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8-02-2010 @ 7:31AM
Chas, the prisoner's dilemma is relatively uncommon in real life because it only occurs in pure form in situations with no iteration, where the participants have not met before and will not have to interact again.The latter part is most important, as screwing the other guy near-invariably leads to repercussions from them and others around you in iterated situations. That's also why the worst examples of human behaviour often occur in anonymous circumstances with complete strangers, and/or when the participants never expect to interact again.
8-02-2010 @ 9:25AM
Obviously the literal, pure "two people who will never interact again" version of the Prisoner's Dilemma never happens, but sub-games and derivations of it happen all the time.The Glyph Market is in fact a good example. If you undercut your competition, you can expect them to undercut you, and so on until glyph prices hit the floor and you both make less money. On the other hand if you *don't* undercut the competition, you'll make no money anyway, because nobody will buy your glyphs.In this case sure, you could get together with your competitors and fix the market, but you'd have to do it with every other glypher on the server and if one of you breaks the deal, glyph prices start dropping.It's simply how competition *works*. And it's not even a bad thing, necessarily. There's a reason we have antitrust laws.
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