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"Introducing Game Theory - A Graphic Guide" by Ivan Pastine, Tuvana Pastine and Tom Humberstone

First digital book to be reviewed, featuring a title introducing the subject of making decisions mathematically.

As the letters of this writing is presenting itself, while you, our fellow fans, interpret each word diligently on this first sentence, Amazon's offer for a free-month subscription of Kindle Unlimited is available, with books like these being included. Being that this is the very first digital book I've read and reviewed, we finally ran into a topic I've been wanting to learn.

As a video/casino gamer, I knew immediately the area of Game Theory wasn't about....video gaming. Interestingly though, it is rather about decision, with respect to referring decision makers as "players." If the decision is made to satisfy two or more parties involved, all will benefit from the game's "payoffs."

This book, from Icon Books, Inc., holds a series of Graphical Guides on various subjects, simplifying somewhat difficult and complex subjects into something understandable for the layperson, whether they've been previously exposed to the area of study or not. For me, I've always wanted to know the fuss with Game Theory, as it ties with my personal favorites Statistics and Probability. This leads to the question: Do we really need a mathematical discipline for making decisions? Funny how someone would ask, as any presumptuous human would point at someone, or chauvanistically, point at women, as those who can't make decisions for the life of them, and probably was hit in the forehead with a book on Game Theory. It's not just personal decisions, because, as you think about it, had it not been for this study of Game Theory, who knows if geopolitical or international relations, let alone business investments in compliance with competing companies, will fare out knowing each 'player' choosing the most methodical choice that levels the playing field, at the expense of saving money and saving lives. How unusual, yet terrifying, would it be knowing that someone died because of a bad choice laid out by Game Theory? Not surprising if this has happened in the past.

Authors Ivan Pastine, Tuvana Pastine and Tom Humberstone, pitched in to showcase their amazing work in presenting us a subject with the how's and why's of such discipline. Being a graphical guide, this is perfect for visual learners, such as your's truly, and how the discipline is elaborated on "sort-of" real-life situations. This is also perfect for those who enjoy learning with comic book-like illustrations, in which this book is presented in! Personally for me, I already felt at home, but instead of a comic book which showcases superheroes and cartoons, it features no-name characters sorting out problems and dilemmas explained by the authors. Everyone learns differently, but I find this to be a treat as it makes it comforting to read through (yeah, I'm a very slow reader).

You learn about various equilibrium and the game theory matrix laying out the possible decisions and outcomes that may come about. One of them should be easy to understand, like a couple deciding whether to go to a football game or to dance class. Which one should the couple agree to go to without upsetting the other? Because society has been having a perception that veers toward the pessimistic view of personal relationships, examples like these ought to get their minds thinking. If you're not a fan of football, but agreed to go, will that make you unhappy? What can you do to even the playing field, knowing you're more inclined to do dancing as opposed to sitting at the stands watching a bunch of athletes playing a game that your partner isn't playing in anyway? (I can hear folks muttering the phrase, "it's my way, or the highway." Reality check: It can't always be about you.) How about knowing that being together is what matters, regardless of where or what you both do together? Game Theory and this book goes through that situation and explains the best choice. Sure, it may not give you the best relationship advice, but that ought to give you some perspective and, hopefully, some appreciation as to why you're with your partner in the first place. Why can't people be more thankful with who they're with? While relationships and roommates are simple examples, you also learn of business owners making the best choice in lowering prices and relocation, "The Chicken Game" and the subject's favorite discussion: the Prisoner's Dilemma. I'll leave that for you to read without hints or spoilers here.

Along with businesses and political conjectures, the most fascinating topic was the game theoretical coverage of Biology. I'm hoping we all can agree that animals are conscious beings, and having witnessed an eerie viral video of a bull committing suicide, puts this decision making into the forefront. The Hawk-Dove game, as its called, teaches you the behavior and the survival choices animals make in order to become the "top dog" that's able to mate with and protect their territory (now that I think about it, international relations/conflict can learn a lot from Evolutionary Game Theory). However, with all that being said, I do have a question: Do animals know that suicide is not the answer? Do they ever know the consequence of suicide? We know that suicide has a payoff of "0," so why would an animal make that choice? Did they know they took their own life? Now all this is getting me thinking more....

