Tit for Tat Game Instructions
Playing the Game
game is based on the problem of the Prisoner's
Dilemma. You have the choice of cooperating with
their partners or defecting against them. Depending on what
both you and your partner do, the payoffs are different.
In the standard game, the payoffs are as follows:
Start the game
the start screen (see the general
instructions page). When you start the game you will
find a screen that reports your score, last play, results
of your last exchange and your predominant strategy. There
are also buttons at the bottom marked for Cooperate and Defect.
To play, choose one of the two strategies and hit the Hide
button, which will make your decision choice disappear from
site. You can meet other players
by lining up your Palms and having ONE player hit the
Meet button (one person is the sender and the other is the
receiver). The machines will then display the results of
your interaction and update your display accordingly. At
any point in time you can hit the show button to make the
Cooperate and Defect buttons reappear so that you can change
your decision. The left/right positioning of the choices
is randomized so that your partner can't tell your decision
by the side that you click on. The game is over when one
player gets to a set score (25 or 50 usually).
the other games, players have access to changing the preferences
themselves. Players can view the current preferences when
they are playing the game by going to the menu in the upper
left and choosing view preferences. To change the preferences
you will need to go to the main screen where you enter your
name and choose Set Preferences from the menu in the upper
left. From this screen you can change the payoffs from each
of the four possible meetings by clicking on the number that
you want to change and then clicking the up or down adjust
You can also change some other parameters as follows:
- Force consecutive meetings - Choosing a number greater
than one here will require a player to play multiple games
with a given player before moving on to the next player.
- Limit to first opponents - Choosing
a number for this parameter will limit the number of different
opponents that one player can compete against. Whoever
the first n opponents are will be the only people that
the player can interact with, though they can repeatedly
interact with those players.
- Show Last Played - Shows the last strategy
played on the screen
- Show Predominant Play - Show your predominant
strategy on the screen.
Information for Instructors
This game can be played on many different levels - from
a simple problem about cooperating in communities to a more
complex discussion of game theory. The key to the game is
creating scenarios under which cooperation can persist. Usually
we start out with the default values shown above, and often
defectors win. Then we try having everyone force 3-5 consecutive
meetings and see what happens. You can try various combinations
of the different parameters to see what strategies people
come up with.
Discussion in the end can be based on evolution of cooperation,
community formation, game theory, or related systems.