MatPat’s FINAL Theory!

The Game Theorists
9 Mar 202425:24

Summary

TLDRIn his final episode of Game Theory, MatPat reflects on the journey of the show and the lessons learned from game theory. He discusses the importance of trust, forgiveness, cooperation, and honesty in strategic interactions, drawing parallels to the YouTube community and his own experiences. MatPat emphasizes that while he's leaving the show, the principles of game theory and the spirit of collaboration will continue to thrive, both within the channel and among its viewers.

Takeaways

  • 🎥 The host of Game Theory is concluding the series, reflecting on the journey and thanking the audience.
  • 🚀 The channel has produced 3,000 videos, providing a 'tangential learning experience' for gamers.
  • 🌟 The host has had a 'farewell tour' of sorts, reconnecting with friends and creating content from his bucket list.
  • 👋 It's not a permanent goodbye, as the host will continue to be active in various projects and platforms.
  • 🔗 The host encourages viewers to stay connected through a new website, wheresmatpat.com, for updates and personal notes.
  • 🎓 Game theory is introduced as both a YouTube show and an economic concept, with real-world applications.
  • 🎲 The Prisoner's Dilemma is highlighted as a classic example of game theory, illustrating strategic decision-making.
  • 🤝 The 'Trust Game' experiment is discussed, which demonstrates the effectiveness of cooperative strategies over repeated interactions.
  • 🌐 YouTube is used as a real-life example of game theory, where creators and viewers engage in strategic interactions.
  • 📈 The host shares personal stories of trust and cooperation within the YouTube community and his own team.
  • 🎓 The importance of trust, forgiveness, and cooperation is emphasized as key to success in both game theory and life.
  • 🌟 The host expresses gratitude to the audience, collaborators, and team members who have contributed to the success of the channel.

Q & A

  • What is the significance of the phrase 'That's just a theory' in the context of the video?

    -The phrase 'That's just a theory' is a recurring catchphrase used by MatPat, the host of the Game Theory series, to emphasize the speculative nature of the theories discussed in his videos. It invites viewers to consider the ideas presented as thought-provoking possibilities rather than definitive conclusions.

  • What was the promise MatPat made to his audience thirteen years ago?

    -MatPat promised his audience a channel where they could learn more about the games they love without having to put in any work of their own, providing a gaming learning experience through his videos.

  • What is the Prisoner's Dilemma and how does it relate to game theory?

    -The Prisoner's Dilemma is a game theory scenario where two accomplices are given the choice to betray each other or remain silent. It illustrates the complexity of strategic decision-making, as the best outcome for both (short prison sentences) is not the one that occurs due to lack of trust.

  • How does YouTube serve as an example of game theory in action?

    -YouTube is a platform where creators and viewers make strategic decisions to maximize their satisfaction and success. Creators aim to attract viewers with engaging content, while viewers seek out content that is most satisfying to watch. The platform's algorithms and features, such as the use of clickbait and strategic video placement, are all influenced by game theory.

  • What are the four key points of the winning strategy in the Trust Game?

    -The four key points are: 1) Be cooperative and lead with trust, 2) Don't be a pushover; hold others accountable when they take advantage of your trust, 3) Be forgiving and don't hold grudges, and 4) Be honest and open about your strategy to build trust over time.

  • How did MatPat's initial reaction to Vsauce3's video on Sonic speed reflect a misunderstanding of YouTube's nature?

    -MatPat initially felt threatened by Vsauce3's video, thinking it would steal his audience. However, he later realized that YouTube is a positive-sum game where multiple creators can succeed together, and their videos actually helped each other by creating a micro-trend in gaming science content.

  • What is the significance of the website wheresmatpat.com?

    -The website wheresmatpat.com is a platform created by MatPat for direct communication with his audience. It allows him to share news about upcoming projects, provide updates, and engage with his followers in a way that is not subject to filtering algorithms.

  • How did MatPat's approach to YouTube and his content reflect the principles of game theory?

    -MatPat's approach was based on trust and cooperation, which are key principles of game theory. He trusted his audience to engage with his content, and he cooperated with other creators, leading to mutual success and growth.

  • What was the outcome of the top beauty creators' attempt to turn their audience against each other?

