Economic Analysis of Business Practice
The game the Joker thought he had orchestrated paid off as follows: Prisoners: Detonate Don'tCivilians: Detonate 0, 0 1, 0 Don't 0, 1 0, 0 Unfortunately for the Joker, he underestimated the compassion of each group and didn't realize that living as murderers was a worse payoff than not living at all, and the game changed to: Prisoners: Detonate Don'tCivilians: Detonate 0, 0 1, 2 Don't 2, 1 2, 2 So if the Joker knew that all the participants in the game preferred being moral to living, he could have predicted that neither would blow up the other ship.
I agree with Tom. If you construct it as a traditional game of chicken, first mover advantage would lead one of the groups to trigger the detonator. I think what changes the calculation is that it's not just a choice of live or die as a group. A single individual has to pull the trigger, so it's a choice to live or murder a ferry full of people, which changes the payoffs.