Thursday, May 11, 2006

Game Science

Ehud Kalai proposes renaming the Game Theory Society to the Game Science Society and welcomes your comments. The goal of changing the name of the society is to change the name of the field to better describe what the field does and broaden its image.
An important example where the expanded name may get additional support is within a university. For example, it is hard to imagine the creation of a department devoted to the study of a theory. On the other hand a department devoted to study a science seems more plausible. To put things in perspective think of an analogy within another young field. Devoting major resources to a subject called "computing theory" less likely than devoting major resources to a subject called "computer science."
I've mentioned changing the name of Game Theory before but then again I never felt Computer Science is a great name. Following Kalai's reasoning, what if we renamed "Theory of Computing" to "The Science of Computing". Would that make our field sound more noble and generate more funding?


  1. "Theoretical Computer Science" seems to cover what we do just just fine. "Computational Complexity" also sound deep.

    "Game Science" seems like that is from a news story about some degree program studying Nintendo, Playstation and Xbox.

  2. IMHO, Game Science will directly be associated with computer games; whereas game theory, even though it is still possible to associate it with computer games, is more confusing because of the word theory, so at least people will be inclined to find out what exactly it is.

  3. Forget about "Theory of" or "Science of" and let's call "Computing" what we now call "Computer Science".

    Department of Mathematics.
    Department of Biology.
    Department of Computing.

  4. "Game Science" seems like that is from a news story about some degree program studying Nintendo, Playstation and Xbox.

    Perhaps that's a good idea then. More students will be attracted to study the subject.

  5. Maybe it is not broad enough to be called a science. I mean, should we have "Graph Science" too?

  6. Anon,

    Sounds like a good suggestion, but:

    mathematics -> mathematician,

    biology -> biologist,

    computing -> ???

  7. how about department of informatics --> informatician

  8. Computing --> Computer

  9. hello?? clearly it should be the "department of computology" and we should be called "computologists"

  10. Isn't that a religion :p

  11. In both titles "Game Theory" and "Game Science", the term "Game" is a bit misleading:
    - for one I use games to teach/prove computational complexity lower bounds (adversary strategies), and it would be far-fetched to include this in Game Theory (or at least till you get serious and do lower bounds on the complexity of randomized algorithms with the Yao-von Neuman theorem and minimax principle).
    - next, while Game Theory was born out of the study of ludic games and some darwinian processes, it is now applied to all kind of systems, such as auctions mechanisms, complex evolutionary systems (biological or not), or network algorithms, which are ludic only in those studying them ;)
    I suggest the name "Interactions Science" (or "Coevolutions Science", if it did not have such a biological or zoological connotation).
    -> an "Interactions Group", full of "Interactionists"? ;)

    As for Computer Science, it is translated in some other languages by "Informatic" (Informatica, Informatique), as a reference to the automatic processing of large volume of "informations".
    It matches all the subfields of Computer Science that I can think of: an algorithm (resp. machine) lacking input or output is not really an algorithm (resp. machine).
    Informatic -> a "Department of Informatic", full of "Informaticians"?

  12. What about Theory of Competition for Game Theory?

    No pun intended.

  13. Peter Naur, this year's Turing award
    winner, hates the name "Computer Science". He says that it must be called Datalogy. Then computer scientists will be called Datalogists.
    Sounds fine to me....

  14. The words Informatics and Datalogy both seem to emphasize only the study of the data itself. That is CS="it's all bits". This is an important idea but just a piece of what CS is about.

    Algorithmics is David Harel's word and seems at least as good as the above words but also has a bit too narrow a definition in current usage.

    However, it is likely too late now, 40 years after the name of the field entered common usage.

    At least the field's name is better than its organization's name: "Computing Machinery" is somewhat lame as way of describing what we are about. SIGACT changed the meaning of the ACT from "automata and computability theory" to "algorithms and computation theory". Maybe we can do something analogous with ACM.

  15. Maybe we can do something analogous with ACM.

    Association of Computing Morons