    -The attempt by top beauty creators to turn their audience against each other backfired, resulting in a significant negative impact on their channels and the beauty vertical as a whole, illustrating the failure of a zero-sum game approach on YouTube.

  • How did MatPat's relationship with his manager, Dan Levitt, exemplify cooperative game theory?

    -MatPat and Dan Levitt built their businesses together, with Dan trusting MatPat to make good decisions on YouTube and MatPat trusting Dan to manage his brand deals. This mutual trust and cooperation led to long-term benefits for both of their careers.

  • What is the final message MatPat wants to convey to his audience as he steps down as the host of Game Theory?

    -MatPat's final message is that while he may be leaving as the host, the spirit of Game Theory will never leave him or his audience. He encourages his viewers to approach new hosts with the same cooperation and goodwill they showed him, emphasizing that they are all theorists for life.

Outlines

00:00

Farewell to Game Theory 🌟

The speaker reflects on the end of the Game Theory series, reminiscing about the journey and the promise made 13 years ago. They discuss the creation of Web-O-Verse and the 3,000 videos of learning. Acknowledging the emotional farewell, they mention their activities in the past ten weeks, including making amends and creating content. The speaker assures that it's not a permanent goodbye, as they will continue to be active in various projects and platforms, including a new website, wheresmatpat.com, for updates and personal communication with fans.

05:07

The Ubiquity of Game Theory 🎲

The speaker delves into the concept of game theory, explaining it as the science of strategy and its origins with mathematician John von Neumann. They discuss the Prisoner's Dilemma and how game theory has real-world applications, such as in YouTube's strategic environment. The speaker emphasizes that game theory is everywhere and has shaped their YouTube career, leading to a discussion on the importance of trust and cooperation in strategic interactions.

10:11

The Trust Game and Life Lessons 🤝

The speaker introduces the Trust Game, an experiment by Robert Axelrod, which models strategic interactions over multiple rounds. They summarize the key lessons from the game: be cooperative, don't be a pushover, be forgiving, and be honest about your strategy. These principles have been applied to the speaker's YouTube career and personal relationships, leading to a successful and collaborative environment.

15:11

The Legacy of Game Theory 📚

The speaker discusses the impact of Game Theory on their career and the YouTube community. They highlight the importance of trust and cooperation in the growth of their channel and the broader YouTube ecosystem. The speaker expresses gratitude for the team members who have contributed to the channel's success and for the viewers who have trusted and supported them throughout the years.

20:13

The Future of Game Theory 🚀

In the final paragraph, the speaker bids farewell to the Game Theory series, emphasizing that while they may be leaving as the host, the spirit of Game Theory will continue. They encourage viewers to approach new hosts with the same cooperation and goodwill they have shown in the past. The speaker ends with a reminder that they will always be a part of the Game Theory community and looks forward to future endeavors.

Mindmap

Keywords

💡Game Theory

Game Theory is a mathematical and strategic concept used to analyze and understand decision-making in competitive situations. In the video, it is used to illustrate the strategic interactions in various contexts, such as YouTube content creation and personal relationships. The video emphasizes the importance of cooperation, trust, and forgiveness in achieving the best outcomes.

💡Web-O-Verse

Web-O-Verse refers to the online universe created by the speaker for educational and entertainment purposes, which includes a series of YouTube channels dedicated to different topics. It is mentioned as the platform where the speaker started his journey of creating content, and it is the foundation for the Game Theory series.

💡Tangential Learning

Tangential Learning is a term used to describe the process of learning about a subject in a non-traditional or indirect way. In the context of the video, it relates to the speaker's approach to teaching game theory through engaging and entertaining content, rather than through formal education.

💡The Trust Game

The Trust Game is a strategic model based on the Prisoner's Dilemma, where participants play the game repeatedly to see which strategies win in the long run. It is used in the video to demonstrate the effectiveness of cooperation, forgiveness, and honesty in strategic interactions. The game's outcomes suggest that these qualities lead to better long-term results.

💡Prisoner's Dilemma

The Prisoner's Dilemma is a classic example in game theory where two players must decide whether to cooperate or betray each other, with the outcome depending on their choices. In the video, it is used to explain the complexities of trust and strategy in human interactions and how these can be modeled mathematically.

