>But I've been thinking about it and the biggest factors to jewish success seem to be their ability to eschew game theory limitations that others have to adhere to
True, that's why they always promote universalist ideas that are meant to reduce everyone else to the lowest common denominator and limit their options regarding what's legal or socially acceptable to a minimum, while always exempting themselves from such systems, using their vast networks of influence and a pyramid of power to enforce such exemptions and double standards.
Another key of their power is the principle of division (Divide and conquer), where they seek to atomize groups and individuals as much as possible (First they destroyed the Aryan model of the Empire, then the nation-state, then the extended tribe (biological or ideological), and ultimately the family/camaraderie, so only individuals in constant ruthless competition with other individuals remain). Meanwhile, they maintain tight ingroup cohesion and absolute ingroup preference, which naturally gives them tremendous advantage over any individual.
>Of course this was only successful due to a superior substrate that could "elevate" them
Their whole religion is about having friends in the high places. Judaism (especially the Talmud) is a dream of a perfect mafia.
>it gets to the heart of game theory, where there are mathematical models that back up the advantages of their behavior
They have found a way to integrate those who act according to the game theory to be aligned with Jewish interests. That's the meaning of the Masonic pyramid with the Jewish god (indivisible principle) at the top, ruling over the divided. The house always wins. Sometimes, the only winning move is not to play. Rather, an entirely different "game" is required.
Regardless, all those models are applicable to viruses as much as to humans, while a self-aware man is supposed to be something greater than that. Which brings us to the conflict of essential principles, and the war that Jews have been waging against the self-aware man and higher consciousness (qualia) since their inception. The Jew, despite his profane efficiency and great cunning, is effectively mindless, or rather, lacking of an individual Self. A pure product of quanta. If all your actions are strictly conditioned by a behavioral script, where then, are (you)? We need an enhanced version of the Turing test for people too.
>It's just completely bizarre behavior, and any sort of normal explanation, like you hint at, seems almost insufficient
Such behavior would eventually make them go extinct. There are countless nations that behave (or have behaved) like Jews for the most part, and they have never achieved anything even close. It cannot be attributed to the lower intelligence or circumstantial factors either. Something else is missing ...
Even if we go by purely atheist, materialistic criteria, an external "intervention" is still plausible.