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Hookups and Game Theory

Submitted by AnthonyS on April 27, 2010 – 3:45 pmComments

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Photo courtesy M Livengood via Flickr

Photo courtesy M Livengood via Flickr

To say that I’m a huge fan of MTV’s show The Challenge: Fresh Meat II would be to misuse the word “huge,” so I’ll change the ‘h’ to a ‘y,’ throw in all caps and say that I am a YUGE fan of The Challenge.  And not in an ironic way.

Everything you need to know about the way 20-30 year olds work can be found in this show.  You don’t need newspapers, studies, or websites (Except this website.  This one is still essential) to teach you relationship dynamics.  You need only The Challenge.

The concept is this: throw a bunch of guys and girls into an amazing house, provide them with plenty of free time and booze, and force them to compete against each other in ridiculous pseudo-sports for huge cash prizes.  Alcohol, sports, and capitalism!  What could be more American?

The best aspect of the show, however, comes from the inevitable wealth of hookups.  Because the contestants all have confessional personalities, they explain in great detail how they plot their sexual encounters and how hookups relate to their strategy in The Game (the overall competition for money).

And really, nothing could be a more primal and truthful description of the world of relationships: isn’t everything just a game? Predicting how people will react and behave in certain situations is fun, right?  Of course people bounce around from hookup to hookup, relationship to relationship, because to make one steady choice would be to abandon the game.  And no one wants to do that.  How would you win?

What I’m trying to say is that I REALLY want to get on The Challenge. MTV, pick me!

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