduction to game theory 22 Sept. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book provides a very good introduction to game theory from a practical, application-oriented point of view. Readers who expect a thorough mathematical introduction should read other books (e.g. Fudenberg&Tirole). But readers who want to understand the essence of game theoretical thinking and want to learn about many real-life applications (e.g. cold war) will like this book.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Textbook 3 May 2001
By James D. Miller - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I used this book when teaching an undergraduate course in game theory at Smith College. The course had a one semester calculus prerequisite and no econ prerequisites. The book is fantastic. It makes material very accessiable to students. It provides very interesting examples.
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