💡YouTube Meta

YouTube Meta refers to the strategies and trends within the YouTube platform, such as video formats, content themes, and viewer behaviors. The video discusses how creators use game theory principles to navigate these trends and make strategic decisions to grow their channels.

💡Zero-Sum Game

A Zero-Sum Game is a situation where one person's gain is exactly balanced by another's loss, resulting in a net gain of zero. The video contrasts this with a positive-sum game, like YouTube, where multiple parties can benefit and win together.

💡Positive-Sum Game

A Positive-Sum Game is a scenario where the total gains of the participants can exceed the total losses, allowing for mutual benefits. The video uses this concept to highlight the potential for collaboration and shared success on YouTube, as opposed to competitive, zero-sum thinking.

💡Content Creation

Content Creation refers to the process of producing and sharing original content, particularly in digital formats like videos, articles, or podcasts. In the video, it is central to the discussion of how creators use game theory to make strategic decisions about their content to attract and retain viewers.

💡Cooperation

Cooperation is the act of working together to achieve a common goal. The video emphasizes the importance of cooperation in the context of game theory, suggesting that it leads to better outcomes in both strategic games and real-life situations, such as the growth of YouTube channels.

💡Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the act of letting go of resentment or the desire for revenge. In the video, it is presented as a key strategy in the Trust Game, where forgiving others after they have broken trust can lead to more successful long-term relationships and outcomes.

Highlights

The host of Game Theory is saying goodbye after thirteen years of creating content.

The channel has produced three thousand videos of tangential learning.

The host has fulfilled his content creator bucket list, including making Disney mad one final time.

The host is not completely leaving, as he will still be involved in various projects and events.

A new website, wheresmatpat.com, is created for updates on upcoming projects.

The host will be sending personalized letters to 100 random email subscribers.

Game theory is not just a YouTube show but also an economics concept.

John von Neumann, a mathematician, is considered the original game theorist.

The Prisoner's Dilemma is a famous game theory scenario that demonstrates strategic decision-making.

Game theory has real-world consequences, such as influencing nuclear disarmament during the Cold War.

YouTube operates as a complex strategic arena where creators and viewers make strategic decisions.

The Trust Game experiment showed that cooperation, accountability, forgiveness, and honesty are key to winning in strategic interactions.

YouTube is a positive-sum game where creators can help each other succeed.

The host's experience with Vsauce3 demonstrates the benefits of cooperation over competition.

The host thanks the team members who have trusted and supported the channel's growth.

The host emphasizes the importance of the audience's trust and support in the success of the channel.

The host encourages the audience to extend the same trust and cooperation to the new hosts of Game Theory.

Game Theory as a concept will continue to live on through the community and new hosts.

Transcripts

00:35

Hello Internet! Welcome to Game Theory,  

00:38

where that is the last time that I'll be  saying those words officially on this channel.

00:44

Loyal theorists, how do you say goodbye?

00:47

Thirteen years ago, I made you this promise.

00:49

Do you want to know more about the games you love  without having to put in any work of your own?

00:55

Well, now you can play and learn!

00:59

That's right, Web-O-Verse.

01:00

We have created Game Theory, gaming's  tangential learning experience.

01:06

Well, Web-O-Verse, here we are today.

01:09

Three thousand videos of  tangential learning later.

01:12

How do you sum all that up?

01:13

I already got super weepy in the last one of  these things, so probably shouldn't do that again.

01:17

It'd be redundant and probably  not great for the tech equipment.

01:20

We've also spent the last ten weeks together  knowing that this day was gonna come, right?

01:24

So I really feel like I've  gotten my farewell tour.

01:27

I've buried hatchets, I've rekindled friendships,

01:30

I made sweeping videos about the  state of online entertainment,

01:33

fired some tanks, that was legitimately very cool,

01:36

I honored my heritage,

01:37

I made Disney mad at me one final time,  which, you know, felt appropriate,

01:41

got some new drip,

01:41

and just in general, sped ran  my way through all the things  

01:45

that were left in my content creator bucket list.

01:47

So again, I ask, how do you say goodbye?

