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Abt (1970) broadly defined a game as “an activity among two or more independent decision-makers seeking to achieve their objectives in some limiting context.” Gaming involves the activity itself, whereas game theory uses mathematics to seek the best strategies, the sets of decisions that decision making players might make.
Games are played for entertainment, sport, teaching, training, and research. As a research method, gaming is used by psychologists, educators, and sociologists interested in how people learn and play games and by operations researchers, other analysts, and decision makers interested in developing, exploring, and testing policies, strategies, hypotheses, and other ideas.
As an OR/MS method, gaming is controversial, often practiced more as an art than a science. Few methods have been so inadequately named, prompting ridicule from skeptics and attempts by adherents to call it something more serious sounding or descriptive, such as “operational gaming,”...
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