Game Theory 101 is a free introductory course to the basics of game theory. Over the course of a few dozen videos, we will learn about the basics of competitive interaction and strategic thought. We will also learn the core concepts of game theory, including strict dominance, iterated elimination of strictly dominated strategies, pure strategy Nash equilibrium, mixed strategy Nash equilibrium, the mixed strategy algorithm, weak dominance, backward induction, subgame perfect equilibrium, and comparative statics.
Serves as the overview of the course.
- The Basics
Introduces simultaneous move games and Nash equilibrium, the most important concept in game theory.
- The Prisoner's Dilemma and Strict Dominance
- Iterated Elimination of Strictly Dominated Strategies
- Pure Strategy Nash Equilibrium and the Stag Hunt
- What Is a Nash Equilibrium?
- Best Responses
- Mixed Strategy Nash Equilibrium and Matching Pennies
- The Mixed Strategy Algorithm
- How NOT to Write a Mixed Strategy Nash Equilibrium
- Battle of the Sexes
- Calculating Payoffs
- Infinitely Many Equilibria
- The Odd Rule
- Extensive Form Games
How does strategic interaction change when players take turns moving?
- Advanced Strategic Form Games
How does the outcome of a game change as a function of its inputs?
- Infinite Strategy Spaces
Games that have an infinite number of pure strategies.
- Wrap Up
Where do we go from here?
Algebra will get you through 95% of the course. The remaining 5% requires calculus, but that will come toward the end.
I have divided this course into three units: the basics, extensive form games, and advanced strategic form games. The basics covers simultaneous move games and serves as the introduction to Nash equilibrium, which is game theory's basic solution concept. Extensive form games transitions the discussion to interactions in which players take turns acting strategically. Advanced strategic form games explains how games evolve as a function of their inputs.
All lectures are video-based and hosted on YouTube.
I have a textbook that mirrors the content of the course. The videos are self-sufficient, so by no means do you need it. However, you might find the textbook useful because it contains more examples and goes at a slower pace. It also only costs $3.99, so it is not a major investment:
You can find mirrors of this course on YouTube and Udemy:
I am a PhD student in political science, specializing in formal modeling. I have been teaching game theory since 2009.