James Bono, David Wolpert

Paper #: 11-08-034

It is known that a player in a noncooperative game can benefit by publicly restricting their possible moves before play begins. We show that, more generally, a player may benefit by publicly committing to pay an external party an amount that is contingent on the game's outcome. We explore what happens when external parties -- who we call “game miners” -- discover this fact and seek to profit from it by entering an outcome-contingent contract with the players. We analyze various bargaining games between miners and players for determining such an outcome-contingent contract. These bargaining games include playing the players against one another, as well as allowing the players to pay the miner(s) for exclusivity and first-mover advantage. We establish restrictions on the strategic settings in which a game miner can profit and bounds on the game miner's profit.