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Reverse Powering: An exercise in Game Theory?

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:02 am
by Longstride
DISCLAIMER: Let me start off that I understand the disadvantages of this proposition and am in NO WAY/SHAPE/FORM advocating its usage at all, ever, period; but I've had this idea for a while and just thought it'd be an interesting concept. Consider this post just a fantasy-expression of a quirky possibility that should never actually be used.
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Power sets usually allow for players to get an extra 5 (or at NSC 10, or at NHB possibly 20) points for buzzing in particularly early on a question. What if, for a moment, we supposed to reverse this. That a player would get extra points for buzzing in later on in a question.

Consider: In a power-marked set, there are coinciding advantages for a player to buzz in early (they get points, they get more points for the early buzz, and they prevent the other team from getting points.) However, if a set were to be reversed-powered, every buzz would require utilitarian calculations of payoff. Buzzing in early has the advantage of preventing another team from acquiring points but at the expense of sacrificing extra points you may earn yourself. In such a fashion, every question becomes a calculation by a player on how much knowledge the opposing side has regarding a question and therefore how late a successful buzz can be achieved.

Clearly, this proposition would have downsides (the bottom brackets would have outrageously high-scoring games), but I'm curious as to what someone else thinks of this. What would a top-tier National game look like with such an interesting proposition. Would Quizbowlers, the notoriously impatient and trigger-happy creatures we are, ignore the possibility for more points and buzz in anyway, or would there be an added layer of tactical strategy to the game as the stakes rise the longer the question runs for?

Re: Reverse Powering: An exercise in Game Theory?

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:08 am
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
There would be more buzzer races and games would be decided more by chance than by knowledge.

Re: Reverse Powering: An exercise in Game Theory?

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:11 am
by Cheynem
Nobody would wait if they knew it, especially if there are bonuses. Losing 30 extra points to gain 5 more is a terrible proposition. You'd have to make the power mark much higher.

Re: Reverse Powering: An exercise in Game Theory?

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:28 am
by pajaro bobo
I don't really see how turning quizbowl into a game of academic chicken allows for more "tactics".

Re: Reverse Powering: An exercise in Game Theory?

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:15 pm
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
This might also result in people playing packets online to make themselves appear stupider than they actually are, instead of better than they actually are, out of some hope that opponents would then underestimate them.

Re: Reverse Powering: An exercise in Game Theory?

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:53 pm
by Lighthouse Expert Elinor DeWire
Five extra points isn't enough to warrant buzzing after you know the answer.

Re: Reverse Powering: An exercise in Game Theory?

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:59 pm
by AKKOLADE
This could be an interesting wacky side/online event with only tossups, but that's about the extent to which it would go.

Re: Reverse Powering: An exercise in Game Theory?

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:22 pm
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Grams's Go-Go Boots wrote:This could be an interesting wacky side/online event with only tossups, but that's about the extent to which it would go.
A much better use of resources on wacky rules would be an academic tournament with Ann B. Davis-style rules. That would actually be fun and reward people for both knowing things and being clever with tactics.

Re: Reverse Powering: An exercise in Game Theory?

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:50 pm
by Kyle
You can get a similar effect to this if you play with poker chips and pause periodically in the question to place bets on whether you will be the first person to answer correctly, since it's better to buzz in after people have bet than when only the antes are in the pot. Actually, this is the chief problem hindering the widespread acceptance of the GambleQuiz format.

Re: Reverse Powering: An exercise in Game Theory?

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:07 pm
by Stained Diviner
If you want fun quizbowl, I'll show you fun quizbowl.

Re: Reverse Powering: An exercise in Game Theory?

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:48 pm
by Habitat_Against_Humanity
When can we have a "Designate Bowl" revival?

Re: Reverse Powering: An exercise in Game Theory?

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:11 pm
by the return of AHAN
Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:There would be more buzzer races and games would be decided more by chance than by knowledge.
(Insert IESA Middle School State Series joke here)

Re: Reverse Powering: An exercise in Game Theory?

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:07 am
by i never see pigeons in wheeling
Longstride wrote:DISCLAIMER: Let me start off that I understand the disadvantages of this proposition and am in NO WAY/SHAPE/FORM advocating its usage at all, ever, period; but I've had this idea for a while and just thought it'd be an interesting concept. Consider this post just a fantasy-expression of a quirky possibility that should never actually be used.
---------------------

Power sets usually allow for players to get an extra 5 (or at NSC 10, or at NHB possibly 20) points for buzzing in particularly early on a question. What if, for a moment, we supposed to reverse this. That a player would get extra points for buzzing in later on in a question.

Consider: In a power-marked set, there are coinciding advantages for a player to buzz in early (they get points, they get more points for the early buzz, and they prevent the other team from getting points.) However, if a set were to be reversed-powered, every buzz would require utilitarian calculations of payoff. Buzzing in early has the advantage of preventing another team from acquiring points but at the expense of sacrificing extra points you may earn yourself. In such a fashion, every question becomes a calculation by a player on how much knowledge the opposing side has regarding a question and therefore how late a successful buzz can be achieved.

Clearly, this proposition would have downsides (the bottom brackets would have outrageously high-scoring games), but I'm curious as to what someone else thinks of this. What would a top-tier National game look like with such an interesting proposition. Would Quizbowlers, the notoriously impatient and trigger-happy creatures we are, ignore the possibility for more points and buzz in anyway, or would there be an added layer of tactical strategy to the game as the stakes rise the longer the question runs for?
If you had two very mismatched teams, I suppose that there would be some sort of very twisted Stackelberg competition in play here.

Re: Reverse Powering: An exercise in Game Theory?

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:05 pm
by ProfessorIanDuncan
This exercise in game thoery would probably lead to a more conservative gameplay. If you keep a -5 for negging, then the opposing team gets an extra 5 points for just waiting till the end of the question. Most players wouldn't wait to get a few extra points, but people would probably sit on questions a little more because the penalty for negging is greater and there is a small bonus for sitting a bit longer. Reverse Powering would also made the ends of games very interesting if one team is behind by 40 or 45 points going into the last question.

Re: Reverse Powering: An exercise in Game Theory?

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:59 pm
by Arkangel de la Muerte
What are Ann B. Davis-style rules?

Re: Reverse Powering: An exercise in Game Theory?

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:32 pm
by pajaro bobo
postfan wrote:What are Ann B. Davis-style rules?
You can read up on them here: http://www.qbwiki.com/wiki/Ann_B._Davis