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Game theory in film, music, and fiction.



(Review by Mike Shor)

It is not often that a fictional character is actually a game theorist. Early in the show, Alias, we meet Jack, a double-agent for the CIA, revered by all for his brilliant strategic insights.

Episode 3: "Parity"

SD6, your average multi-billion dollar international crime syndicate with intelligence gathering capabilities rivaling the combined power of the Western hemisphere, is in possession of a case they desperately need to open. Unfortunately, they don't have the key and attempts to open the case without the key would destroy the fragile contents within.

Jack A competing group of baddies, the K-Directorate, is in possession of the key and also wouldn't mind a peek at the case's contents. What is an organization aimed at world destruction and domination to do? Its leader suggests a solution is soon to be had: "We called in our best game theorist."

It certainly takes the world's best game theorist to realize that the box and key should be united. Since both organizations would value discovering the contents of the box, Jack, the game-theorist-extrordinaire, offers that representatives of both organizations meet in a central, public place and open the case together. Of course, this proposition is simple enough that those without multiple graduate degrees might possibly comprehend it, so Jack adds "It complies both sides to adopt a mutually reinforcing course of action" as an obfuscating afterthought.


The selected location is a stadium.

At night!

Perhaps they could have called in their best lighting engineer and best astrophysicist to assist in estimating the most likely time for daylight.

Guns Sat

The guns and satellite-targeted weapons add little to the carefully crafted strategy of "mutually reinforcing" security. Although it isn't out of the realm of possibility that SD6 is of the we're all safer when destruction is mutually assured school.

The game is on, with the game theorist and Chief Baddie watching on from afar.

Case Case Case
Case Case Case

What could it possibly be? I hope we don't have to wait a whole week for the next episode to find out

[A week passes]

A week later, the case is open. And it contains...


A bomb (how trite) and a code.

There are 10 types of people in this world, those who understand binary code, and those who don't.