GAME DESIGN THROUGH THE LENS OF BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS
Game designers effectively design the experiences that players encounter when using a game (or gamified product). This makes the behavior of these players a key area of interest for designers, since understand- ing the responses that certain mechanics are able to elicit in the player is essential to the process. By expanding this understanding, a game designer can wield greater control over the players in question, resulting in an increased ability to design a specific experience. This paper intends to help expand the set of techniques available to the game designers of today. This is done by linking common game mechanics to concepts within the field of behavioral economics and examining why these mechanics are effective from that perspective. By examining these mechanics via the existing research in behavioral economics, game designers can increase their understanding of the root causes behind certain behaviors and gain the benefit of an alternate perspective, potentially illuminating new game mechanics or new ways to use existing ones. The included framework enables designers to begin with the desired goals of a project and then derive a type of mechanic to include based on the behavioral economic concepts tying the goals to the mechanics.