October 5, 2006 12:34 PM

X-Lab ... Free Money? Or Vicious Amazon Jungle?

I am taking away from my precious midterm study time to write this little blog entry. I am too kind. Anyway what I wanted to talk about is the X-lab. It stands for Experimental Social Science Laboratory and it's located in F310 in Haas. What you do is sign up for a couple appointments and then you go in and you do these social experiments and then you get paid at the end (by check, irritatingly). Sounds good right? Wrong! The X-lab is in reality a simulation of the world, a eat or be eaten mentality that pits you against the smartest (and poorest) Berkeley students on campus in a dangerous and high stakes game of chance and probability. Only the luckiest survive!

Seriously though, it's a good way to make a couple bucks. You get at least 5 dollars for your trouble - if you really really suck at probability games and are really unlucky. Unfortunately it seems like you need to have a little knowledge of game theory before you start making the big bucks ($20!). Today's x-lab was a little thing about "Would you rather have someone in your group get 2 dollars and you 9? Or would you rather it be 6 both?" I told this to my roommate and he started spouting some nerd talk about Nash Equilibrium. DIdn't Nash win MVP last year? Or is he talking about Russell Crowe?

Try X-Lab. I'm serious, it's really fun. You get paid for playing a game (it's almost like being a professional game athlete) and you get to help other researchers at Haas. I feel like I'm helping the world over, and that feeling is classic.


Jonathan Yu | Permalink | Comment on this article | Comments (0)

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