Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

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cantaloupe's picture


The first time I played Prisoner's Dilemma I chose randomly and ended up tying with serendip.  That seemed rather boring, but I tried again with the randomness and won.  Sensing that I should probably try a strategy, I decided to hit cooperate every time and so did serendip.  We ended up tying and it was boring.  The next time I hit compete every time and we ended up tying again.  The game got pretty pointless feeling, so I stopped.  However, I decided that I was having the most fun when I was randomly choosing compete or cooperate.  This is because there was an element of suprise.  I wasn't quite sure what serendip's move would be.  Yet, if I chose the same one every time, I became bored.  This directly relates to how I like to live my life: sometimes I like to cooperate, sometimes I like to compete.  I would lose interest in my life if all I did was cooperate with everyone else, but I would become tired if I competed all my life.  For example, I have been practicting karate for eight years and I cooperate with everyone in my dojo to work on technique and help others.  But, it gets tiresome to always work at the pace of the slowest person and work as a group because naturally, everyone works at a different pace.  Once a year, we have a tournament and get to compete.  My really good friend and I compete against each other every year even though we spend all year helping each other with what we compete with.  That competition helps me stay focused on cooperating.


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