You'll notice that some of the illustrations in the book aren't properly shown, nor was it large enough to see. This is our first digital book review, and I'm using a Kindle Fire (5th generation), but I'm not sure if the artwork renders correctly on newer devices. Being that my older device still works, four years and counting, I had to address it in the case fellow readers notice. I'm sure it can be fixed immediately. Something to note before you purchase, or borrow—if you're subscribed to Kindle Unlimited—as you read through. (I read my books vertically, scrolling down slowly, as opposed to reading one page at a time and 'swiping' to turn the page, textbook style.)

Nevertheless, on a subject I've always wanted to grasp but never found the book to get a wet-enough appetite, we believe we've found it. Although the introduction is gentle, and there's little mathematics throughout the book, it's great for those who have no previous knowledge of the discipline. This makes a great starter for those who also want to expand their studies and research. I know I won't be stopping here, so expect more Game Theory books to be read and reviewed here on the network. I can't thank the authors and Icon Books enough for this release! Highly recommended!





  • One of the most gentle introductions to an advanced mathematical topic.
  • Excellent illustrations throughout the book.
  • Also released in physical form.
  • Illustrations may not display properly on the Kindle.
100% (A+)
Fan Rating
Title Introducing Game Theory: A Graphic Guide
Author(s) Ivan Pastine, Tuvana Pastine and Tom Humberstone
Description When should you adopt an aggressive business strategy? How do we make decisions when we don’t have all the information? What makes international environmental cooperation possible?

Game theory is the study of how we make a decision when the outcome of our moves depends on the decisions of someone else. Economists Ivan and Tuvana Pastine explain why, in these situations, we sometimes cooperate, sometimes clash, and sometimes act in a way that seems completely random.

Stylishly brought to life by award-winning cartoonist Tom Humberstone, Game Theory will help readers understand behaviour in everything from our social lives to business, global politics to evolutionary biology. It provides a thrilling new perspective on the world we live in.
Dedication --
ISBN 978-178578-083-7
Digital Book Info File Size: 58.9 MB
Format(s): Kindle, eBook
Page Count 176 (224 pages via physical copy)
Contents Cover, Title Page, Copyright, Why is it called "game theory?", Working with models, "It's a draw.", Dealing with complexity: art and science, Rationality, Keynes' Beauty Contest, Thaler's Guessing Game, Problems with rationality and common knowledge of rationality, Booms and crashes: applying rationality to financial markets, Simultaneous-move games, Strategic form of the game, Payoffs, Nash equilibrium, Prisoners' Dilemma, Pareto efficiency, Network engineering, The tragedy of the commons, Nuclear build-up, Cooperation, Education, Environmental policy and cooperation, Multiplicity of equilibria, Multiplicity of equilibria: Battle of the Sexes, Social norms, Coordination devices, Banking and expectations: bank runs, Mixed-strategy Nash equilibrium, The Currency Speculation Game, The Chicken Game, The Exit Game, Criticism and defence of mixed strategies, Tax evasion, Repeated interaction, At the end of the game, What if there is no definite last stage?, Prisoners' Dilemma experiment, Evolutionary game theory, Hawk-Dove Game, The Hawk-Dove Game with small cost of conflict, The Hawk-Dove Game with large cost of conflict, Evolutionary stability as an equilibrium refinement, Sequential-move games, A dynamic Battle of Sexes Game, The extensive form of the game, Subgame perfection, Non-credible threats, Credit markets, Microcredit, Nuclear deterrence, Information problems, Asymmetric information, Asymmetric information and unemployment, More on asymmetric information, Signalling product quality, Warranties as a signalling device, Advertising as a signalling device, Religious ritual as a signalling device, Decision making in groups, Where we've come from ..., ... and where to go from here, About the Authors, Index
Editor Kiera Jamison
Author Photograph --
Published March 02, 2017 (April 18, 2017 for printed version)
Publisher Icon Books, Ltd
Omnibus Business Centre,
39-41 North Road, London
N7 9DP
Copyright Text copyright © 2017 Icon Books Ltd

Illustrations copyright © 2017 Icon Books Ltd

The author and illustrator have asserted their moral rights
Book Format Paperback, Kindle, eBook
Quoted Reviews --
Best Seller's List --
Other No part of this book may be reproduced in any form, or by any means, without prior permission in writing from the publisher.

Email: info@iconbooks.com


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