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on September 29, 2016
What could I have expected for a dollar? The beginning starts off strong with an explanation of the prisoner dilemma and how it can be broken down into matrices but after that first 10% of the read It continues on discussing topics as if they're as intuitive to you as they are for him. A couple good examples laid out in the beginning but after that it's hard to decipher the usefulness of all the text you're consuming. It doesn't spend nearly enough time explaining requisite concepts in a manner that makes you understand later examples. It's hard to say you'd be disappointed spending a dollar on this but I was. Most chapters start off with realistic and practical examples but almost as soon as you finish the setting for the example he converts all decisions into "up, down, left, right" matrices "for convenience". Inconveniently, that removes the intuitiveness of any of the reading.
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on January 10, 2015
I knew a little bit about Game Theory, and found it very interesting so I wanted to learn more. The author starts with the basics and then goes on to explain how Game Theory applies, and then delves into some of the more complicated rules. If you're not familiar with this Theory, the core scenario is the "prisoner's dilemma," where two people who robbed a store together are both in the police station, being separately interviewed. The question is: Do you confess first? Do you hold out on the hope that your co-thief won't confess, knowing that if he confesses first, they'll throw the book at you? Basically, the Theory is about strategizing how to act, based on calculations of how another person might act.

This book was terrific. The writing was clear and very easy to understand, which I appreciated because I was not familiar with all of the terminology. The author uses charts to help visualize things, and he also used real life examples of situations and world events that illustrated the principles. Seeing the actual application of the principles in a variety of contexts was great.

This book doesn't take too long to read -- it's not incredibly long, and the writing is very accessible. Still, I'm sure that I will come back to this book in the future as a kind of reference.

OVERALL: I definitely recommend this book to someone who wants to learn more about game theory, which is a really cool way of analyzing decisions.
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on September 27, 2013
As a Math student I found interesting this book, because it is an elective course I might take very soon, so I started to read it. Though Game Theory is a complex subject, this book takes you by the hand and and guides you through this fascinating path of the Mathematics, although it be just the basis.
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on August 7, 2013
This book provides a solid introduction to game theory, outlining basic games and the tools required to solve them. Spaniel's explanations are clear and concise. He avoids over explaining any concept which makes for a rather quick read. He also makes a point of clarifying Game Theory's fallibility as a tool for exploring human behavior and cautions readers to be ever vigilant for those shortcomings. Any person new to game theory will leave this book with a clear understanding of what to expect from further study in the field.
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on April 19, 2016
There have to be better books on this subject than this one.
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on April 4, 2012
I'd always wanted a primer for game theory and leapt on this with its low price. I found this book an excellent introduction, easy to understand, no-nonsense, dry in a good way. I want to learn more, and may go on to buy the longer version, but I'm not sure. My concern is that some proofreading really should have been done, not for mere persnicketiness but because errors occur in the worst places if you're trying to follow the logic. In the introduction to mixed strategies, the very first calculation contains a typo (4/5 instead of 1/5, if I recall correctly), which stymied me until I verified, checking the equations, that the author had set it down wrong in the explanation. Similar if less drastic typos occur later, with player 1 named instead of player 2 and a few more with confusing consequences. The author ought to consider rechecking the numbers in the later sections of the book.
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on January 29, 2014
This book found a nice medium between, say, a Thomas Schelling qualitative book with no math at all, and John von Neuman, who's got a proof on every page.
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on February 10, 2014
A short treatise which brings out some simple but deep concepts. Good for a read at least once if not again.
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on March 13, 2012
A very good starter book to get to grips with the basics of game theory. Everything is well explained and I was able to breeze through it and start analysing situations for myself.

It doesn't have all the answers, but what it does is give you a firm grounding on the workings of game theory. Other explanations on the same subjects in other books that I've read don't even compare. This really was brilliantly explained.
15 people found this helpful
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on October 19, 2015
A great intro to Game Theory with easy-to-follow examples of the basic concepts.
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