Segments in this Video

The Game Begins (04:16)


Six pairs of people, all total strangers, are sent to Manhattan, NY, to find others who are also looking for them. Yale professor, Barry Nalebuff describes how the science of strategy can be used to predict how people will behave in various situations.

Looking for Common Ground (03:36)

Instinctively, all players begin trying to imagine what the other participants will do in order to determine where to go. Each group considers common meeting places in New York City and begin making their way to these places.

Early Search Strategies (02:51)

Game theory participants search New York City in common meeting places and contemplate various strategies for finding the other participants, including making announcements and posting signs.

Influencing Behavior: Credible Threat (05:10)

A group of people share a common problem: a life-long struggle with their weight. All participants agree to have their pictures taken in tiny bathing suits and if they don't lose 15 pounds in two months, their pictures will be shown on television.

Influencing Behavior: Commitment Device (02:42)

Yale professor, Barry Nalebuff, helps design an experiment which uses shame and humiliation to motivate five people to lose weight. Each person must lose 15 pounds in two months or their pictures in tiny bathing suits will be revealed.

Two Major Locations (03:52)

Less than three hours after starting their searches, three teams manage to get withing blocks of each other at Times Square while the other three teams head for the Empire State Building.

Influencing Behavior: Video Diaries (03:03)

Participants struggle to lose weight, motivated by the threat of exposing pictures of themselves in bathing suits. Visual diaries record their daily struggles to diet and exercise.

First Teams to Locate One Another (02:49)

Two pairs of strangers find each other at the Empire State Building using signs to identify each other.

The Game Ends: Strangers Find Each Other (04:30)

A third team finds the group at the Empire State Building and three other teams find each other at Times Square. All six pairs of strangers found each other in a matter of hours using the science of strategy known as game theory.

Influencing Behavior: Final Weigh-In (05:35)

Volunteers threatened with shame and humiliation reveal a collective weight loss of 104 pounds after two months of diet and exercise. Sharing one's weight loss goals with others aids in the motivation to accomplish this goal.

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Game Theory: Lost in New York

DVD Price: $149.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $224.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $149.95



What if twelve strangers were deposited in separate locations all over New York City and ordered to find each other—without being told where to look? This ABC News program presents an intriguing psychological puzzle involving participants who must join up—somehow, somewhere—in a city of eight million people. Incorporating principles from the mathematical discipline known as game theory, the program shows how envisioning the plans and intentions of others, even when utilizing the scantiest of evidence and the most basic of inferences, can produce a viable strategy. Commentary from Yale management professor and renowned game theory expert Barry Nalebuff is featured. (41 minutes)

Length: 41 minutes

Item#: BVL36260

ISBN: 978-1-4213-5755-3

Copyright date: ©2006

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.