The Evolution of Trust is a cleverly designed little thought experiment that uses game theory to explain why there’s currently such an epidemic of distrust and how friends become enemies in peacetime, while enemies can become allies in wartime.
The Evolution of Trust explores the intricacies of trust and distrust via a simple game with some simple (but modifiable) rules. There’s a big machine in the centre of the area with two players on opposite sides of it. If both players place one coin in then they both get two coins back, if both players put nothing in then they both get nothing back, but if one player cheats and doesn’t put a coin in they get three coins and the trusting player gets nothing. The winner is the one who has the most coins by the end of the match.
You start by playing against a series of AI opponents, each with their own traits, and then start to carry out experiments on how successful their behaviour makes them. Some of the AI may be overly trustworthy, some may be totally deceitful, some may copy the others previous interactions, some may hold a grudge and so on. The Evolution of Trust explores how successful these different AI’s would be in different situations and the factors that can lead to them breeding overwhelming amounts of trust or distrust.
It’s another cleverly crafted and though provoking experience from developer Nicky Case (We Become What We Behold, Parable of the Polygons, It’s A(door)able) that sticks with you long after playing. The Evolution of Trust crams a lot into it’s short playtime, but still manages to keep it easily understandable to all. It’s amazing how much effect small changes in a social environment can have such a dramatic effect. It cites the time in WWI when the soldiers in the trenches laid down their weapons and played football on Christmas day – it’s hard to come by such monumental acts of trust in the modern day, but the only thing that’s stopping us is ourselves. Highly recommended.
Controls: Mouse – Point & Click
Available On: All Browsers