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How to Use Math to Win the Games We Love — and Learn More About Ourselves

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 (Tim Noack via Getty Images)

University of Oxford mathematician Marcus du Sautoy loves games. He’s spent much of his career popularizing math — and for him, games are a way to “play mathematics.” But playing math might not be the first reason your nephew gives when you ask him why he loves video games, or your friend when she describes her undying love for “Risk”. There are elements of social psychology, from competition to collaboration, that also draw us toward getting the “Scrabble” board out of the closet and onto the dining room table. For many of us, games not only inform our identities — they build our sense of selves and community. “Tell me the game you play and I will tell you who you are,” writes du Sautoy in his new book, “Around the World in 80 Games”— and we want to hear from you: What’s your game? Du Sautoy joins us to hear your answers, as well as share the history and power our favorite games hold over us.


Marcus du Sautoy, Simonyi professor for the public understanding of science and professor of mathematics, the University of Oxford


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