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Questions and Answers


Which Browsers is the game compatible with?

Is the game playable on smartphones and tablets?

Why is the seesaw not moving in Internet Explorer 8?

How do I log out?

How does the high score work?

Why does the high score work this way?

How are the game's rules connected to trading?

Why are the wins and losses different each round?

Why don't the weights move if all players bet on the same side?

If few players bet on one side of the seesaw, it sometimes moves wildly. Is this realistic?

What is the connection between The Seesaw Game and economics?

How can I learn more about the scientific backgrounds and results?


Which Browsers is the game compatible with?

Right now, the game works in Firefox 3.5+, Chrome 4+, Safari 3+, Opera 11+, and IE9+. Optimizations for smartphones and tablets are being prepared.

Is the game playable on smartphones and tablets?

Yes, usually very well! Due to the smaller screens and slower processors, however, it is possible that fewer past outcomes may be displayed. How well the game is playable also depends on the individual device.

Why is the seesaw not moving in Internet Explorer 8?

IE8 is technically too outdated. Since it a big security risk to be on the internet with such an old browser, we strongly advise you to update.

How do I log out?

Click on your name in the top right corner of the page.

How does the high score work?

When updating your high score (click the big blue button) all the points you have won during the game are added to your score. If you re-enter the game, you start with 10 points again - it's like beginning a new game. This way, you can collect an infinite amount of points in your high score, but you can also lose points if you update while having less than 10 points in the game. You are only listed in the high score after you updated at least once.

Why does the high score work this way?

If you got very rich in the game, it becomes very hard to continue winning. This happens because you bet more points and therefore heavily push the side of the seesaw you bet on downwards. Big investors in stock markets face the same problem. The high score allows you to move points out of the game and continue playing normally. In reality, one would have to invest one's resources in another, independent market.

How are the game's rules connected to trading?

Suppose you think that a stock's price will rise tomorrow. To make a profit, you have to buy it today and sell it tomorrow at the higher price. However, once you actually sell the stock, you increase the supply, which (given the same demand as without your action) reduces the price at which you sell. Hence, your action counteracts your own interests. Therefore, you have do the opposite of what the majority of traders does in order to make a profit. This property of speculative trading is captured by the seesaw game. The side which goes up is the one on which fewer points have been bet than in the previous round. The seesaw game is a special version of the Minority Game which we developed to more realistically capture speculation and to make the game playable in small groups.

Why are the wins and losses different each round?

The bigger the slope of the seesaw, the more points are being redistributed. The reason behind this rule is, that the angle of the seesaw mathematically represents a price change. If the price changed a lot, you made a big profit or a big loss. However, only those points can be traded which have actually been bet. If many players win and only a few lose, each single winner can only win a few points. Even in real markets, transactions sometimes cannot be executed due to a lack of trading partners. Of course, the game only represents an approximation to this situation.

Why don't the weights move if all players bet on the same side?

Trading requires both buyers and sellers. If there is only one type of traders, no trading can take place and there is no new price. Therefore, all weights remain in place.

If few players bet on one side of the seesaw, it sometimes moves wildly. Is this realistic?

The seesaw is more susceptible if few points have been bet to one side due to the way prices are calculated: using the ratio of demand and supply. This is not necessarily unrealistic: imagine that 100 traders want to sell their shares of a stock and only two want to buy a share. If one of the buyers backs out, the absolute number of buyers only changed by one, but the relative demand was cut in half. This may lead to large price changes. This is similar to micro liquidity crises observed in real markets, but the simple seesaw game captures these problems only in a very stylized manner.

What is the connection between The Seesaw Game and economics?

Theories of financial markets have long been dominated by the Efficient Market Hypothesis and by (neo-) classical equilibrium-models: risk-free profit opportunities are eliminated by rational traders exploiting them. Then, residual price fluctuations should be unpredictable and small - except when the market is perturbed from the outside. Unfortunately, markets are usually not this well-behaved - which even lead to some wondering about the Nobel Prize 2013. Early criticism came from behavioural economics. Since the 1990s, models with heterogeneous, not necessarily fully rational agents have been investigated increasingly. These models are complex systems, which are also investigated in statistical physics. The Seesaw Game is an attempt to show connections between these approaches and to make these new, interdisciplinary movements in science more accessible to the public.

How can I learn more about the scientific backgrounds and results?

On the other pages linked in the navigation sidebar. The first publications are freely available. Further articles and popular science explanations are in preparation. News will also be posted on Facebook and Twitter.

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