Game Theory

This article is from 2007.

As easy as one, two, three

In Slope, Pamela Carter’s 2006 writing debut, the audience peered down, godlike, on the messy sexual relationship between Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine. This year, working with Croatian co-writer Selma Dimitrijevic, she’s examining the mathematics of human interaction.

‘It all stems from game theory, which predicts the outcome of a given situation based on possible actions taken by any of the people involved.

We’re fascinated by the concept of a truel – a fight to the death between three rather than two people. It just seemed so elegant; especially against game theory law which states that in a conflict, people will always act rationally and out of self interest.’

Continuing that mathematical elegance, Dimitrijevic and Carter created three situations in which three people (played by the same cast of three) explore the possible permutations of conflict resolution. ‘It’s all about trying to predict other actions,’ says Dimitrijevic, ‘so you can always play the best possible hand.’

Traverse, 228 1404, 15–25 Aug (not 20), times vary, £14 (£10). Preview 14 Aug, 11.30am, £10 (£5).

Game Theory

  • 2 stars

New play in three parts about the conflict between the desire to win and the need for reconciliation. There's a strong cast, but the production is static and ultimately quite boring.

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