01:50

First, it's probably most important to remind  you that it's not officially goodbye, right?

01:54

It's not like I'm dying or anything.

01:56

It's more of a see you later.

01:57

I'm still gonna be doing plenty of stuff.

01:59

Like, I'm already booked to do the Fashion  Show on Style Theory later this year.

02:03

I'm still gonna be here on the couch for GTLive.

02:05

In a couple weeks, I'm gonna  be giving a speech over at PAX.

02:08

I was recently in a Kill Count.

02:10

Heck, I'm already slated to do the  Jacksepticeye podcast, the Ludwig podcast,

02:14

there's a collaboration I'm doing  with Schaffrillas Productions,

02:17

there's the FNAF musical  over on Random Encounters,

02:19

like, I will be doing a lot,

02:21

you will probably be sick of me doing all  these things on everyone else's channels.

02:26

But, if you do want to stay in touch with me,  there are actually two ways that you could do it.

02:30

Normally I'd say something like,  oh, you can follow me on Twitter,

02:32

but we all know that there's like a grand total of  zero people who want to be over on that platform.

02:38

So instead, I decided to make you this.

02:40

Brrroop!

02:41

A mysterious website named wheresmatpat.com.

02:45

This is gonna be a place that I update every once  

02:46

in a while when I have news about  some new project that's coming up,

02:49

or, you know, a mystery that you're gonna have  to solve by digging through the source code.

02:54

Yes, it's a ripoff of scottgames.com.

02:55

No, I don't feel bad about that because he  stole enough of my ideas over the years.

03:00

He kind of owes me one.

03:02

Editors should drop on some deal  with it sunglasses in this moment.

03:06

Yeah, that's a good one.

03:07

Once you're there, make  sure you sign up via email.

03:09

Don't worry, I'm not gonna be  spamming you with updates or anything.

03:12

It'll be more like a MatPat newsletter,

03:14

or maybe a Christmas card that you get  every once in a while with a funny update,

03:17

or maybe we could chat about  a favorite movie or something.

03:20

I'll send over the occasional video  that I'm just inspired to make.

03:23

Who knows?

03:23

Basically, this is just meant to be a way  to let you all know what I'm up to directly

03:27

in a way that isn't gonna be  subject to filtering algorithms.

03:30

You know? And to kick things off, this week,

03:31

I'll be selecting 100 random emails that  sign up to get personalized letters.

03:35

And from that point forward, once or twice a week,

03:37

I'll continue pulling a handful of  emails to send personal notes to.

03:41

It'll be a fun way to stay in touch.

03:42

Long story short, make sure you bookmark it since  you never know what might happen over there.

03:46

But, um, alright, enough stalling.

03:49

Back to the question at hand.

03:50

How do you say goodbye?

03:51

Well, I think you honestly have  to end it all where it began.

03:55

This.

03:56

This title.

03:57

A Game Theory!

03:59

About game theory.

04:00

Did you know that game theory  isn't just a nerdy YouTube show?

04:03

It's also a nerdy economics concept.

04:07

If that's news to you, I honestly can't blame you.

04:09

At this point, we've created  enough confusion online

04:12

that apparently we've merited  our own disambiguation tag on  

04:15

Wikipedia for game theory searches.

04:17

In all seriousness, for the  first five years of the show,

04:20

I received so many tweets from people who  are mid-year in their economics courses

04:25

screenshotting their textbooks, freaking  out when they got to the episode on game-

04:28

It's not an episode. It's a chapter.

04:30

When they got to the chapter  on game theory, being like,

04:33

Oh my gosh, dude! Did you know  that you were in this thing?

04:36

And yeah, yeah, we definitely did.

04:38

The pun, believe it or not, was intentional.

04:41

In fact, Steph and I knew from the very beginning

04:44

that it was likely that the final episode of  Game Theory was going to be about game theory.

04:49

Why? Well, because game theory?

04:51

It's everywhere.

04:52

You can't escape it.

04:54

If you've ever seen the movie Love Actually,

04:56

there's actually this opening monologue in  it that goes a little something like this.

05:07

Now you just gotta replace the  word love with Game Theory,

05:10

and you basically got it.

