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The Evolution of Trust

Nicky Case makes games that might just teach you something. There are topics ranging from voting to coming out to two-dimensional matrices. This most recent game hits pretty hard right now, when the world seems bad and people in it seem bad. But it explains how we got where we are using game theory.

Now, the prisoner's dilemma is a pretty well-known concept, but The Evolution of Trust applies it past a simple one-time decision between two individuals to an extended interaction among a population. Not only that, but it also provides an explanation for the famous World War I Christmas truce.

It's disheartening at first; in general the liars, cheaters, or at the very least petty revenge-seekers generally come out ahead in many early scenarios. But it ends on a hopeful note, providing the elements that need to be in play for trust to prevail. It's something we could really use in the world today. Play it.

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