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The study of games is the study of social interaction in the face of different incentive structures. In this introductory chapter to our volume, we discuss the spectrum of conflict, competition, and cooperation that those incentives can entail. We also summarise the contributions of each of the volume’s distinguished authors, and locate those contributions in the histories of science and society.
The essays from prominent public intellectuals collected in this volume reflect an array of perspectives on the spectrum of conflict, competition, and cooperation, as well as a wealth of expertise on how games manifest in the world, how they operate, and how social animals behave inside them. They include previously unpublished material by former Cabinet minister Sayeeda Warsi, the philosopher A. C. Grayling, legal scholar Nicola Padfield, cycling coach David Brailsford, former military intelligence officer Frank Ledwidge, neuro-psychologist Barbara J. Sahakian, zoological ecologist Nicholas B. Davies, and the final work of the late Nobel laureate Thomas C. Schelling. This is a must-read for anyone interested in the history, nature, and dynamics of games.
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