The Great Game Theory Guide: #18 — How To Develop a Winning “Long Game” When Meeting The Same Opponent Repeatedly

Using a self-confirming equilibrium to win every time

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Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

Obviously, in life, various scenarios will require a short or long game.

In applied game theory, the more effectively and accurately you can predict what is likely to happen the easier it is to create a Long Game Playbook.

The term that is often used to describe a solid long game strategy is a Self-confirming equilibrium.

What I will tell you here goes beyond entry-level game theory strategies. Still, if you read what I have to say here slowly and with intention, it will be easy to follow and will all make sense.

In economics, where game theory is often applied, economic equilibrium is a situation in which economic forces such as supply and demand are balanced and in the absence of external influences, the values of economic variables will not change.

This basic concept of stability relates to the choices we may need to make in competitive environments. One of the most important concepts in game theory is called a Nash Equilibrium (NE). Simply put, an NE is a solution of a win/lose game involving two or more players, in which each player is assumed to know all of the most effective, efficient, and productive potentially winning strategies (equilibrium strategies) of the other players, and no player has anything to gain by changing only their own strategy.

Here is a simple example of a NE.

Dick and Jane can be said to be in a Nash equilibrium if Dick is making the best decision he can, taking into account Jane’s decision, and Jane is making the best decision she can, taking into account Dick/s decision. Likewise, a group of players are in Nash equilibrium if each one is making the best decision that he or she can, taking into account the decisions of the others.

Why is all this important? Because the more effectively you can predict what an opponent or adversary is likely to do the more effectively you can strategize to defeat them in a win-lose scenario.

Final thoughts

If you look at American politics you’ll see, that generally speaking Republicans are stronger in the short game while the Democratic Party is stronger in the long game. There are of course exceptions to this perspective. Tell me your thoughts on this.

About My Blogs

Most of my blogs are anchored into the concept of Applied Game Theory. This idea explores how and why people make certain choices, including decisions related to their health, well-being, personal success, and self-awareness.

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By Lewis

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I offer advice on the arts, innovation, self-improvement, life lessons, mental health, game theory strategies, and love.

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