Playing Chess with Machiavelli: Improving Interactive Entertainment with Explicit Strategies

Andrew S. Gordon

Current interactive entertainment is not strategy-aware, in that it does not allow users to execute a wide range of real-world strategies in the context of the artificial environment, it does not recognize when users are trying to execute these strategies, and it does not include software opponents and partners that are capable of executing a varied range of strategies in response to user actions. A solution to this problem is to explicitly identify a broad range of real-world strategies that people would use if the environment of the interactive entertainment were real rather than fiction, to represent these strategies to identify their component features, and to design the entertainment environment so that these component features are supported and recognized. This paper gives an example of how the first two steps of this solution can be done in the political domain by examining 60 explicit strategies outlined in Machiavelli’s The Prince.

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