Prisoners' Dilemma games

I still exist. Just buried in a new project and a very interesting course...

I've been taking Howard Rheingold's course Toward a Literacy of Cooperation, and this past week's readings and conversation were on the topic of social dilemmas, best described by The Prisoners' Dilemma and similar multi-party games.

One exercise was for us to play some Prisoners' Dilemma games available on the net and describe what we thought. The games were

It was strange, going into the games with the knowledge of the basic strategies (tit-for-tat, etc) because I automatically went for the strategies that the research suggested were generally the better strategies. So, I started generous and usually stayed generous the entire time. Even when I intentionally started with "defect," I quickly switched to cooperate because I felt guilty - and it was only playing with/against a computer program who didn't care at all. However, when the computer started playing "dirty" and obviously not following my lead, I went to the other extreme and went for "defect" all the way. Unfortunately, when the computer didn't play nice, I generally lost much more than I won. The computer beat me in those situations.

I also want to mention that I started to watch the video The strangest split or steal ever. I am obviously not the target market for a show like that because once I understood the setup, I could not stand the rediculous tension-building blather from the host. I ended up turning it off halfway through and I am not terribly curious about the strangeness of it.

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