For those that already know of the dilemma, skip on down to see it’s relation to this ranking system. For the others: Here is a simple explanation of the dilemma given my understanding.

There are two people that commit a crime. They each know the way the law works. Below are the outcomes:

- Nobody confesses=each gets 2 years
- Prisoner A confesses= Prisoner A goes free, Prisoner B gets 10 years
- Prisoner B confesses= Prisoner B goes free, Prisoner A gets 10 years
- Both confess=Both get 5 years in prison

Now, they can’t talk to each other and are faced with this decision. What do they do? Well, prisoner A wants what is best for him. If he doesn’t confess, he could get either 2 or 10 years. If he does confess, he could either go free or get 5 years. Given these rules, his selfish nature, and distrust of his fellow criminal: he confesses. Prisoner B makes the same decision making the outcome to be 5 years each. Neither wins.

On to the application to FIRST:

This year there is a similar choice. Score on your opponent or yourself. I’m going to assume that alliance A scores 4 and alliance B scores 6. Each gets 2 points of penalty.

- Both score on A:

Pre-penalty: 10-0

Final: 8-0

Seed points: 8-10 - Score on opponent:

Pre-penalty: 6-4

Final: 4-2

Seed points:8-6 - Score on self:

Pre-penalty: 4-6

Final: 2-4

Seed points: 6-8 - Both score on B:

Pre-penalty: 0-10

Final: 0-8

Seed points: 10-8

Now, we are going to assume you want a high rank, don’t communicate with the opposing alliance, and understand these outcomes. If your team A, you can choose to score on yourself and get 6 or 8 seed points. Or you can choose to score on B and get 8 or 10 seed points. Given our assumptions, you would choose to score on team B. If your team B, you can choose to score on yourself and get 8 seed points. Or you can choose to score on A and get 6 or 10 seed points. Team B would choose to score on themselves.

This means that both teams should score on the team that is going to score most. It doesn’t matter if your scoring on yourself or your opponent.

I know I threw alot of stuff out there…sorry for the long post. I just find this intriguing and wonder if the GDC had been inspired by this game theory. Any thoughts? Feel free to correct any of my numbers or assertions. I probably missed something, but thought that this was worth getting up fast.