See I. and P. Opie, Children's Games in Street and Playground (1969); A. Milberg, Street Games (1976); G. Chanan and H. Francis, Toys and Games of Children of the World (1985); V. Sernaque, The Classic Children's Games (1988).
This restriction was overcome by the work of John F. Nash during the early 1950s. Nash mathematically clarified the distinction between cooperative and noncooperative games. In noncooperative games, unlike cooperative ones, no outside authority assures that players stick to the same predetermined rules, and binding agreements are not feasible. Further, he recognized that in noncooperative games there exist sets of optimal strategies (so-called Nash equilibria) used by the players in a game such that no player can benefit by unilaterally changing his or her strategy if the strategies of the other players remain unchanged. Because noncooperative games are common in the real world, the discovery revolutionized game theory. Nash also recognized that such an equilibrium solution would also be optimal in cooperative games. He suggested approaching the study of cooperative games via their reduction to noncooperative form and proposed a methodology, called the Nash program, for doing so. Nash also introduced the concept of bargaining, in which two or more players collude to produce a situation where failure to collude would make each of them worse off.
The theory of games applies statistical logic to the choice of strategies. It is applicable to many fields, including military problems and economics. The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to Nash, John Harsanyi, and Reinhard Selten (1994) and to Robert J. Aumann and Thomas C. Schelling (2005) for work in applying game theory to aspects of economics.
See J. Von Neumann and O. Morgenstern, Theory of Games and Economic Behavior (3d ed. 1953); D. Fudenberg and J. Tirole, Game Theory (1994); M. D. Davis, Game Theory: A Nontechnical Introduction (1997); R. B. Myerson, Game Theory: Analysis of Conflict (1997); J. F. Nash, Jr., Essays on Game Theory (1997); A. Rapoport, Two-Person Game Theory (1999).
Recreational or competitive activities that involve physical skill, intellectual acumen, and often luck (especially in the case of games of chance). Play is an integral part of human nature. Throughout history, humans have invented sporting and gaming activities as a means to socialize, to display skills and prowess, and to entertain or offer excitement. The earliest games may have been based on hunting and gathering activities. In modern times, with the emergence of professional sports, games continue to serve as physical and emotional outlets, as diversions, and as enrichments to daily life while also playing a pronounced economic role.
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Sports events characterized by high speed or high risk. Such sports include aggressive inline skating, wakeboarding, street luge, skateboarding, and freestyle bicycle events (wherein tricks such as back flips are performed on a bicycle). Many of the events—snowboarding, skateboarding, and freestyle biking are examples—are performed on ramps and inclines or in a halfpipe, some with walls as high as 50 feet, which allows the athletes to get air, or achieve the height necessary to, for example, rotate on a bicycle. Many of these sports were made popular by the X Games (championship competitions sponsored by the cable-television network ESPN). The 1998 and 2002 Olympic Games featured extreme snowboarding events in a halfpipe, in which boarders performed jumps, rotations, and mid-air maneuvers.
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Sports festival. In ancient Greece it was a Panhellenic festival held every fourth year and made up of contests of sports, music, and literature. Since 1896 the name has been used for a modified revival of the ancient Games, consisting of international athletic contests held at four-year intervals. The original Games included footraces, the discus and javelin throws, the long jump, boxing, wrestling, the pentathlon, and chariot races. After the subjugation of Greece by Rome, the Games declined; they were finally abolished about AD 400. They were revived in the late 19th century through efforts led in part by Pierre, baron de Coubertin; the first modern Games were held in Athens. The first Winter Games were held in 1924. The direction of the modern Olympic movement and the regulation of the Games are vested in the International Olympic Committee, headquartered at Lausanne, Switz. Until the 1970s the Games adhered to a strict code of amateurism, but since that time professional players have also been allowed to participate. Programs for the Summer Games include competition in archery, baseball, basketball, boxing, canoeing, cycling, diving, equestrian sports, fencing, field hockey, football (soccer), gymnastics, handball, judo, the modern pentathlon, rowing, sailing, shooting, softball, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track and field (athletics), the triathlon, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, and wrestling. The program for the Winter Games includes the biathlon, bobsledding, ice hockey, lugeing, skeleton sledding, snowboarding, and numerous ice skating and skiing events. Events are periodically added and dropped.
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