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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it now!
Game theory is a fascinating and tragically underrated field. This has much to do with mathematical abstraction and obscurantism. A "game" represents any scenario with two or more independent players, where each player's payoff depends on the combined choices of everyone.

This situation leads to easy mathematical modeling, but many real-world situations can...
Published on 12 Feb 2011 by DigiTAL

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read but contains unnecessary bible analysis
This book is very interesting. The concepts it outlines are entertaining and makes you think more deeply about games and strategies than you might have done before. Times when a certain 'intuitive' strategy would seem obvious are shown to actually work against you. For instance, if you were to play a game of 'Rock, Paper, Scissors' against a professional, you would...
Published 23 months ago by Seannation


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read but contains unnecessary bible analysis, 16 Dec 2012
This review is from: The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist's Guide to Success in Business and Life (Hardcover)
This book is very interesting. The concepts it outlines are entertaining and makes you think more deeply about games and strategies than you might have done before. Times when a certain 'intuitive' strategy would seem obvious are shown to actually work against you. For instance, if you were to play a game of 'Rock, Paper, Scissors' against a professional, you would quickly find a strategy of picking your next move at random to work in their favour.

However, I felt the book was marred by frequent and unnecessary references to biblical passages. The authors use quotes from the bible to reinforce their points, all of which do not need such quotes to give them credence. That in itself would be acceptable in my eyes, as clearly the Christian authors feel these quotes best illustrate their points. What makes it worse though is that early on, there is a footnote that actually challenges anyone that doesn't believe in god to make Pascal's Wager, claiming it is the 'dominant' strategy in the game of beliefs. While I feel this is a good example of how game theory can permeate all aspects of life, I don't feel it is necessary for the authors to tell me that I am wrong in my beliefs. Especially when the authors overlook a key assumption that would otherwise change the initial conditions of the game they claim to have the answer to.

I would have given this book a higher rating if they had stuck to their area of expertise rather than trying to convert me. It's a real shame, because other than these points, it was a great book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it now!, 12 Feb 2011
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This review is from: The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist's Guide to Success in Business and Life (Hardcover)
Game theory is a fascinating and tragically underrated field. This has much to do with mathematical abstraction and obscurantism. A "game" represents any scenario with two or more independent players, where each player's payoff depends on the combined choices of everyone.

This situation leads to easy mathematical modeling, but many real-world situations can also be represented as "games". For instance, "The Battle of the Sexes" is a game which models the competing entertainment choices of a couple who want to spend the night out on the town together. The game of "Chicken" can be used to model both the behaviour of teenagers or Cold War nuclear brinkmanship.

Dixit and Nalebuff explain games in terms of what they are to ordinary people -- simple stories illustrating the importance of strategic behaviour -- and not as abstract mathematical problems. They explain key points with examples from books, game shows, movies, and sport. They also show how a knowledge of game theory can come in handy when voting, bidding on eBay, or bargaining with others.

This book is essentially an updating and significant revision of their earlier book "Thinking Strategically". Thomas Schelling is an academic who takes a similar approach to game theory; his books are worth checking out if Dixit and Nalebuff manage to whet your appetite for the field.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strategic decision-makers ought understand these principles, 25 Jun 2010
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David Derrett - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist's Guide to Success in Business and Life (Hardcover)
How should we play games that involve other players whose interests are not (or are only partially) aligned with our own? What factors should we take into account when designing games (such as auctions)?

This book elucidates the key aspects of game theory to the lay reader. Expect not mathematical rigour, but thought-provoking ideas, novel strategic scenarios and an insightful explanation of a variety of collective action problems. The variety of examples make it an engaging read. Below are a few of my favourites:

* The effectiveness of a two-tiered takeover bid.
* How to meet someone in NYC knowing only the day to meet.
* How, in a sailboat race, one can maintain one's lead by following the course of the boat behind.
* The existence of various equilibria in the marketplace. The authors give the example of the Dvorak and Qwerty keyboard layouts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 2 Mar 2012
I am currently studying my MBA and wanted to get better at understanding and implementing strategy. This book is the answer. This book does not give you solutions, it makes you more intelligent in your perspectives and reactions to competition, and I think that's more important. The real acts of warfare can be understood and dealt through this book. Great book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nicely put together, 15 Oct 2012
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J. S. Wills (Bristol UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist's Guide to Success in Business and Life (Hardcover)
A polished easy-to-read book. Well-constructed. Stays away from mathematics and uses anecdotes to explain concepts. Challenges you to apply the models to your everyday activities.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Strategy for everyone, 25 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist's Guide to Success in Business and Life (Hardcover)
A thoroughly enjoyable book that should be in everyone's bookshelf. From your personal life to business and politics, this book explains the games of strategy that we all play. Want to learn how to beat your children at rock-paper-scissors? Need tips on how to successfully loose weight? This book applies strategic theory to all areas of life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, 10 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist's Guide to Success in Business and Life (Hardcover)
It is one of the most pleasant books that I have ever read.The examples that the book uses and the situations that describes and the games in which we can participate made me understand better what strategy means and how it operates.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars game theory for everyone, 27 Sep 2009
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This review is from: The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist's Guide to Success in Business and Life (Hardcover)
Very good introduction to the practical application of game theory.This is an update of their first book.Its well written and thought provoking.Best book on the subject for laypeople I've read so far.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A solid read, 10 Sep 2011
This review is from: The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist's Guide to Success in Business and Life (Hardcover)
"Do not let the title put you off, this book does not belong on the "self help" shelf. Dixit and Nalebuff have produced a highly accessible text which is relevant to business, sports, politics and daily social life. Refreshingly, the book addresses the world as it is, rather than the way that some game theorists think it should be.

The authors, while accepting that good strategic thinking is an art, use game theory with practical examples to describe and classify the approach of successful strategists in a way that is understandable and illuminating."
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