Bruce Bueno de Mesquita may have achieved what some game theorists (I am not one of them) view as the ultimate goal of game theory: predict outcomes of `real life’ strategic situations using an algorithm that is based on game theoretic modeling. Using his model, Mesquita can tell you, or the CIA, whether Iran will build a nuclear bomb. The input to Mesquita’s algorithm is a couple of numerical values that represent the leverage and preferences of the `players’ (In Iran’s bomb case — the people who influence Iran’s nuclear policy). According to this New Scientist article, Mesquita made thousands of predictions using his model and has been more than 90% accurate.
Don’t get too excited though. Even if you buy the 90% accuracy assertion, it does not necessarily prove the validity of the model per se
According to political scientist Nolan McCarty of Princeton University, … [the input that Mesquita feeds into his model] is the real strength of the approach. “I suspect the model’s success is largely due to the fact that Bueno de Mesquita is very good on the input side; he’s a very knowledgeable person and a widely respected political scientist. I’m sceptical that the modelling apparatus adds as much predictive power as he says it does.”