Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Stats Math Television Entertainment Games

Audience Jeers Contestant Who Uses Game Theory To Win At 'Jeopardy' 412

Posted by Soulskill
from the comments-must-be-in-the-form-of-a-question dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "USA Today reports that Arthur Chu, an insurance compliance analyst and aspiring actor, has won $102,800 in four Jeopardy! appearances using a strategy — jumping around the board instead of running categories straight down, betting odd amounts on Daily Doubles and doing a final wager to tie — that has fans calling him a 'villain' and 'smug.' It's Arthur's in-game strategy of searching for the Daily Double that has made him such a target. Typically, contestants choose a single category and progressively move from the lowest amount up to the highest, giving viewers an easy-to-understand escalation of difficulty. But Arthur has his sights solely set on finding those hidden Daily Doubles, which are usually located on the three highest-paying rungs in the categories (the category itself is random). That means, rather than building up in difficulty, he begins at the most difficult questions. Once the two most difficult questions have been taken off the board in one column, he quickly jumps to another category. It's a grating experience for the viewer, who isn't given enough to time to get in a rhythm or fully comprehend the new subject area. 'The more unpredictable you are, the more you put your opponents off-balance, the longer you can keep an initial advantage,' says Chu. 'It greatly increases your chance of winning the game if you can pull it off, and I saw no reason not to do it.' Another contra-intuitive move Chu has made is playing for a tie rather than to win in 'Final Jeopardy' because that allows you advance to the next round which is the most important thing, not the amount of money you win in one game. 'In terms of influence on the game,Arthur looks like a trendsetter of things to come,' says Eric Levenson. 'Hopefully that has more to do with his game theory than with his aggressive button-pressing.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Audience Jeers Contestant Who Uses Game Theory To Win At 'Jeopardy'

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @05:38PM (#46155121)

    He's playing to win, not necessarily to win the most money possible. He's using a strategy that prevents the other players from getting the Daily Doubles and limits their potential earnings while increasing his odds of earning enough to win.

    He's not making people happy, but he's playing to win.

    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @05:50PM (#46155319)

      He still has to answer the questions correctly. So I'm not seeing the problem.

      The first person who got the last question right gets to pick the next block. So even if he is selecting this block, he still has to get it right before the other players.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @06:20PM (#46155751)

        You're missing one point - if you pick the higher value questions in a category without seeing the first few (to understand the types of answers that are wanted), it makes them even harder. It also means that there's a good chance that no one will want to risk buzzing in to answer. And if no one buzzes in, he gets to pick another random block.
        So, that's what's happening, and a lot of the outrage is because he is 'wasting' the questions because no one can answer them out of context and it makes the game less fun for the audience and other players.

        • by asmkm22 (1902712) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @06:44PM (#46156123)

          He's also quickly buzzing for questions that he knows he can't answer, just to deprive someone else from being able to answer them, lol. He's what the RPG community calls a "power gamer." It's actually kind of awesome to watch.

        • by eyenot (102141) <eyenot@hotmail.com> on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @03:00AM (#46159761) Homepage

          It is fun for me because this is exactly how I played with my family and friends on numerous "at home" versions including computer and console software over the decades (and no, I didn't know all the answers -- it's just a good strategy). I like seeing the more intelligent player triumph and I hope this becomes how Jeopardy is played in the future -- the high-scoring brackets are desired foremost and the lower stuff is pigeon poop to be swooped up by the scavengers or stolen from their beaks. The programmers will have to change up where the Daily Doubles are located but this will not stop the trend of smarter or more confident players grabbing the higher scoring brackets sooner to keep them away from the others.

      • by globaljustin (574257) <justinglobal.gmail@com> on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @07:12PM (#46156437) Homepage Journal

        He still has to answer the questions correctly.

        exactly.

        he's not winning "using game theory"...

        he's using game theory to *disorient his opponents* by creating *uncertainty* for them but not himself

        that's all that's happening here...he puts his opponents (and himself) at a disadvantage because he's disturbing the expected game flow. Only he has the benefit of **knowing what to expect** which allows him to concentrate more on thinking up the right answer.

        it's a good strategy, nothing you could write a thesis on...it's more like a smokescreen tactic.

        he's winning because he gets the answers right...people are complaining because of how he handles himself and because it makes it harder for them to play along at home

        • by tlhIngan (30335) <(ten.frow) (ta) (todhsals)> on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @07:43PM (#46156755)

          because it makes it harder for them to play along at home

          And that's the big issue. Because guess who pays his prize money? The people watching it on TV!

          Jeopardy is pretty popular (so it's not a question of being "too smart"), and most viewers know the people on the show are damned smart. But one thing people love to do is try to answer the question themselves, but being more "normal", they have to take time to understand the category and the answer.

          And the writers of Jeopardy often have fun - not just puns, but put a lot of effort making "fun" categories where things are totally oddball. Follow it top down and everyone gets a laugh at the end. Do it randomly and it's just a sucky experience for everyone.

          It's like people who complain about movies - the movie's goal is not to entertain you, but to put asses in seats. Now, entertainment generally makes it easier to do so, hence special effects laden summer blockbusters. Jeopardy is the same - the writers have a little fun because the point is to entertain the home viewers so they return night after night to watch it.

          What this guy does is probably "right" and "correct", but it makes for a boring and annoying game.

          It's a case of where the "product" is at risk (viewer's eyeballs) in the eyes of the customer (advertisers) because viewers are turned off by what they see and it's not entertaining. In other words, this guy, by playing "smart", he makes the whole thing boring for everyone.

          • as far as entertainment value, it depends on Jeopardy & the other contestants.

            Alex could mention his strategy briefly in the introductions...like, "lets see if any of tonights new challengers can crack Whatshisname's chaos strategy...here's the first clue"

            what this guy is doing **can** be part of the fun, IMHO

            maybe jeopardy could do a blog post on their site or something to address fans and keep it light

            like I said, it's more of a smokescreen than an actual skill...his skill is **knowing the answers**

          • by Dahamma (304068)

            And that's the big issue. Because guess who pays his prize money? The people watching it on TV!

            Actually, no, not really. No one pays directly to get ABC, they make their money through advertisers. Obviously if no one watches it the advertisers will eventually catch on and the show won't be able to support itself, but the people watching it definitely don't pay the prize money in any sense.

      • by jxander (2605655) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @07:25PM (#46156577)

        While true (answering the questions correctly is the real determiner) his method increases the odds of finding the Daily Doubles. Statistically, DDs are in the bottom few blocks on the board. Picking the top blocks just creates more chances for someone else to take control. Especially if other players are sticking with the traditional top-down approach.

        Example. First player pick box 1 (the top box in a given category) and Arthur Chu answers correctly. He then jumps down to box 4 in that category. Lets assume it's not a DD, and the other player answers it. Other player picks box 2 (continuing where they left off) and then box 3. If Chu gets either of those right, he takes #5 in that category, ensuring the best possible odds for DD.

        Daily Doubles are the real wildcard here. They're worth the most money (based on your own wager) and you are given time to think it over, instead of rushing to beat out the competition. "He who controls the spi- err, Daily Doubles, controls the game."

        • by Solandri (704621) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @04:17AM (#46160107)

          Daily Doubles are the real wildcard here. They're worth the most money (based on your own wager) and you are given time to think it over, instead of rushing to beat out the competition. "He who controls the spi- err, Daily Doubles, controls the game."

          Just make the Daily Doubles appear anywhere on the board then, not predominantly in the bottom. Assign all of them the same difficulty level (regardless of if it's a $200 question or a $1000 question).

          As you say, the Daily Doubles are the wildcards. But instead of distributing the wildcards randomly to spice up the game, they've distributed them systematically, giving someone who picks questions based on that system an advantage (better chance to get wildcards). It's the game's design that's flawed, not the player's strategy.

    • by mlts (1038732)

      It reminds me of how people started kiai-ing in tennis matches. Yes, it startled people at first and provided a competitive edge, now it just makes matches a little bit more annoying to watch... now that everyone does it. Same with having groups blast their vuvuzelas constantly during the Olympics because the side not doing it lost more.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by i kan reed (749298)

        I didn't watch either of them, and even I know that was the world cup, not the Olympics.

        • by mlts (1038732)

          s/Olympics/World Cup...

          In any case, what happens is that someone finds a strategy to win that ends up being along the lines of out-obnoxious-ing the other side, which makes things less entertaining overall.

      • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @06:29PM (#46155909) Journal

        Kiai provides power and stamina. Research has shown shouting and especially cursing provides additional stamina, strength, and pain tolerance; I even kiai when doing sit-ups because I can pull off 30% more that way, but god damn does it hurt for the next few minutes.

        HaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA*A*A*A*A*A*A*A*A*A*A*A*A*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! /goku

    • by curunir (98273) * on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @06:07PM (#46155535) Homepage Journal

      He's not necessarily playing to win, because the rules of the game don't encourage him to do that...from his perspective, ties are as good or better than a win. If the rules were changed such that the two tying contestants would split the amount that each of them accrued, he'd most certainly play to win. But a tie means a) he keeps his whole total for himself, b) he comes back to play again and, possibly most importantly, c) he brings with him to the next game an opponent he's fairly certain he can beat. To see why the last one is important, you have to realize that there are a certain number of exceptional players that are really hard to beat (call them a "Ken Jennings"). Until each contestant plays the game, there's a certain probability that one of them will be a Ken Jennings. A typical winner will get two new contestants each game and so doubles the odds that he or she will face a Ken Jennings. Chu, by halving the number of new players he faces, also halves the odds of running into an opponent who's better than he is.

      Given all the advantages of playing not to lose instead of playing to win, I'd say he's pretty smart for doing so. He's getting to keep a winner's amount each time, gets to come back to play again and limits the number of untested contestants he has to play against. Basically, he's playing to win money rather than win the game, which are close enough to the same goal that they've historically been inseparable. But he's figured out how to separate them and, in doing so, has angered people who enjoy the game more than the money.

      • He's angered people who enjoy their view of the game more than they enjoy his money.

      • While you present a reason to finish with ties, I myself would not use that strategy for a different reason. I believe that having played once gives one and edge on the second game. If you tie instead of win, you allow one contestant in the next round to be experienced, instead of two newbies. Of course, if all contestants play a lot of practice rounds in some sort of playoff to be on the show, perhaps the newbie effect isn't as pronounced.
    • I couldn't pass this one up... Remember when Mr Data played Kolrami, the galaxy's greatest Stratgema player... and how instead of seeking to win, sought to keep the game going indefinitely? :)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com] (The game scene is at the halfway mark.)

      "He busted him up!" ;)

  • Upredictable WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by _merlin (160982) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @05:38PM (#46155131) Homepage Journal

    How is he unpredictable if he's known to jump categories after knocking off the two hardest questions? Sounds like a storm in a teacup - dumbasses pissed off because the guy isn't playing how they would.

    • by Altus (1034)

      Isn't that basically how Watson went about it as well?

    • by number17 (952777) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @05:57PM (#46155401)
      This is Jeopardy's nipplegate that keeps them in the news and relevant. Its been on the air for 50 years and this is the first time somebody has "played the game" as opposed to picking random squares or going at it sequentially top to bottom?
      • by Altus (1034)

        To be fair there is something to be said for top to bottom in some categories. May of them are tricky and have a particular pattern to them and usually the top one makes the pattern pretty clear. Sometimes when you jump right in to the middle you end up with a question that you don't understand or that you might have been able to answer if you understood the format better.

      • Re:Upredictable WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @06:13PM (#46155619)

        If you RTFA you'd know that someone else did it in the 80s, whom Chu is copying deliberately.

      • Jeopardy's nipplegate

        please don't ever use those two words together again. thanks in advance.

    • by causality (777677) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @06:05PM (#46155511)

      How is he unpredictable if he's known to jump categories after knocking off the two hardest questions? Sounds like a storm in a teacup - dumbasses pissed off because the guy isn't playing how they would.

      The phoney "controversy" is merely because he formulated and applied a strategy. The mainstream mind has been conditioned to be subconsciously yet deeply resentful of any kind of preplanned strategic thinking. In a different but related observation, simply suggesting that corporations can and will plan several moves ahead in order to maximize their profits or control of a market, or suggeting that powerful people in government will systematically abuse their sweeping powers (hello Snowden) will often cause the small-minded to emotionally respond by calling you a tinfoil-hatter.

      The takeaway is that those who live their own personal lives in a haphazard, unplanned, thoughtless manner really want to believe that there is no other way to do things. It's what "protects" them from taking a hard look in the mirror and asking themselves some pertinent and overdue questions.

  • by Threni (635302) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @05:39PM (#46155145)

    I guess a lot of Americans hate smart people, don't they? I'd have thought it would have been far more entertaining to watch someone do something different, interesting and successful, but what do I know. I'm sure the Idiocracy version will be along any time now.

    • by lgw (121541)

      I think Japan has had the Idiocracy version of game shows for some time now. Easy questions with humorous punishments for wrong answers seems like the perfect Idiocracy approach - makes you wonder why approach hasn't taken over US TV gameshows.

    • by cupantae (1304123)

      Yeah, I mean, who wants some egghead know-it-all spoiling their quiz shows?
      Also, might I be so bold as to suggest that a Chinese name and appearance puts Americans off? Sure, he's American, but couldn't he have an honest name, like Brad Schmidt?

    • by Huntr (951770) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @05:49PM (#46155295)

      Or, it's a game show that people watch to be entertained and perhaps they don't find it as entertaining, regardless of whether or not it's a smart strategy.

      Ken Jennings won 3 million dollars and something like 75 matches in a row on Jeopardy. But, he did it in an entertaining enough fashion, so people didn't bitch like this. It's not about hating on the smart guy.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by NiteTrip (694597)
        Ken Jennings used this same strategy.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Nothing more pathetic than Slashdotters declaring "Huhr, Idiocracy!" at any given time, especially when they're the stupid fucks in the equation. "The audience peoples" are angry that he's disrupting the narrative of the game, not that he's "too smart" to play Jeopardy. Gameshows are supposed to be interesting to watch, but if he kills the tension that builds when bids get higher and questions get tougher, then the show is a complete decrescendo. He's not there to make money anymore than gladiators were

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by isorox (205688)

        Gameshows are supposed to be interesting to watch

        Really? I watched an gameshow on a US network once. The format was something like this

        [commercials]
        Previously: [recap asking one question for 3 minutes]
        Now: ask new question, guy gives new answer, guy founds out if he's right [4 minutes]
        Next: [preview guy being asked more questions for 2 minutes]
        [commercials]

        And so on. If you trim it down you get about 15 minutes an hour of new material. That's not interesting.

        • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @07:26PM (#46156589)

          I watched an gameshow on a US network once.

          Whoa guys watch out, we've got an expert here.

          The format you're describing is the "new breed" of shows which, as you've correctly determined, are designed to get people to watch commercials. They aren't limited to game shows, either. Those include shows like the one that Howie Mandel hosted a couple years ago which apparently is no longer on the air, or "Minute To Win It" hosted by Guy Fieri (that show has several reasons not to watch it), or nearly any other prime-time game show that appears on a major network. They also include reality shows, for example I think that "Hell's Kitchen" has the highest ratio of commercials to content in minutes. Yes, those shows exist to sell ads. Jeopardy is not one of those shows. Jeopardy doesn't rely on stupid hooks to try and get people to stick around while stretching out the limited content as much as possible. Jeopardy actually shows the entire game without any summary of what just happened or what's about to happen, they take breaks at pre-determined times instead of when the drama is heating up, etc.

    • by bws111 (1216812)

      Most of the people I know who watch Jeopary! (including myself) do so because they like to 'play along'. The normal method of playing lets you do this - the low-value questions let you see what they mean by the categories, etc. This guy's style of play (prevent others from winning) effectively takes the audience out of the game also. At that point, it just becomes another sit-and-watch game show, and I have as much interest in watching that as any other game show - none.

      • by klui (457783)

        No, some people don't like it because Chu would have smoked them with his style of play. People watching wouldn't be able to feel "superior" even though playing along has advantages.

    • They don't hate smart people. They hate people who are smarter than they are. Which, for half the American people, is the other half.
  • They'll stop him (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The_Star_Child (2660919) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @05:44PM (#46155227)
    They'll stop him somehow. Playing like that will decrease ratings. And ratings are, obviously, all they care about.
    • by pseudofrog (570061) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @05:48PM (#46155273)
      Playing the way he is will lead to news stories, which will lead to better ratings.
    • by _merlin (160982) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @05:49PM (#46155289) Homepage Journal

      Nah, it could actually increase ratings. People love to have something to be righteously indignant about. They'll watch him just so they can bitch about him.

      • by causality (777677)

        Nah, it could actually increase ratings. People love to have something to be righteously indignant about. They'll watch him just so they can bitch about him.

        Do you ever listen to talk radio? The key is not to take it too seriously. The fact is, if I have complete control over the topic, I decide exactly which questions will be asked, which answers will be accepted, and I can mute you anytime I want, I am going to "win" the "debate" every time. A talk show host is like that. There's a reason proper debates have neutral moderators and time limits that are equally applied.

        Within the boundaries of that understanding, it's entertaining. What I truly find amu

      • by dcollins (135727)

        It's the professional wrestling/Andy Kaufman strategy.

      • by steelfood (895457)

        Not only that. Imagine the water cooler conversations. Imagine the publicity that Jeopardy will get. They'll probably see ratings that haven't been so high since Ken Jennings.

        Assuming this guy keeps playing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by operagost (62405)
      Game shows have been pretty heavily regulated since the scandals in the 1950s. They'd have to do something obvious like change the rules, which could also hurt ratings.
    • IBM's Watson will take him down

  • Play for the tie (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KingSkippus (799657) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @05:44PM (#46155231) Homepage Journal

    I've wondered for years why more players don't play for the tie instead of the win. For one thing, doesn't that mean that the person who would have been in second place but who tied instead also gets to keep their money? Seems to me like it's kind of a dick move to not play for the tie, unless you just don't like the person for some reason. For another, wouldn't it be to your advantage to take someone with you into the next game that you already know you can beat? I mean, I'd feel safer going up against Steve from Montana who I was a few thousand ahead of going into Final Jeopardy than risk facing Watson and Ken Jennings on tomorrow's show.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      I don't know this gameshow but wouldn't playing for a tie put you closer to losing if the other guy isn't doing the same? Winning by some margin seems safer.

      • by swillden (191260)

        I don't know this gameshow but wouldn't playing for a tie put you closer to losing if the other guy isn't doing the same?

        You play to tie assuming the other guy is playing to maximize his winnings. You bet so that if both of you get the correct answer, you tie.

        • Except in theory that shouldn't work for very long, if we go with a theoretical 1:4 chance of both of you getting the question right (otherwise you win and eliminate them, they win and eliminate you, or the third player eliminates you both). And it only works if most people bet everything on Final Jeopardy, which seems like a rather poor idea tactically.

    • by khasim (1285)

      Probably because too much of it rests on the final question where you get to bet any amount of your winnings.

      So in order to go for the tie ...
      a. you're in the lead - you bet $0 and hope that all other players with the chance of winning also play to tie.

      b. you're behind - you hope that the person in the lead bets $0 because he is relying upon you to play to tie. And that the other player isn't in a position to bet enough to exceed both your scores by $1.

      And that your opponents get the answers right or wrong

    • by KingSkippus (799657) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @08:42PM (#46157337) Homepage Journal

      I'm sorry, I didn't realize that folks weren't more familiar with Jeopardy!.

      Normally if a player is in the lead by more than twice as much as the next closest person (that is, a guaranteed win), he will bet an amount that, if he misses the question and the second-place person answers it correctly, will leave him or her in the lead by a dollar. For example, if Alice has $15,000, Bob has $7,000, and Carol as $4,000, Alice will bet $999. If Alice misses the question and Bob gets it correct, Alice will end up with $14,001 and Bob will end up with $14,000, thus securing Alice the win.

      To play for the tie instead, Alice would bet $1,000. Thus if she answers incorrectly and Bob answers correctly, they will both have $14,000. Both win the cash prize instead of the consolation prize(s), and both come back on tomorrow's show. If Alice is hardcore nice, she might even miss the question deliberately (yes, that means she'll be foregoing $2,000 extra in prize money) since that will net Bob $14,000 and she'll be bringing someone into the game tomorrow that she's relatively confident she can beat.

      If Alice does not have the game locked up, then normally she would bet just enough so that, if she and Bob both answer correctly, she would end up one dollar ahead. For example, if Alice has $15,000, Bob has $10,000, and Carol has $3,000, Alice would bet $5,001, assuming that Bob will bet the entire amount. If both answer the question correctly, then Alice will end up with $20,001 and Bob with $20,000. If both answer incorrectly, Bob will likely end up with something close to $0, and Alice will end up with $9,999. If Alice answers incorrectly and Bob answers correctly, then unless Bob really screwed the pooch on his betting strategy, he will win and there's nothing Alice can do about it. (Which, incidentally, I have seen before.)

      However, if Alice is playing for the tie, she will bet $5,000. That way, if she and Bob both answer correctly, they will both win $20,000, and again, she will carry a player she's likely to beat into the next game.

      Obviously, that's not the whole story, because you might adjust your betting strategy based on where the third place person is to ensure that you capture at least second place, and sometimes you tweak the amount so that if everyone blows it, you come out ahead. Or sometimes you might do something irrational if you have some ulterior reason for it; for example, Alice might bet more on the question if it is about 18th Century Authors and she happens to be a literature professor with extensive knowledge in that field. But still, hopefully that paints a good enough picture to understand what "betting for the tie" means, versus trying to win outright.

  • by SensitiveMale (155605) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @05:49PM (#46155293)

    Just common sense. Don't bet big on daily doubles if you don't know the subject. Hit the big numbers first. I'm always stunned when two contestants are $4k back and they keep picking the $200 questions.

    • by PuckSR (1073464)

      Actually, that is the problem with game theory. So much of game theory just sounds like "common sense" when it is explained.
      In a way, game theory is just the formalization of "common sense".

      How many times has the "prisoner's dilemma" been part of the plot in a police procedural? (Hint: It is almost ALWAYS involved when two or more suspects are being charged)

  • When I read the into it made me think of the Nash equilibrium [wikipedia.org]. I wasn't the only one apparently.

    'Hero-villain' Jeopardy! contestant returns to game show Feb. 24 [go.com]

    In the movie "A Beautiful Mind," actor Russell Crowe plays John Nash, the mathematician behind the "Nash equilibrium." There's a scene in the film where Nash realizes that he and his friends should avoid simultaneously trying to win the heart of the most attractive woman in the bar. He urges them, instead, to confer and woo her less attractive friends. Therefore, everyone leaves the bar happy. In some sense, Chu is John Nash allowing his fellow contestant to leave the bar happy, too.

    • by causality (777677)

      When I read the into it made me think of the Nash equilibrium [wikipedia.org]. I wasn't the only one apparently.

      'Hero-villain' Jeopardy! contestant returns to game show Feb. 24 [go.com]

      In the movie "A Beautiful Mind," actor Russell Crowe plays John Nash, the mathematician behind the "Nash equilibrium." There's a scene in the film where Nash realizes that he and his friends should avoid simultaneously trying to win the heart of the most attractive woman in the bar. He urges them, instead, to confer and woo her less attractive friends. Therefore, everyone leaves the bar happy. In some sense, Chu is John Nash allowing his fellow contestant to leave the bar happy, too.

      Heh that's an excellent contribution. The only winner of that scenario is the most attractive woman. Everyone else loses. Even a man who gets her loses, because a woman who accepts being a prize or object of a contest like that is not going to have much beauty beneath the surface.

    • by paiute (550198)

      He urges them, instead, to confer and woo her less attractive friends.

      They were mathematicians. No woman was going to leave with them no matter what game strategy they played.

  • Game theory? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Interesting strategy, and makes sense. But unless I've missed something, this doesn't seem to be applying Game Theory, which is about conflict and cooperation between competitors in order to succeed. His strategy is simply a statistical approach to playing in order to create a better likelihood of success.

    • But unless I've missed something, this doesn't seem to be applying Game Theory, which is about conflict and cooperation between competitors in order to succeed.

      You've missed about 75% of Game theory - which is the study of decision making. (The pure study or conflict and cooperation is something else entirely.) How conflict and cooperation alters the decision making process is just one small part of the field.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @05:53PM (#46155357)

    In another tidbit, Chu has been providing the voice acting for some short story clips on erfworld.com . The author there notes that Chu's disruptive and intelligent gaming is similar to the protagonist of the comic there; it's interesting to see this. A comic about a shrewd strategist who makes waves and steps on toes with his unconventional warfare and leveraging minutiae has a vociferous fan who reads it aloud for other fans before appearing on Jeopardy where he's a shrewd strategist...

    And hey, that's some trivia about a contestant on a trivia show.

  • by mmell (832646) <mmell@hotmail.com> on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @05:55PM (#46155383)
    Jeopardy is all about intellectual competition (and money, and marketing, and Hollywierd...). So one player used his academic understanding of the science known as game theory and applied it to this game, and the viewers are unhappy? I guess the player is smarter than the viewers - hardly surprising, I guess.
  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @05:58PM (#46155419) Homepage Journal

    by smart strategy, news at 11. We will use small words.

  • by tompaulco (629533) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @06:16PM (#46155655) Homepage Journal
    In the old days of Wheel of Fortune, in the last round, they had you select a certain number of consonants and a vowel, and then you had to guess the phrase. After awhile, people started always picking the most common consonants and vowels. Was there similar controversy? I don't recall. At any point, after this got boring, they changed the game to where they gave you these letters automatically and then let you guess some more. I'm not sure if they have now started always receiving the same secondary list of letters or not. Maybe eventually it will get to the point where they give you all of the characters and just see if you can manage to read it.
  • Typically, contestants choose a single category and progressively move from the lowest amount up to the highest, giving viewers an easy-to-understand escalation of difficulty. But Arthur ... begins at the most difficult questions. [then] quickly jumps to another category. It's a grating experience for the viewer, who isn't given enough to time to get in a rhythm or fully comprehend the new subject area.

    Most people too dumb to appear on Jeopardy and get annoyed at player who makes them realize this. Film at 11.

    [In addition, I've seen many cases where contestants don't run a category top to bottom.]

    • Hold it, there are people who are too stupid to appear on Jeopardy? And we still let them vote?

      Now the whole shit in D.C. starts to make sense...

  • Dumb motherfuckers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by satan666 (398241) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @06:16PM (#46155671) Homepage

    Mr. Arthur Chu is too polite to say it but I'm not.

    Gee, I'm sorry that he plays to win and in a new and smart way.
    I'm sorry you are all a bunch of dumb motherfuckers.
    I'm sorry that he interrupted your sorry-ass motherfucking lives.
    I'm sorry that he didn't play by your imaginary rules.
    I'm sorry for your sad existence where a game is all you
    live for.

    Why don't you go eat your microwave dinner and drink for your
    miserable excuse for a life. Then cry yourself to sleep
    over the universe's cruelty.

    Boo-fucking-hoo!!!!

    Fucking losers...

  • So..everyone in the history of the show has followed a linear, easiest to hardest, one line at a time strategy to try and win? Of course not. It is incredibly odd to me that people would be upset over this and call him smug and a "villain"...really!?!?
  • by DRMShill (1157993) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @06:22PM (#46155791)

    On Comedy Central. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B... [wikipedia.org]. One of the most effective designs, the wedge was also the most painfully uninteresting to watch.

  • Is it politically incorrect now to play to win? Guess what, when people go on game shows they aim to win. What a novel concept.

  • ...would press the button for ANY daily double that popped up and then simply bet a trivial amount of money to deny it to the other players if he didn't think he could answer the question is an example of violating the spirit of the game without violating the law.

    That's the kind of thing that people didn't like as far as I can tell.

    It comes down to what kind of person you are: does the end justify the means?

    This sort of conflict is common in society; i.e., should you screw other people over when it isn't i

    • by sconeu (64226)

      Daily Doubles are not up for grabs. You have to be in control of the board already.

      If Joe calls "$SOMECATEGORY for $400", and a Daily Double pops up, only Joe can answer. You can't ring in to get it.

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

Working...