"in a zero sum game"

Posted by R. Berg on May 14, 2003

In Reply to: "In a zero sum game"? posted by Nina Xu on May 14, 2003

: When I was reading a news report,this phrase confused me very much.It reads,"Thanks to these inexpensive and highly adaptable tools, two important social interests -- the protection of children and the preservation of First Amendment rights -- need no longer be viewed as opponents in a zero sum game."
: Could anyone tell me what this phrase means?

A zero-sum game is a game in which if one player gains points, the other player necessarily loses the same number of points. The sum of their scores is zero. This idea has been applied to problems in the real world. For instance, when the amount of some resource can't change and there isn't enough to go around, trying to get some of it is a zero-sum game. Everyone who wants it must compete with everyone else.