Games Indians Play: Why We Are the Way We Are By V. Raghunathan >> Book Review and Free Preview

Non-Fiction, Game Theory, Culture

Penguin Books India

The Book
The book is applied Game Theory. The basic concepts of Prisoner's Dilemma and iterative Prisoner's Dilemma have been applied to everyday scenarios in India in an effort to understand the behavior of Indians.

The author talks about the best strategy to deal with the dilemma, about competition and cooperation, and most importantly about India amongst other things.
Yellow - the author does a commendable job in bringing forth the idea. But it seems that his experiences with his fellow Indians have never been pleasant for there is hardly any mention of such experiences. The worst part is the generalization - you repeatedly come across sentences starting with words like - "Every single Indian" and not ending saying pleasant things.

Though, I'm not an expert in the field (even though I've studied the subject of Game Theory) I feel that the theory to practical conversion is more a combination of the author's eloquence than a logical deduction. Why? The concepts mentioned in the book are based on certain assumptions. These are discussed in detail but their validity in a real-world scenario is not even touched.

Even with the above shortcomings the book is an excellent read. Though, I'd suggest anyone who isn't aware of the basic concepts of Game Theory to study about Prisoner's Dilemma first. It would make the reading much easier and fun.

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Please note: This review was originally published in 2009.

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