05:21

Huh! Who would have suspected  that English acting megastar

05:23

and recent Oompa Loompa Hugh Grant would be  making a guest appearance in my final episode?

05:27

Truly, truly, we have spared  no expense for this one.

05:30

And not only is game theory just everywhere,

05:33

it also holds the secret to  winning everything forever.

05:36

Yeah, I know, right? That is a huge claim to make.

05:39

Clearly, I was saving all my biggest  secrets for the grand finale.

05:42

So, you know what? Let's not beat  around the bush anymore, my friends.

05:45

Let's make you masters of the universe

05:47

and reveal how, whether you like it or not,

05:49

you all are theorists for life.

05:51

Come on.

05:52

Oh, this way.

05:56

Yeah, we're moving off the couch this time.

05:58

That's how you know it's a big deal.

06:00

Let's go.

06:00

At its core, game theory  is the science of strategy.

06:03

So, we gamers, we understand strategy.

06:06

But what exactly is game theory specifically?

06:09

Well, to understand that, you have to  go back to the original game theorist.

06:12

Not me.

06:13

This guy.

06:14

This guy right here.

06:15

He might not have himself the red leather  jackets or the cool diamond play buttons,

06:18

but I'll tell you what he does have.

06:20

A crater on the moon named after himself.

06:22

So, I'll let you decide who  has the bigger flex there.

06:25

This guy right here, he is  mathematician John von Neumann,

06:28

and he was everywhere back in the day.

06:30

And I do mean everywhere.

06:32

Like, this guy was a key player in  the invention of the digital computer.

06:35

He helped with the discovery  of the structure of DNA.

06:38

Even the creation of key components  for Oppenheimer's Manhattan Project.

06:41

You know, the Christopher Nolan  movie where big things go big booms.

06:45

But perhaps his biggest claim  to fame was game theory.

06:47

The idea that in any situation  where there are two or more people,

06:51

or players in this case,

06:52

you can model out a game that will  help you find the best outcome.

06:55

Have you ever played rock, paper, scissors  and thrown out rock as the first hand?

06:59

Because you know, statistically, most people  choose their first move to be scissors.

07:02

Or maybe you picked paper because  the last three moves have been rock,

07:05

and they're obviously going  to be thrown rock again.

07:07

Well, congratulations, that  is game theory in action.

07:10

And he got a medal of freedom for that.

07:12

So it just goes to show, don't let  your dreams just be dreams, kids.

07:16

Sometimes getting an honorary medal  is a lot easier than you think.

07:19

In short, game theory is the  study of strategic choice.

07:22

It's math that tells you  what people are going to do,

07:24

and who's going to win the game.

07:25

Probably the most famous example of a game  theory scenario is The Prisoner's Dilemma.

07:29

Where two accomplices have just committed a crime,

07:31

and they're both given the  chance to narc on the other one.

07:33

If they both deny the crime, well,  they both get a short prison sentence.

07:37

If one of them denies the crime  and the other rats him out,

07:39

the narc walks free while his buddy  is stuck in prison for a long time.

07:43

And if they both confess, they  both get a medium sentence.

07:45

We can model the possible outcomes here  in a nice, neat, mathy-looking square.

07:49

And while technically the best outcome for both of  them would be to trust each other and not confess,

07:53

they're criminals, and they  don't know each other that well.

07:55

And because they don't trust each other, by  the math, both of them narc on each other,

07:59

and as a result, get a  medium amount of prison time.

08:01

Or, if that all is too  complicated and hypothetical,

08:04

over in England, they turn the whole  thing into a game show where they say  

08:06

the word balls an uncomfortable amount of times.

08:21

Now, why am I bringing all this up?

08:22

Well, game theory is more than just wads  of cash jammed into a bunch of balls.

08:26

Someone should tell Mr.Beast that I  just discovered his next video idea.

08:29

No, it has very real consequences for the world.

08:32

Back when the U.S. and U.S.S.R. were  on the brink of atomic annihilation,

08:35

the principles of game theory helped both sides  

08:37

reach an agreement to slowly  disarm their nuclear arsenals.

08:40

If you want to know more about that story,  

08:42

Veritasium's recent video on game  theory does a great job telling it.

