It is the shortcomings of game theory (as originally formulated) which force the consideration of the role of ethics, of the dynamics of social structure, and of social structure and of individual psychology in situations of conflict.
Whether sociology can ever become a full-fledged "science" (a description of a class of events predictable on the basis of deductions from a constant ra~onale) depends on whether the terms which sociologists employ to describe events can be analyzed into quantifiable observables.
Whether game theory leads to clear-cut solutions, to vague solutions, or to impasses, it does achieve one thing. In bringing techniques of logical and mathematical analysis gives men an opportunity to bring conflicts up from the level of fights, where the intellect is beclouded by passions, to the level of games, where the intellect has a chance to operate.
The usefulness of the models in constructing a testable theory of the process is severely limited by the quickly increasing number of parameters which must be estimated in order to compare the predictions of the models with empirical results.
The purpose of formulating [a] conflict as a game is not that of resolving the conflict by 'solving the game.' It is that of displaying the structure of the conflict and thereby exposing features of it that may be concealed by rhetoric. In particular, appreciation of the peculiar structure of some of the so-called mixed-motive conflicts represented nonzero-sum games may change the conflicting parties' perception of their situation.
In the US. Infantry Manual published during World War II, the soldier was told what to do if a live grenade fell into the trench where he and others were sitting: to wrap himself around the grenade so as to at least save the others. (If no one "volunteered," all would be killed, and there were only a few seconds to decide who would be the hero.
One cannot play chess if one becomes aware of the pieces as living souls and of the fact that the Whites and the Blacks have more in common with each other than with the players. Suddenly one loses all interest in who will be champion.