A chicken game is a game theory set up that typically decribes two players heading toward each other. If the players continue on the same path, they bump into each other; if one swerves out of the way and other doesn't, the swerve "loses" and is labeled the chicken, while the second, implicitly braver player, wins.

The payoff matrix is as follows:



Swerve Continue Straight
Swerve 0, 0 -1, +1
Continue Straight +1, -1 -2, -2

(This set up implies two players are merely walking towards each other; if they were, say, driving, the Continue Straight/Continue Straight choice would constitute a much higher negative payoff. While these differences in payoffs matter for calculating mixed strategy Nash equilibrium, only order matters for regular Nash equilibrium)


The NE in this scenario are Continue Straight/Swerve and Swerve/Continue Straight.

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