Skill or Luck?

Are games and real life similar through luck or is it purely skill?

Rob Eastaway is a multi talented author, with his published book Wide buses come in threes, mathematician and has studied a degree in psychology. His ‘game theory’ demonstrates not only in games but in real life, how in many if not all situations are unpredictable. As he explained, in a truel the easiest option is to take out the strongest opponent, but its three ways, so what about the other person? With luck they would shoot at the strongest person too… but this comes down to luck, not skill. However, as Eastaway exclaimed “behaviour is complicated” and shows how in games such as rock, paper, scissors it’s easiest to win by being random rather than trying to outsmart the opponent. Eastaway shows how “it’s rational always to play the nasty card” if we want to win!

On the other hand when it comes to real life Eastaway cites Robert Axelrod in his Evolution of co-operation, saying that for a community to thrive the key factors are: “to be nice, transparent, forgiving and revocable”. Eastaway demonstrates a coherent difference of games and society but can games and reality interweave. Do you think in modern society that this is the only way society can run smoothly? Axelrod shows how we must learn to be civil and understanding with one another, accepting that games and reality should not be mixed if we want our society to run peacefully and happily. But realistically mankind naturally deceives, in nature this is revealed through survival of the fittest. Therefore Axelrod has a great idea but as exposed by Eastaway, realistically skill is good but luck is essential to thrive and live in society.

By Isabella Edwards