I think that the uncoupling of of the market economy and laissez-faire policies was achieved, or was defined, at any rate, its principle was laid down, when the neo-liberals put forward a theory of pure competition in which competition was not presented as in any way a primitive and natural given, the very source and foundation of society that only had to be allowed to rise to the surface and be discovered as it were. Far from it being this, competition was a structure with formal properties, [and] it was these formal properties of the competitive structure that assured, and could assure, economic regulation through the price mechanism. Consequently, if competition really was this formal structure, both rigorous in its internal structure but fragile in its real, historical existence, then the problem of liberal policy was precisely to develop in fact the concrete and real space in which the formal structure of competition could function. So, it is a matter of a market economy without laissez-faire, that is to say, an active policy without state control. Neo-liberalism should not therefore be identified with laissez-faire, but rather with permanent vigilance, activity, and intervention.
Michel Foucalt, The Birth of Biopolitics pp.131-132
Oh look at that, neoliberalism functions in the exact same way as a game. Funny how that works.