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One way to get real is to create a game out of your problem. (Later we'll talk about the generalization of this idea, which is called simulation.) In the movie War Games, a high school computer whiz (played by Matthew Broderick) hacks into a U.S. military war simulator to play Thermonuclear War. The kid doesn't know it's not a game, and he inadvertently starts World War III. The plot of the movie is based on well-established mathematics called game theory. The potential destruction that nuclear...

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