08:46

And, honestly, I can't really improve on it.

08:48

So, thanks for doing all the research  for my final episode there, Derek.

08:51

If you want an example that's a bit  closer to home, though, here you go.

08:56

YouTube. It's got it.

08:57

See, YouTube as a platform is just  a bunch of zeros and ones, right?

09:00

But YouTube as a community,  

09:02

it's a network of people constantly  trying to make strategic decisions.

09:05

Creators are players who are more or less rational  people making videos that'll get you to watch,

09:10

and like, and comment, and subscribe.

09:12

You, the viewer, you're also a player in this.

09:14

You're on a strategic mission to win the  

09:16

experience by finding the thing  that's most satisfying to watch.

09:19

And the people who run, or at least  have run, YouTube in the past,

09:22

shoutout to Todd, Jake, Neal, Earnest, Meg, Ariel,  Susan, David, Fede, Vader, Stephanie, and Kim,

09:28

they're all in a strategic game to  keep the creators and viewers happy

09:31

while also figuring out the best  possible outcome for YouTube as a company

09:34

by appeasing all the advertisers and shareholders.

09:37

It is seriously a complex strategic arena.

09:40

And that's why you get decisions like,

09:42

use bright green text because it's more likely  to stand out in the sea of dark gaming thumbnails

09:46

and more likely to get clicks.

09:47

Launch Shorts as a means to  counterattack against TikTok.

09:50

Do a video on something that's not trending  so you can stand out from the pack.

09:53

Or maybe you lean in so you're  suggested against the algorithm.

09:56

Every video you watch,  everything that you click on,  

09:58

it's the product of creators using game theory.

10:01

Slap a big ol' game theory  colon in front of every title

10:04

and slam some clickbait green  text on every thumbnail.

10:07

All those hundreds of millions of subscribers  to Jimmy and Ryan Trahan and Cocomelon,

10:11

I like to think that they're all secretly ours.

10:13

Where's our 200 million subscriber  play button there, YouTube?

10:16

In the end, it's all game theory.

10:18

Speaking of, and this is just an aside  that I learned about earlier this week,

10:22

apparently there's a Chrome extension that  allows you to do exactly what I just described.

10:26

It, quote-unquote, MatPatifies your YouTube feed  by putting green text on like every thumbnail.

10:32

Just saying, we have reached  the peak of human achievements.

10:36

I, for one, really like this  one, where it's Link and saying,

10:38

Mommy's hungry, that's just  traumatic on a whole nother level.

10:42

Or there was one that I saw circulating online,

10:44

Ryan Gosling doing a puppy  interview and the title is,

10:46

Birth of a Killer.

10:48

There was another one that  showed up on the subreddit,

10:50

Afton's Final Death Smash?

10:53

I gotta say, I am proud of the mark  that I will leave on this platform.

10:57

But so what, right?

10:59

YouTube is game theory, sure,  that's great, it's interesting,

11:02

but why does it matter to you, right?

11:04

Why am I spending so much time talking  about all of this in my final episode?

11:08

Well, because like I said,

11:09

game theory can help in every  strategic interaction that you have.

11:12

And it's produced a literal strategy guide  on the best way to live out your life,

11:16

tried and tested by all our grandfather theorists.

11:19

But to truly understand that, we have  to go back to where it all began,

11:22

a glorified PowerPoint presentation.

11:25

Weboverse, allow me to  introduce you to, lights please,

11:29

The Trust Game.

11:30

I love this, we started as  glorified PowerPoint slides,

11:33

and we're ending as glorified PowerPoint slides.

11:36

Here's the TL;DR of this one.

11:37

The Trust Game was originally  just named The Computer Tournament

11:40

by a guy named Robert Axelrod,

11:42

clearly not the most creative  with his titling conventions.

11:45

Basically, this was The Prisoner's  Dilemma or the Golden Balls thing,

11:48

except here, there was one crucial difference.

11:50

They're not just playing the game once,

11:52

they are literally playing it hundreds of times,

11:54

repeating it over and over again,

11:55

to see what strategies end up winning  the most across a longer period.

