turangawaewae wrote:...This is where the Tony Soprano credible threat is important, but prisoners dilemma assumes no credible threat to make me collude with you.
Prisoners Dilemma is a certain type of "game" where the optimal strategy results in both parties being worse off then if they had colluded.
In the Sopranos, the NJ and NY crews had what we call a repeated game. They faced many "games" with each other, so the process of working out what you THINK the other party will do can be affected by past decisions.
Fascinating indeed! So, - the prisoner's dilemma assumes no credible threat to make collusion a factor? I mean- the jail time isn't credible threat compared to death, is that what you mean?
Then how can we apply Game Theory to understanding Tony's strategy, since genuine credible threat exists between all these gangsters? And Tony-without necessarily knowing which theory he's operating under- instinctively applies the modified Mobster's (Repeated) Game Theory when he chooses his plan about Vito? Or did Tony just make bad decisions because he's a bad economist?! And when i say bad decisions, i am referring to the aspect of the whole deal where Tony loses one of his best earners- which must be an important factor in economics!
Ya know, i never liked how that whole Vito storyline went on sooo long, but now that i am re-thinking it, maybe i need to re-watch it after i learn some more about Game Theory and keep it in mind while laboring thru all those epis. There really must be some important reason they spent so much time on it. Some people said it was because Chase had to fill in time when they got the extension on the next season and had to re-work how they got to the finale. But it doesn't seem quite like a good enough answer. There just has to be more to that bit than belaboring the gay thing.
Then again, since Chase is known to do that sort of "in your face" audience-bashing (like 'Oh, so you don't like such and such, here's even ten times more of it!")... well maybe Chase got sick of the homophobic type reactions and decided to just jam more of it down everyone's throats, to please excuse any unintended puns.
SO that makes me wonder about applying Game Theory to try to analyze Chase's strategy in presenting storylines. Chase tries to tell us that he doesn't care what the audience wants, he's going to tell it his way. Yet he clearly considers our expected reactions and makes real decisions based upon them and attempts to almost mock the predictable reactions with alternative twists in the storyline. Some of us have perceived this as "disdain" for the audience. I am not so sure now.
Where is Chase's complex mind buried in the Vito storyline ? -which basically is a set up to the later story that becomes a map of some aspect of Tony's strategy in response to Vito. Tony didn't want to have to deal with Vito no doubt, but he was forced into it. Kinda like real life, where for a long time people just wanted to shove the gay issues into the closet until they had to face how to deal with it in society at large, or within the Family in New Jersey...