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Cooperating in Video Games? Impossible! Undecidability of Team Multiplayer Games

Authors Michael J. Coulombe, Jayson Lynch

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Author Details

Michael J. Coulombe
  • MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Jayson Lynch
  • MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

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Michael J. Coulombe and Jayson Lynch. Cooperating in Video Games? Impossible! Undecidability of Team Multiplayer Games. In 9th International Conference on Fun with Algorithms (FUN 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 100, pp. 14:1-14:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)


We show the undecidability of whether a team has a forced win in a number of well known video games including: Team Fortress 2, Super Smash Brothers: Brawl, and Mario Kart.To do so, we give a simplification of the Team Computation Game [Hearn and Demaine, 2009] and use that to give an undecidable abstract game on graphs. This graph game framework better captures the geometry and common constraints in many games and is thus a powerful tool for showing their computational complexity.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Problems, reductions and completeness
  • computational complexity
  • undecidable
  • team games
  • imperfect information


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