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An academic field of study about winning and losing that maps out an equilibrium of all possible outcomes of a given game. It's actually quite often exaggerated and misunderstood because people don't understand the relationship of the "story" (the prisoner's dilemma, hawk/dove war game) to the game theory itself, which often involves simple numbers such as +5, 0 -10.

Despite the confusion, it's extremely useful when correctly applied. It has many applications in the study of evolution, crime prevention, commerce, and other practical uses.
Sue: I learned today that all people are evil, because in the Prisoner's Dilemma of game theory, it is in everyone's best interest to rat out their friends to the police.
Frank: Sue, the story attached to the Dilemma is a work of fiction which gives the exercise a point of discussion, but actually it does not reflect our justice system or the philosophical questions of humanity's goodness.
by LilyPotter07 November 09, 2013