War Games Room Opening; Discussion of Game Theory and War
Proteus Gowanus (543 Union St., Brooklyn)
12-6pm open hours, 3pm lecture
$5 per player

As part of our yearlong theme, Battle, and in conjunction with our current exhibition, War of Words, we are pleased to launch the War Games Room, a space to play at war with your favorite friends and enemies. You can play on a handmade Risk game, designed by Ryan Jones with New York City boroughs, not nations, vying for the upper hand. Also featured will be a magnetized Diplomacy board assembled by Tom LaFarge, a beautiful hand-tooled game of Connect Four by Nick DeFriez and other games made available to us by our partners in gaming, the Brooklyn Strategist, a game room on Court Street where you can play year round and eat snacks too. The Proteus War Games Room opens at 12pm on Sunday and will be open every weekend from 12-6pm.

At 3pm, Jon Freeman, PhD, founder of the Brooklyn Strategist, will give a talk on game theory and the conduct of war:

Diplomacy and Risk: How to alienate friends and influence enemies.

Decisions about the likely consequences of waging war (whether in actuality or in simulation) can be understood in the context of game theory. Freeman will employ game theory to compare and contrast the war games, Risk and Diplomacy. He will show how the games alter players’ attitudes toward conflict. By engaging in the “zero-sum” games described in game theory, players of Risk and Diplomacy enter a realm of bounded rationality and decision-making. How they respond to moving reference points affects their attitudes towards rational choice or pseudorational certainty and these attitudes, in turn, affect their chance of success or failure. In both games, players engage in direct conflict but the nature of the conflict differs markedly. And, of course, each player will approach conflict according to their own natures too (Are you a “carebear” or a “cutthroat”?). Come meet Jon and learn more about how games and game theory help us to understand the varying nature of war and conflict in the world and within ourselves.

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