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Game Mining: How to Make Money from those about to Play a Game


  • James W. Bono
  • David H. Wolpert


It is known that a player in a noncooperative game can benefit by publicly re- stricting their possible moves before start of play. We show that, more generally, a player may benefit by publicly committing to pay an external party an amount that is contingent on the game's outcome. We explore what happens when external parties (who we call game miners) discover this fact and seek to profit from it by entering an outcome-contingent contract with the players. We analyze various bargaining games between miners and players for determining such an outcome- contingent contract. We establish restrictions on the strategic settings in which a game miner can profit, and bounds on the game miner's profit given various structured bargaining games. These bargaining games include playing the players against one another, as well as allowing the players to pay the miner(s) for exclu- sivity and first-mover advantage. We also establish that when all players can enter contracts with miners, to guarantee the existence of equilibria it is necessary to assume that players can randomize over the contracts they make.

Suggested Citation

  • James W. Bono & David H. Wolpert, 2009. "Game Mining: How to Make Money from those about to Play a Game," Working Papers 2009-10, American University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:amu:wpaper:2009-10

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Renou, Ludovic, 2009. "Commitment games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 488-505, May.
    9. Adam Tauman Kalai & Ehud Kalai & Dov Samet, 2007. "Voluntary Commitments Lead to Efficiency," Discussion Papers 1444, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    10. Michael L. Katz, 1991. "Game-Playing Agents: Unobservable Contracts as Precommitments," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 307-328, Autumn.
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