Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Game Theory and Bros Icing Bros

The rules for bros icing bros are simple. Suppose two players bro 1 and bro 2

If bro 1 hands bro 2 a Smirnoff Ice bro 2 has been iced and must get on one knee and chug the bottle.Unless bro 2 also has a Smirnoff Ice on his person in which case bro 1 must drink both Smirnoff ices.If bro 2 refuses to drink when he has been iced then he is banned from future play.

First, many of you may ask why would anyone do this. It looks like the hilarity comes from making your bros drink a terrible tasting beverage. There also might be a macho element, since Smirnoff ice is considered a "girly" drink.

Bros icing bros can be modeled as a repeated game. I think three solutions are likely.

Solution #1) bro 2 refuses the first ice and the game ends
solution #2) bro 1 and bro 2 always carry a Smirnoff ice on them at all times and no one is iced
Solution #3) no one ices anyone

Bros icing bros reminds me of a recent paper on the economics of dueling by Kingston and Wright (link). In short then found that dueling may have been used to maintain honor. They argue when credit depended on honor in the 19th century it may have made sense to duel, since those refusing to defend their honor would have lost their livelihood.

Will a paper some day prove bros icing bros incentive-compatible?

I doubt it...

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Heller said...

Awesome. We definitely need more scholarship on this topic.

Aaron said...

Technically your description of scenario two is wrong... Bro 1 would have to chug both ices. So there's a disincentive to initiate an icing.

Looking at it another way, there's an incentive to always carry at least one ice on your person at all times. Which means this is probably a game concocted by Smirnoff.