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Players Making Decisions: Game Design Essentials and the Art of Understanding Your Players by Zack Hiwiller

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20. Sequential and Iterated Games

I have six locks on my door all in a row. When I go out, I lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three.

—ELAYNE BOOSLER

Most board and video games are not like the Prisoner’s Dilemma in which all players make one choice simultaneously and then the game is over. What if a player chooses before another player? What do the results of one game say about the future results of another? If a player is betrayed in one round of the Prisoner’s Dilemma, how should that affect her if she plays again? In this chapter, I cover games in which players make their choices in order to play games over and over again.

Game Trees

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