Win-win game

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"Win win" redirects here. For other uses, see Win win (disambiguation).

A win-win game is a game which is designed in a way that all participants can profit from it in one way or the other. In conflict resolution, a win-win strategy is a conflict resolution process that aims to accommodate all disputants.[1][2][3]


  • In colloquial speech, a win-win situation often refers to situation where one benefits, not necessarily through someone else's loss.
  • In the context of group-dynamic games, win-win games are also called "cooperative games", "new games" or "games without losers".
  • Mathematical game theory also refers to win-win games as non-zero-sum games (although they may include situations where both players win or lose, as well).
  • The TKI Thomas/Kilmann Conflict Profile provides a model that reveals preferences under stress and pressure. Collaboration style focuses on win-win outcomes.

Group dynamics[edit]

Group-dynamics win-win games have been increasingly popular since the end of the Vietnam war and have been successfully applied to all levels of society.

Group-dynamics win-win games emphasize the importance of cooperation, fun, sharing, caring and over-all group success in contrast to domination, egoistic behavior and personal gain. All players are treated as equally important and valuable. Win-win games often also carry an ethical message of caring for the environment and a holistic approach to life and society. Win-win games are a powerful tool to give people self-confidence and a "we" experience, especially when they have suffered from emotional isolation.

An example would be a game where all players try to carry a huge "earth ball" (a ball several meters in diameter) over their heads while negotiating an obstacle course. This is a typical example of a win-win game for several reasons:

  • there are no losers (everyone enjoys the accomplished task).
  • all players are involved (no-one is left out or sits out).
  • the game is psychologically working on many levels (communication, supporting each other, having fun in a group etc.)

Note that there are also mathematical win-win games; the mathematical term being non-zero-sum games. Such games are often simply represented by a matrix of payouts.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Win-Win Negotiation". Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "What Is Win-Win Negotiation?". Retrieved 26 June 2012.  by Steve Roberts
  3. ^ "Win-Win Strategies: Case Studies" (PDF). Retrieved 26 June 2012.