Wednesday Nerd Fun: Dictators and Sit-Coms

While it isn’t the Dictator Game familiar to students of game theory, smalltime industries’ Guess the Dictator/Sit-Com Character game promises some genuine, nerdy fun. From their intro:

Have you always thought of yourself as a sitcom character? Or maybe a world-class dictator? No, me either. But now you can. Pretend to be the bumbling sidekick or the heartless autocrat and our state-of-last-century’s-art algorithm will guess who you are. Can’t think of a sitcom character or dictator? Then answer the questions as yourself, and you’ll find out whom you most resemble.

So, whether you’re Gilligan or Fidel stuck on that island, answer the Yes/No questions as best you can and the computer will try to guess who you are.

The game is an example of Bayesian thinking on two levels. By asking yes/no, it discriminates you into smaller and smaller categories, eventually arriving at a single answer as in the children’s game “Guess Who.” On another level, if you go through the whole series of questions and the game arrives at the wrong answer, it asks you to provide a single additional question that would help to differentiate between who you were pretending to be and who the game guessed you were. Once a sufficient number of people have played, theoretically the game should guess correctly every time. Can you stump it?