MFA Thesis Study / Graduate Research Project at OSU Department of Design
Adobe Creative Suite / Maketools
This is part of my MFA thesis preliminary exploration study as my my continuous effort to learn more about emergent system. The main idea of this study is to understand how human behavior change just by modifying certain rules in any given structure. In order to make the study more manageable, I decided to pick Dots & Boxes because of its simplicity. The theories behind this study are derived from Game Theory and Rational Choice Theory.
I started by getting myself familiarized with the fundamental rules of the game. I played a short game with a computer on Thomas S. Ferguson’s website of the Mathematics Department at UCLA. While I was playing the game, I tried to derive underlying conditions and theoretical ideas of the game.
Then, through rounds of conceptual development, I came up with a modified rules for Dots & Boxes, by introducing an “external agent”, I called the Interjector (I). A slightly different kinds of point system was also introduced.
Two participants volunteered to play the modified rules with myself acting as the referee and the Interjector (I). While the participants were given the basic rules to play the game, they were not allowed to speak with each other during the game and they did not know the algorithm used by the Interjector, in which it would come in and interject the players’ strategies. The game was played twice, in order to give both players a chance to learn about the underlying theme of the game.
In the second game, when both players figured out the underlying theme of the game, cooperative behaviors emerged from otherwise a purely competitive game!