In the United Kingdom and several other English-speaking nations, the word “game” typically includes goose, chicken, stag, turkey, quail, pheasant, grouse, partridge, game hen, pigeons, sturgeon, and pike, among many others. This list does not include, however, any fowl that are not game birds; such as ducks, geese, and quail. In Canada, where nearly half of the population speaks English as their mother tongue, the word game is used to describe popular sporting events like basketball, tennis, hockey, football, rugby, racquetball, cricket, horse racing, and soccer. However, if more people in Canada grew up speaking French, there would be a need for another term to describe the game, which is angling.
Angling refers to the use of two players on a shared fishing platform, attempting to cast off the bait and lure into a specific location on the lake or stream, rather than hunting fish with rifles and bows. Each of the players has a set of equipment, but the goal is to not allow the other team to have as much food as you do. To do this, there are three important principles of game theory: equilibrium, Nash equilibrium, and gain/loss balance. Balancing the opposing teams’ interests is an art form and takes patience, strategy, and thinking. The equilibrium refers to keeping things in balance, while the Nash equilibrium determines how to best apply the principles of equilibrium to the situation at hand.
According to game theory, there are three types of players, each with their own style of playing the game. There are the pure strategy players, who base their strategies on pure intelligence, and without regard for what works and what doesn’t. These players often excel at one area of the game and may not have any success at all in another. Pure strategists often think outside the box, coming up with unconventional strategies and tactics that can work. Unfortunately, these strategies and tactics often do not work well when applied in a live setting because they require perfect information or the ability to act in a split second. A pure strategy player will probably outsmart opponents at their own game, but will fail at fishing because he or she lacks the ability to read a bass fish’s movement patterns.
The second group of players is called the dictator game players. These players are masters at manipulating the environment and applying their knowledge of the situation to solve a problem or make a decision. Like pure strategists, they are able to weigh the facts and apply strategic techniques, but they usually lack the finesse of the strategic player. When playing dictator games, it is important to be able to observe the environment and know your environment’s tendencies. In this way, you can anticipate the player’s next move.
The last group of players falls somewhere between the first two groups; these players are usually called problem-solving board game designers. These designers have the most options available to them when creating a board game. Chris Crawford is probably the best known name in this area. While some of his designs, such as the prison and the checkers series, may seem somewhat generic, there are many others that are truly innovative.
A two-person game usually calls for a dictator, because each player has a single decision to make and no alternatives. Because each player only has a single option, this scenario presents the best opportunity for clever problem-solving. Two-person games also present the perfect opportunity for testing player abilities to decide how to strategically interact with each other. Playing two players against each other in a two-person game gives you both the opportunity to observe the other’s moves and make educated decisions about your next move. In addition, it forces players to think creatively and strategically rather than just reacting to every circumstance.