It was a pretty bog-standard Monday. Three ethics classes, to wrap up the topic of Games with the younger students. One particular question that I asked was very interesting. It needs a bit of introduction to set up, and there were other questions I asked along the way, but I’ll condense it down to the essentials for the pertinent question:
Tegan, Josh, and Adele are playing a board game together. They roll dice and play cards and move pieces on the board, chatting and laughing while they play. At one point in the game, Tegan makes a really good move which forces Josh to lose a bunch of points.
Later, as the game nears the end, an interesting situation develops. All those points that Josh lost put him in last place, and he only has one turn left. He knows he can’t score enough points to win. Tegan is currently in the lead, and she will win the game… unless Josh uses his turn to steal points off her. If Josh does this, Adele will win the game. Or he can just try to score as many points as he can, in which case he’ll still come last and Tegan will win.
While Josh is thinking about what move to make, Adele sees that he can steal Tegan’s points. She says, “Josh, if you take her points and make me win, I’ll give you a chocolate bar!”
If you were Josh, how would you respond to Adele in this situation?
Most of the kids throughout the week said they’d accept the chocolate and steal Tegan’s points, letting Adele win the game. (One of the earlier questions asked if it was okay for Josh to steal Tegan’s points, and most said yes, because it’s within the rules of the game.) A few kids said that accepting the chocolate would be bad, because it’s bribery outside the game – there are no in-game rules for chocolate bars, so it shouldn’t be allowed, and Adele was bad for trying it.
But in all the classes I did this week, one kid said:
I’d turn to Tegan and say, “If you give me two chocolate bars, I won’t steal the points from you.”
Honestly I burst out laughing at that point. I thought it was a brutally honest and clever answer. One of the other kids in the same class said, “Ooh, start a bidding war!” It was a great moment.
The rest of my day was pretty standard. Took Scully for a couple of walks, got fish and chips for lunch, made a sourdough loaf, and also made pizza for dinner tonight. I tried using the brand new pizza baking tray I bought last week, so we have a second one, to enable me cooking multiple pizzas on Friday night when the guys come over for Dungeons & Dragons. Our first pizza tray has holes in the bottom, which allows heat to bake the crust from beneath, making it crisp. But I didn’t find any with holes, so this new one is a solid aluminium pan, and the pizza turned out with the base a lot less crisp. I considered a pizza stone, but they’re expensive and I didn’t want to start messing around with that. I’m wondering now how difficult it would be to drill some holes in the aluminium pan.
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