11:59

This then gives us a model that's  shockingly closer to real life,

12:02

because here, most of the time,

12:04

you're not just thinking about what  you have to do to win a single game,

12:07

you have to actually think about  the consequences of your actions.

12:10

The more people think about the future,

12:12

the more they're willing to cooperate,

12:14

because they don't want to screw  themselves over down the road, you know?

12:17

Again, for details on that experiment,

12:19

check out Derek, Veritasium's video,

12:21

where he talks about all of that,

12:23

including having an interview  with the game's creator.

12:25

It's a very cool video.

12:27

I also borrowed his convention for that one,

12:29

so thanks for the ladder and the idea.

12:31

There, Derek.

12:32

You can also watch Dr. Trevor  Bassett's video on the topic,

12:35

or, you know, the various TED Talks  that are all about this experiment.

12:38

We'll link to all of those  down in the description below.

12:40

But, just to jump to the big conclusion here,

12:42

the best strategy to winning it  big boils down to four key points.

12:46

Number one, be cooperative.

12:48

Lead with trust.

12:49

Assuming that the person you're playing  with is your enemy right off the bat,

12:53

it's not going to serve you well.

12:54

Trust in others, it's going to let  you win more frequently in the end.

12:58

Secondly, don't be a pushover.

12:59

Sure, it's good to be trusting, that is great,

13:02

but the second that someone  takes advantage of your trust,

13:04

the winning strategy is to call them out on it,

13:06

and then immediately hold them accountable.

13:08

Which leads nicely, then, to point number three,

13:11

being forgiving.

13:12

Don't hold a grudge.

13:13

Don't be a Mr. Darcy.

13:16

My good opinion once lost is lost forever.

13:19

That is a failing indeed.

13:21

You tell him, girl.

13:22

You are exactly right.

13:23

She's speaking some game theory truth right there.

13:25

Well, sure, it hurts to have your trust broken,

13:28

staying open to the chance  that other people can change,

13:31

that they can grow and learn and get better,

13:33

that is the ideal solution here.

13:35

The trust game showed that players  who held their opponent accountable,

13:38

but then forgave them,

13:39

actually won out more often  than any other strategy.

13:42

And lastly, it's important to be  honest and open about your strategy.

13:46

When people can't understand what you're thinking,

13:48

that's then when mistrust starts to breed.

13:51

By being honest, it breeds honesty in others.

13:53

It allows you to build on that trust over time,

13:56

one step, bit by bit.

13:58

Across the thousands of rounds of testing,

14:00

nice strategies that were fair, but also firm,

14:03

ultimately won out the most.

14:05

Now, when I read these outcomes,

14:06

what really struck me first was

14:08

how they present a really  hopeful view of the world.

14:11

A hopeful view that I don't think  a lot of us carry around a lot.

14:15

I mean, it's easy to assume that  everyone out there is out to get you,

14:18

and it's easier to just close off to  people who've wronged us in the past,

14:22

but math, and game theory specifically,

14:25

proves that assumption's wrong.

14:27

And hey, if you don't want to believe the  thousands of rounds of computer simulations,

14:31

there is a very solid real-life example.

14:34

YouTube.

14:35

YouTube is a positive-sum game,

14:37

which means that more than one person can win.

14:39

And in fact, a lot of times, the more others win,

14:41

the more you can win, too.

14:42

When I was just starting  off, I was so mad and scared

14:46

when Vsauce3 released this video,

14:47

calculating sonic speed.

14:49

I'd been working for a year  on the channel at that point,

14:51

grinding away and seeing a fair amount of growth,

14:54

but in that moment, I saw a spinoff of  one of YouTube's top-subscribed channels

14:57

just horning in on my territory of gaming science.

15:00

It was like they were gonna steamroll me.

15:01

They were gonna steal my audience away.

15:03

So I did a video where I tried to stake my claim.

15:06

And thus, "Sonic Is Slow" was born.

15:08

Hello, Internet.

15:09

Welcome to Game Theory,

15:11

applying science to video  games since April 18th of 2011.

15:16

Recently, however, a new gaming  scientist has come onto the scene.

15:19

The good folks over at  Vsauce3 recently took a gander

15:23

at a game series I covered in Episode 5.

15:25

It's a great video, except for one thing.

