Huge thanks to CuriosityStream for supporting Vsauce2.
We play two-player games all day, every day, and our lives are a real-time exercise in game theory. We work out how to make the best move based not only on what we want the outcome to be, but also based on how we think the other player is going to act. Since they’re usually going through the same rough thought process -- sometimes consciously, sometimes subconsciously -- we’re embroiled in a constant series of games with all of us wanting to win.
Winning can be the best result for you or the best outcome given the circumstances, and players are implicitly sorting out their strategies in a recursive process that waffles between self-interest and cooperation. Whether we’re driving down the highway and trying to go as fast as we can without getting pulled over or just trying not to be weird with our crush, we’re playing a game… and it turns out that a little cooperation goes a long way.