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Game semantics (German: dialogische Logik, translated as dialogical logic) is an approach to formal semantics that grounds the concepts of truth or validity on game-theoretic concepts, such as the existence of a winning strategy for a player, somewhat resembling Socratic dialogues or medieval theory of Obligationes.

In the late 1950s Paul Lorenzen was the first to introduce a game semantics for logic, and it was further developed by Kuno Lorenz. At almost the same time as Lorenzen, Jaakko Hintikka developed a model-theoretical approach known in the literature as GTS (game-theoretical semantics). Since then, a number of different game semantics have been studied in logic.

Shahid Rahman (Lille III) and collaborators developed dialogical logic into a general framework for the study of logical and philosophical issues related to logical pluralism. Beginning 1994 this triggered a kind of renaissance with lasting consequences. This new philosophical impulse experienced a parallel renewal in the fields of theoretical computer science, computational linguistics, artificial intelligence, and the formal semantics of programming languages, for instance the work of Johan van Benthem and collaborators in Amsterdam who looked thoroughly at the interface between logic and games, and Hanno Nickau who addressed the full abstraction problem in programming languages by means of games. New results in linear logic by Jean-Yves Girard in the interfaces between mathematical game theory and logic on one hand and argumentation theory and logic on the other hand resulted in the work of many others, including S. Abramsky, J. van Benthem, A. Blass, D. Gabbay, M. Hyland, W. Hodges, R. Jagadeesan, G. Japaridze, E. Krabbe, L. Ong, H. Prakken, G. Sandu, D. Walton, and J. Woods, who placed game semantics at the center of a new concept in logic in which logic is understood as a dynamic instrument of inference. There has also been an alternative perspective on proof theory and meaning theory, advocating that Wittgenstein's "meaning as use" paradigm as understood in the context of proof theory, where the so-called reduction rules (showing the effect of elimination rules on the result of introduction rules) should be seen as appropriate to formalise the explanation of the (immediate) consequences one can draw from a proposition, thus showing the function/purpose/usefulness of its main connective in the calculus of language (de Queiroz (1988), de Queiroz (1991), de Queiroz (1994), de Queiroz (2001), de Queiroz (2008), de Queiroz (2023)).

The simplest application of game semantics is to propositional logic. Each formula of this language is interpreted as a game between two players, known as the "Verifier" and the "Falsifier". The Verifier is given "ownership" of all the disjunctions in the formula, and the Falsifier is likewise given ownership of all the conjunctions. Each move of the game consists of allowing the owner of the principal connective to pick one of its branches; play will then continue in that subformula, with whichever player controls its principal connective making the next move. Play ends when a primitive proposition has been so chosen by the two players; at this point the Verifier is deemed the winner if the resulting proposition is true, and the Falsifier is deemed the winner if it is false. The original formula will be considered true precisely when the Verifier has a winning strategy, while it will be false whenever the Falsifier has the winning strategy.

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