Rational Games, Inc is a consulting, training and service organization dedicated to the philosophy that conflict can be better managed and resolved, and negotiations more successfully conducted, if the engaged parties can learn to move beyond both positions and interests, and create a truly open conversation with one another, one that addresses identity and commitments of each party at a deeper level.
Conflict management (and negotiation) is definitely not a game. Very often serious interests and identity concerns are at stake, especially when the powerless must hold their own against those who have the upper hand. We take human needs and vulnerabilities very seriously, and our approach to negotiation seeks first of all to do that justice.
At the same time, negotiations (and conflict) should always have their lighter side a well. As game theory has taught us, virtually all human interactions can be understood (modelled) as a game: human beings acting out roles in concert or in contest with one another. As participants "play" with one another in this fashion, negotiating rules as they go, creative potential can be unleashed, And these games are "rational" if we can make sense of why people behave in them as they do.
But not all games have to be strategic, and not all rational thinking transpires the way that game theory assumes. We think rationality is a much larger and "messier" concept than commonly supposed. And we think it is best observed in games that are more than merely strategic: we aim to help negotiators and mediators engage in rational communicative games.
What we have learned: