alanj: (Default)
I've been playing Mass Effect, a science fiction RPG set in the far future. Despite the presence of FTL travel, strong AI, antigravity, and all sorts of other technological marvels, apparently basic math skills have not improved from the present day.

There is exactly one casino in the world of Mass Effect. That casino offers exactly one game. That game has a 19.88% player edge following a very simple basic strategy. I spent five minutes with a spreadsheet to figure this out.

Despite this, the casino is apparently raking in huge profits with this game, and the players haven't figured out how to beat it. One sidequest involves an alien who has spent the last five years studying strategies for the game, and after all that, has resorted to inventing a cheating device to win at it.

Maybe he should have asked one of the AIs. Sheesh.

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alanj

February 2013

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