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The game of chicken, also known as the hawkdove game or snowdrift game, is a model of conflict for two players in game theory. The principle of the game is that while the ideal outcome is for one player to yield (to avoid the worst outcome if neither yields), the individuals try to avoid it out of pride for not wanting to look like a 'chicken'. So each player taunts the other to increase the risk of shame in yielding. However, when one player yields, the conflict is avoided, and the game is for the most part over. The name 'chicken' has its origins in a game in which two drivers drive toward each other on a collision course: one must swerve, or both may die in the crash, but if one driver swerves and the other does not, the one who swerved will be called a 'chicken', meaning a coward, this terminology is most prevalent in political science and economics. The name 'hawkdove' refers to a situation in which there is a competition for a shared resource and the contestants can choose either conciliation or conflict, this terminology is most commonly used in biology and evolutionary game theory. From a game-theoretic point of view, 'chicken' and 'hawkdove' are identical, the different names stem from parallel development of the basic principles in different research areas. The game has also been used to describe the mutual assured destruction of nuclear warfare, especially the sort of brinkmanship involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Popular versions The game of chicken models two drivers, both headed for a single-lane bridge from opposite directions. The first to swerve away yields the bridge to the other.
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