What is a zero sum game?Asked on: Sep 27, 2023 08:12 PM
Okay, let's imagine you're playing a game of tug-of-war. You and your team are pulling on one end of the rope, and the opposing team is pulling on the other end. Now, if your team pulls harder and wins, that's great for you! But it means the other team has lost. The amount of 'winning' is exactly balanced by the amount of 'losing'. You can't both win at the same time in this game. This is a simple example of what we call a 'zero-sum game'.
In more technical terms, a zero-sum game is a situation in economics or game theory (which is just fancy talk for the study of how people make decisions) where one person's gain or loss is exactly balanced by the losses or gains of other participants. If you add up all the wins and losses, they'll sum up to zero - hence the name 'zero-sum'.
Now don't get confused here, not all situations are zero-sum. In many cases, it's possible for all parties to benefit - we call these 'non-zero sum games' or 'win-win situations'. So remember kids, life isn't always like a game of tug-of-war!
But also remember: If you find yourself in a real-life zero-sum situation, make sure you're on the winning side! Just like in tug-of-war...unless you enjoy eating mud pies!Reference