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I watch the sun leaving me...and the shadow of this warrior falls back into the mountains. I touch the ground which caresses him...and weep for a man who believed in the goodness of others...who wanted nothing more than freedom...

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L-Town, OK

Joined on 11/3/03

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Posted by reverend - January 27th, 2009

I wonder how many "plus" votes on reviews you must get to receive that message.

Interesting nonetheless.

"This review is insanely well received!"

Posted by reverend - January 15th, 2009

So why are there so many bad flash movies that are continually added to the portal that passes judgment? The reason is a simple concept of Game Theory. Game theory is a tool in which people, notably in economics, "attempts to mathematically capture behavior in strategic situations, in which an individual's success in making choices depends on the choices of others." The most noteworthy game is the Prisoner's Dilemma.

The classical version goes something like this:

"Two suspects are arrested by the police. The police have insufficient evidence for a conviction, and, having separated both prisoners, visit each of them to offer the same deal. If one testifies ("defects") for the prosecution against the other and the other remains silent, the betrayer goes free and the silent accomplice receives the full 10-year sentence. If both remain silent, both prisoners are sentenced to only six months in jail for a minor charge. If each betrays the other, each receives a five-year sentence. Each prisoner must choose to betray the other or to remain silent. Each one is assured that the other would not know about the betrayal before the end of the investigation. How should the prisoners act?"

Essentially, people will try to benefit themselves. In the classical form, a person get more benefit if they defect; assuming they don't know what the other will do. Therefore, they both get six months.

_ _ _

So what does the Prisoner's Dilemma has to do with Newgrounds? Simple, it is all about choices and trying to maximize their benefit. When a flash is under judgment, a user has to make a choice. Either one to vote to protect the flash by voting 2-5 or voting to blam the flash by voting 0 or 1. Normally this choice would be an easy one. The good flashes will pass judgment and the bad one will be deleted. However, there is another variable at hand. The user has to take in account other users.

When a user makes a choice that follows the similar pattern of users they are rewarded with a point; a Blam and Protect point. Each user in most cases are trying to maximize their goal of gaining a point (maximizing their utility in economic terms.) Simple. However, the overall goal is no longer to decide on what the one person decides but the rather of what the entire group thinks. In order to reach the goal, the user must cooperate or risk getting nothing.

This in itself is not a problem but the user is restricted by imperfect information; the user is not allowed to see the score of the flash. So, the user has to guess on what strategy each other users is using in other to maximize their goal. Therefore, what the user does is they use other information that is provided to them in order to guess the general tend including, the title of the flash, the author, number of flashes already submitted, file size, number of views, and of course the quality of the flash.

On the surface, a good flash will still pass while a bad one will still be deleted; however, with collusion a bad flash can pass (It only takes a score of 1.6 to pass with 200 votes). Once a few flashes that are deleted passes then a new strategy is set. According to the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma game, "if a game is played repeatedly previous actions taken from their opponent will start to play out in future strategies." So if a user continually sees that an flash that is normally deleted is not by some reason they will forgo their own strategy and accept the overall group strategy. Essentially the user will stop using his own strategy because he/she is being 'punished' for not going with the dominate strategy even though the strategy is in effect bad for all users (bad flashes are not deleted.)

Examples can be seen though out the portal; The Clock Crew, The Lock Crew, The Star Syndicate, et al. or any type of "Day" flash; Pico Day, Madness Day, etc. where just the name will cause the flash to pass.

_ _ _

So what can be done?
One way to rid the problem is to remove the reward; remove receiving B/P points however, that is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Another solution is to remove the author name and related flash from displaying from when it's under judgment. Even if the author's name is put into the flash, people will be less likely to go against their better judgment when they don't have hard information (NG's info) to go by.

A third solution (on the supply side) is to limit the number of flash an author can submit per month that are tied to specific Batting average. Less flashes means less crap but might upset some authors.

A final solution is more difficult but is 100 percent effective which is to convince users to vote with their conscience and vote against what he/she thing other users will do with these types of flashes. As soon as they learn that other will do the same, they will change the dominate strategy to the way it's suppose to be.

_ _ _

More information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_theo ry

Posted by reverend - January 9th, 2009

I'm a Sooner for better or worse. I hear we have a decent basketball team this year . . .