The Great Grounding Game Theory Guide: — Solving Problems With Your Gamer Skills

Tips, tools, techniques, strategies, tactics, and hacks for winning at the game of life.

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In my life, I have been an NPR affiliated radio talk show host, an advisor at the Council of Foreign Relations, a consultant for the filmmaker Michael Moore, and a professional, independent, troubler-shooter/problem solver/solution strategist. At the foundation of all that I have successfully achieved was applied game theory.

What Is Game Theory?

Game theory is the name used to describe logical and rational concepts (systems) that explain why and how individuals and organizations strategize — make choices and decisions when one or more individuals might also affect the outcome of the decision being made.

Game theory can be used to solve simple and very complex problems.

Many of the most advanced problems in the world apply game theory to computer science, mathematical algorithms, and specialized analytics. Some of the solutions are so sophisticated that the scientists and economists that discovered these game theory solutions have been awarded Nobel Prizes. A basic search on Google pulled up over 14 of these Nobel Prizes winners since 1970.

But don’t be intimidated — If you have seen the movies The Big Short, Money Ball, and or A Beautiful Mind, you have seen game theory in action.

In life, we all must all make decisions no matter how rich or poor, intelligent or ignorant, powerful or powerless a person may be.

How important is game theory in our daily lives? Think of this; something as simple as grocery shopping will involve;

  1. The products that are available?
  2. How they are priced?
  3. What is on sale?
  4. How long are the checkout lines?
  5. Is someone with 18 items sneaking on the line that says clearly “7 Items or less”, (called a “cheater” in game theory.)
  6. How slow is the cashier?
  7. Is it a line that says “cash only”.

I can go on and on.

In a world more than ever defined by rules, codes, regulations, and cheaters, a basic knowledge of game theory could make the difference between being able to buy toilet paper during the Covid Pandemic or having to wash your butt with your left hand and a cup of water.

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Understanding and applying game theory is not difficult stuff. If you play video games, Monopoly, Chess, or even Rock-paper-scissors, you already understand and have the skills for game theory. You just never thought of using these skill-sets to win the Game of Life.

I have been a student of game theory for about two decades. A few years ago, it occurred to me that though most philosophers in game theory speak of game strategy as a rational thought process.

My own life experience has usually shown me that the opposite was and is so. It has shown me that most people are actually emotionally driven, irrational cognitively biased creatures, imprisoned by logical fallacies who attempt to frame these irrational thinking patterns so that they appear as rational to everyone else. Of course, everyone else is pretty much doing the same thing. In a way, it would seem funny if it wasn’t so sad.

What we have here is Irrational strategists competing with other irrational strategists irrationally.

In such a scenario any trained and skilled rational game theorist, with solid intuition is likely to survive and prosper effectively, efficiently, with productivity, and with precision, even in worst-case scenarios.

I realized in time, as I organized my own perspective on gamer psychology that what I was codifying wasn’t really game theory, in the classical application of the term— it was actually applied game theory.

Eventually, with the support of my mentor Harvey Slatin a 97-year-old engineer who had worked beside John von Neumann (the creator of game theory), I organized what I now call Harrison’s Applied Game Theory (HAGT).

Today, (2020) HAGT has become an umbrella term for thousands of games, most, but not all, being rational approaches to many different defined interactions including relationships in business, spirituality, competition, sports, romance, and even interactions with nonhuman players such as computers, animals, and plants.

More about HAGT

HAGT is the process of solving a simple problem with little more than common sense, intuition, social intelligence skills, and the ability to recognize certain patterns in people, places, and things. On a more sophisticated level, HAGT is concerned with predictive analytics, collaborative intelligence, self-love, serving others as well as ourselves and many other related humanistic ideas.

A Final Thought

When I am asked to explain again, why HAGT and game theory is so important, I offer this simple response;

“Those who have the opportunity to learn about HAGT and game theory and choose not to will likely be eaten by those who do!”

For an introduction and simple explanation in text and with a short video explanation of the basics of game theory please click below…

Author: Lewis Harrison is an Independent Scholar and a Results-Oriented Success Coach. He has a passion for knowledge, personal development, self-improvement, and problem-solving. He is the creator of Harrison’s Applied Game Theory.

You can read all of his Medium stories at Lewis.coaches@medium.com.

“I am always exploring trends, areas of interest, and solutions to build new stories upon. Again, if you have any ideas you would like me to write about just email me at LewisCoaches@gmail.com” or check out my courses and website at

My passion is offering advice on the arts, innovation, self-improvement, life lessons, mental health, game theory strategies, and love.

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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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