2. The Different Forms of Scarcity
The concept of Scarcity is found in many different fields, such as economics and game theory. And the two most prevalent forms of the concept of scarcity in game theory are:
Imperfect but Complete information & Perfect but Incomplete information.
The first concept, Imperfect but Complete information, is the most common experience that we all have with scarcity in games. Examples are card games like Poker, or strategy games like Chess or PC games like Blizzards StarCraft. In all these games, either all the pieces are visible to both players or both players are fully aware of what the other person could have. Chess we can see all the pieces, in Poker or StarCraft we know that there are 52 cards or that there are only so many units to choose from. But what we don’t know in any of these games is how the opponent will choose to play, what permutation will be chosen and what their intentions are.
The second, Perfect but Incomplete information, is the least common of the two, in fact, it is uncommon, even rare maybe. Imagine the finals of a game of chess or perhaps the finals in a StarCraft game. We’re somewhere in the middle of the game, both players know everything about the board or map. They’ve scouted, prodded, probed and recognized what the other is trying or about to do. However only one of the two players know of an event in the future, that may only affect them, and may not even affect the victory condition for the other player. But it will affect how they play the game and what their outcome will be. Perhaps they made a side bet that they would win the game only using the bishop or only using a Protoss Zealot.
Games with incomplete information are uncommon but it is useful to be aware of the concept because it does remind us of personal goal setting and different forms of motivation.