Thoughts on game theory and winning
September 21, 2009 - 11:38am
So far I've received every point possible, but I can't maintain this pace. It's taking up way too much of my time and I have a business trip coming up so I am going to miss a few challenges anyway.
So I've been thinking, perhaps I should change my playing strategy. Instead of going after every point possible, perhaps I should try to win just enough points to get an invite (I can't win the premium Kodak prizes anyway because I work for one of the sponsors/partners).
So with that in mind, I tried to determine just where I am in the overall rank and tried to predict where I could reasonably finish given that I'm currently tied for first.
So, step #1 I determined that there are currently 955 players:
[here how I figured that out]
"Log out", go to URL
When you are not logged in it shows you the bottom
of the list. When I just did it a moment ago there were
955 people who have registered.
But then I though, hum... I wonder how many people are really competitive. It might be significantly fewer people. So I asked some of my friends. And here's some information I gleamed from them.
A friend has roughly 900 points and is ranked roughly 150ish. And she has done 3/4 of the newspaper puzzles, was an early bird registrant, and did 3/4 of the web puzzles. She is very definitely a casual player of PTI. She has not done any scavenger hunts, she has not done nor will she do any of the projects (photosynth, recipe, etc...).
So if someone who is playing very casually is in the top 15% and is on the bubble for receiving an invitation, then perhaps I should concentrate on just beating her! When running from a lion you don't have to be the fastest person, just not the slowest.
So as long as I do the puzzles (both newspaper and online), most of the scavenger hunts, some of the projects, and the Wednesday newspaper photo puzzle, I can ignore the Easter eggs and cruise to "victory" with an invitation.
I have not decided that is my new strategy... I'm just kicking this around for now and keeping an eye on things and where they stand. But I do realize that at some point I will have to relax my involvement in PTI and perhaps cruise for awhile -- and probably very safely too.
Or, perhaps this is all a double-reserve psych-out and I'm trying to convince y'all to relax and let down your guard so I can win it all! :)