Game Theory

  • by Ken Binmore
  • Narrated by Jesse Einstein
  • 6 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 groundbreaking field that analyzes how to play games in a rational way. Ken Binmore, a renowned game theorist, explains the theory in a way that is both entertaining and non-mathematical yet also deeply insightful, revealing how game theory can shed light on everything from social gatherings, to ethical decision-making, to successful card-playing strategies, to calculating the sex ratio among bees.
With mini biographies of many fascinating, and occasionally eccentric, founders of the subject - including John Nash, subject of the movie A Beautiful Mind - this audiobook offers a concise overview of a cutting-edge field that has seen spectacular successes in evolutionary biology and economics, and is beginning to revolutionize other disciplines from psychology to political science.

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Audible Editor Reviews

No one is more qualified to provide a primer on game theory than one of its founders, Ken Binmore, Professor Emeritus of Economics at University College London, who concisely illustrates the theory’s practical use in everyday life, sheds light on its history, and touches on its key concepts, including but not limited to the Nash equilibrium and minimax.
Jesse Einstein’s amiable, down-to-earth delivery of this sometimes challenging material makes this intellectually stimulating audiobook palatable to all audiences.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

..it only works when people play games rationally!

"...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 able to break down Game Theory into chapters on chance, time, conventions, reciprocity, information, auctions, evolutionary biology, bargaining and coalitions, puzzles and paradoxes.

For the beginner, the problem with this book will be how quickly the book expects the reader to pick up on some of the accepted standards of game theory thinking and explanations (boxes, game trees, subgames, etc). For the non-beginner, the book sometimes skims over areas that the reader (or perhaps, just this reader) might want to wade deeper (more maths) into. This is the inherent tension in all the VSI. It is the dance, the game of the series. You have to be able to present your information in a package designed to be broad in scope, but small in application. Binmore does a good job, however. I was very satisfied with the progression of the book, and loved getting a bit more info on such game theory notables as Nash, Von Neumann, etc.

I was also excited by the whole chapter devoted to game theory and evolutionary biology. It took me back to reading Robert Wright's Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny and The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology, and The Evolution of God. This book also was good in giving me a couple more GT books to read in the future on cooperation.
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- Darwin8u "I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^"

No PDF File of Figures Provided

The author's presentation of game theory is understandable and would be easy to digest except for the lack of a PDF with the figures that are constantly referred to. This is an oversight on par with the lack of valet parking at the emergency room entrance.
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- Thomas

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-12-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios