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Game-Changer

Game Theory and the Art of Transforming Strategic Situations
Length: 6 hrs and 59 mins
4 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

Non-member price: $35.87

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Publisher's Summary

The aim of David McAdams’s Game-Changer is nothing less than to empower you with this wisdom - not just to win in every strategic situation (or “game”) you face but to change those games and the ecosystems in which they reside to transform your life and our lives together for the better.

Game-Changer develops six basic ways to change games—commitment, regulation, cartelization, retaliation, trust, and relationships—enlivened by countless colorful characters and unforgettable examples from the worlds of business, medicine, finance, military history, crime, sports, and more.

The book then digs into several real-world strategic challenges, such as how to keep prices low on the Internet, how to restore the public’s lost trust in for-charity telemarketers, and even how to save mankind from looming and seemingly unstoppable drug-resistant disease. In each case, McAdams uses the game-theory approach developed in the book to identify the strategic crux of the problem and then leverages that “game-awareness” to brainstorm ways to change the game to solve or at least mitigate the underlying problem.

So get ready for a fascinating journey. You’ll emerge a deeper strategic thinker, poised to change and win all the games you play. In doing so, you can also make the world a better place. “Just one Game-Changer [is] enough to seed and transform an entire organization into a more productive, happier, and altogether better place,” McAdams writes. Just imagine what we can do together.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2014 David McAdams (P)2014 Gildan Media LLC

Critic Reviews

“David McAdams’s Game-Changer is a rare book: A nontechnical first introduction to game theory that also offers a fresh perspective, on how the best strategy for playing a game can often be to change the rules. I can see that I’ll have lots of opportunities to recommend it.” (Alvin E. Roth, winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Economics)

What members say

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  • Hugues Hung
  • 30-01-2015

very useful book!

Great details and descriptions goes into the book for examples of game situations. Author's voice is a bit weak and hard to hear. But the rest if the biok is fine. Great read!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Tom
  • 20-05-2015

Interesting but not gripping

There is a decent overview of game theory in this book. However, the content becomes extremely tangential and I even forgot several times that I was listening to a book about game theory at all. The author clearly did a lot of research (even toots his own horn at the end of the book about it), but failed to leave out any unnecessary information in the text so as not to lose the reader (listener). In short, while the language of the book is certainly written for the layperson. The format is akin to that of a scientific research paper and is a little (lot) boring.

The narrator did not help things. I may enjoy this narrator for a novel of some kind, but for this type of book his tone bored me to sleep. He did not have that knack for making the material exciting and interesting.

Another small point - and this may be more related to my inaccurate expectations, but worth mentioning for others - is that this book does not really talk about how to strategize within the confines of a typical issue - such as how to navigate a prisoners dilemma type situation. There is more examples on how to introduce regulation or something that removes the elements of the prisoner's dilemma type situation. Not actually what I was looking for. I was hoping to learn about anticipating other people's moves and so on. Again, my incorrect assumptions don't make the book bad, but might be useful for anyone looking for something similar to what I was (am) looking for.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-09-2016

Disappointing

Rather boring and hard to follow.
No enthusiasm. Uses cases were disparate. References to charts and diagrams throughout the book were worthless. Probably better in print.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Dr. Celia Banks
  • 07-06-2015

Excellent Social Applications of Game Theory!

Book contains an assortment of relevant exampkes of game strategies in real life settings. I found it a helpful source to augment learning about the traditinal mathematical model/s.

Perhaps a shortcoming was that I would have liked linkage of the scenarios to math models. Without the linkage, the reading awareness was reduced to anecdotal descriptions that provide minimal guidance to a reader seeking knowledge beyond precursory mentions. Overall, the book presented an excelllent concept.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Reese
  • 22-08-2016

Wanted it to be good

I was really hoping this was going to be good. However the author goes down these rabbit holes for half an hour and then tells you to refer to 3 chapters back to understand the point trying to be conveyed. Meanwhile the half hour just spent was mostly worthless. There is good information in here but you have to put it together yourself.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Sean Downey
  • 09-09-2018

Great

Definitely a book needing a few listens to truly understand everything. However I highly suggest this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • David Tidwell
  • 05-10-2017

Progressive Indoctrination

There is some basic criminal's dilemma. But much of the book seemed to push a progressive agenda rather than discuss game theory itself which is why I purchased the book in the first place.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Gerardo A Dada
  • 28-05-2014

Interesting listen yet little practical value

It reads like an interesting book about game theory with a number of interesting examples but I found this 'game theory' to be common sense or basic strategy applied using complex-sounding logic.

The examples are lengthy and go off topic for long periods of time. I think one chapter spends thirty minutes talking about bacteria and viruses with no relation to game theory in an example that is way too complicated and has little to do with the topic.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-05-2019

80% not game theory. waste of time on dr.messiah

80% stories with no associated comments to game theory. Disappointing.
20% actually useful or related to game theory. author has Messiah complex; yet also illogically alienates 70% ++ listeners early by calling historically verifiable Jesus Christ historical FICTION? Directly attempts to supplant Gospel with Tit for Tat... bizarre

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-05-2019

Meandering, expository, and ultimately aggravating

I could not finish this book. I came in expecting a guide on how to apply game theory principles to my day-to-day in order to improve my strategic thinking. Instead, I got only tangentially relevant historical re-countings that utterly bored me, sweeping promises on how helpful the book would be to me without any delivery or concrete analysis, and thinly-veiled opinionated statements. Every time I thought we were getting to something actually applicable, the author careened into yet another "story-time" section, in which he spent inordinate amounts of time on background information unrelated to the principle being discussed. I do not need to know that Tariq ibn Ziyad was not praised for his conquest or that he did not actually burn his fleet. In fact, the latter fact renders bringing him up entirely pointless since it nullifies the point about commitment that I think was trying to be made.

It almost feels like the author wanted to write a book about history and political policy and put a game-theory-themed mask on it. In any case, I do not recommend this book to anyone wishing for an introduction to game-theory that has any real depth.