Aishwarya Rao
Recently during my spring break, when I was done with indulging in the pleasures of the beautiful Miami beach and riding monster coasters, I jumped into the bottomless pit of indoor games.

Some friends and I literally relived primary school days playing Monopoly, Rummy, Ace of Spades, Snap, Pictionary and Scrabble. And if that weren't enough to drown one in the memories of an innocent childhood, we indulged in the traditional version of Snakes and Ladders. The game board read Parama Pada Sopanam (translated to mean a step to the highest place) and the play was endless! We wrapped up the show with a game of Pallankuzhi (another traditional board game played with shells).

But the fun did not end there...There is something that I noticed throughout the week's play. I believe that the games we played are fine examples of the game theory concept of an iterated prisoners' dilemma where the players, based on the memory of at least one previous encounter, choose to either 'betray' or 'mutually cooperate'.

In a strategic context Putnam and Holmer 1992, explain this as 'Framing' where "bargainers conceive of ongoing sets of events in light of past experiences". It was interesting how after some rounds of different games, a couple of us began to unintentionally frame each other. Our cold postures, sharp verbal exchanges and not-so-subtle comments directed at each other only further triggered memories of outcomes of previous games and the emotions that ran alongside!

These might be straightforward truths of the games we play, but it was amazing to notice the pattern, observe the language cues and handle the candidness when it struck us...
11 Responses
  1. suraksha Says:

    Interesting stuff...and a super-good-looking scrabble board! Whoa! :D


  2. Hey.The post reminds me of Nash equilibrium theory that Russel Crowe.. er.. John Nash brings out by comparing it with a unilateral strategy of choice in arriving at his dream girl.
    Awesome applications all around. ;P


  3. sagaro Says:

    Summa MBA scene podathey. Snakes and ladders la onaku prisoner's dilemma terunjudha? :P

    I remember a punch dialog here "Kekuravan kenayan a iruntha kepai liyum neyi vadiyumma"

    Ok ok... kidding.


  4. Da Rodent Says:

    I remember Pallankuzhi... :)


  5. Hey Suraksha,
    I know, I know...This guy was so good with his words - Hexes, ivory etc.! And I had to fight with jigs and atrial! And I pretty sure I did the meek and weak, can and cant. Good fun though!


  6. Harish,
    Oh that beautiful mind! I was stunned when I saw that movie. What an amazing way to depict Nash's mind...Chance illa!


  7. Sagaro...

    Lol. Honestly,I did think about it.And also the fact that this might look like MBA scene when I post it...but what the heck...MBA padikardhuku indha scene na vadhu poda vendama!


  8. @ the rodent: - Yeah, those good old lazy days of pallankuzhi and daya kattai! Ah! How I simply love the feel of chozi in my hands...


  9. gradwolf Says:

    try poker. harmless poker. just trade the coins. not the money. that by itself is amazing fun.


  10. avronea Says:

    di nee yengaiyo poyite! btw new look is real hot ;-)


  11. @Avronea!

    Where are you? And what you up2?