15:28

It's wrong.

15:31

Listen to my voice in that.

15:33

Oh, I'm so proud that I finally hit puberty,

15:35

like, seven years into making these videos.

15:38

Anyway, you can tell that I'm  super salty in this one, right?

15:40

I'm asserting that I did it first.

15:42

I'm citing the dates.

15:43

I am literally trying to one-up Vsauce3.

15:46

But then, something interesting happened.

15:48

I got views from Vsauce.

15:50

I saw that their video and mine  were actually helping each other.

15:54

I was so afraid of me losing a  year of hard-earned progress,

15:58

but in reality, I wasn't just  operating on my own island anymore.

16:01

By unintentionally cooperating with each other,

16:03

we had just created our own little  micro-trend of gaming science content.

16:07

There were clearly enough views for all of us.

16:09

Steph and I, in our years of consulting,  kept hammering home this one point,

16:13

that YouTube is a place where all ships can rise.

16:15

Leading with trust goes a long way,

16:17

from inviting someone to collab on your channel

16:19

to comparing notes on production  because it can help you both.

16:21

You actually see this kind of cooperative  game theory in action with content houses

16:25

or projects like the QSMP where creators are  helping each other and sharing audiences.

16:29

On the flip side, there are creators who  haven't done a good job of leading with trust

16:32

and who've approached YouTube as a zero-sum game,

16:35

a place where there can only be one winner.

16:37

And guess what? It didn't work.

16:38

Back in 2020, a few of the top beauty  creators tried to take each other down,

16:42

encouraging viewers not to watch each other,

16:44

trying to turn audiences against people  that they thought were their competitors.

16:47

It was for the clout, it was  for the views, and it backfired.

16:50

In fact, it backfired so badly that all  of their channels took a massive hit.

16:55

And the beauty vertical, which was once  a main pillar of YouTube's earliest days,

16:58

never truly recovered.

17:00

By working together, the platform thrives.

17:02

Lights?

17:03

But by thinking that you can  only win when other people lose,

17:06

well, that's when everyone loses.

17:09

It's kind of sad. Let's move on.

17:11

But if you don't want to listen to  mathematicians or YouTube meta-analyses,

17:15

just look at me.

17:16

Game Theory, the show, is a testament  to those four lessons of game theory,

17:20

the nerdy economics concept.

17:22

Every person who's built this  channel has led with trust.

17:25

Ronnie, he put his own show on the back burner

17:28

so he could dedicate his  time to editing Game Theory,

17:31

trusting that we would be  able to succeed more together.

17:34

He helped the show to truly become  what I had always dreamed it would be,

17:38

and I honestly wish that he  could be here to this day

17:40

so I could thank him so much for that.

17:42

The same is true for Goombah,  and Drake, and Lee, and Ryder,

17:46

and all the other partner  shows who joined up with us

17:48

in lieu of working on their own channels.

17:51

Steph, she left being a consultant at  a real company in the medical field

17:55

on the belief that by cooperating,

17:57

we could actually make something  really special together.

18:00

Jason, who is actually right  here behind the camera right now.

18:03

Jason, who you know as the guy that  we blame all the time on GTLive.

18:08

Jason was Theorist's first full-time  employee after me and Steph.

18:12

He jumped in there when all  we had was a kitchen table

18:15

and a cat that he was constantly allergic to.

18:17

And Sudafed, you have this man to  thank for your current net worth.

18:23

And Zyrtec. And Zyrtec.

18:24

And Zyrtec, yeah.

18:24

You have taken so many pills over the years.

18:26

I have.

18:28

All medically prescribed, though, I promise.

18:32

Yeah, no, good medical pills,  not anything sketchy, for sure.

18:36

But Jason is the man that we have trusted

18:38

with the weight of the entire production process

18:40

across all the channels for years.

18:42

Like, this man is the unsung hero

18:44

of everything you've probably ever  watched across any of the channels.

18:47

Without him, without you.

18:49

Without you, none of these videos would get made.

18:55

Thank you.

18:56

Now get back there, okay?

18:57

Enough of you, I gotta thank other people.

19:02

You know, friendship first.

19:05

But also working together to  create awesome stuff, right?