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April 19, 2018
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Ramin Shokrizade's Blog   Expert Blogs


I have been passionate about studying, designing, and writing about game economies since 2000. I have a prior background in team sports, exercise physiology, neuroscience, drug addiction (both research and clinical work), and was a UCLA and Olympic trainer when my team set several world records in 1988. 

In my papers I tackle some of the more uncomfortable subjects in our industry. For this reason I was asked to advise the international regulatory body for media (the ICPEN) in Panama in 2013 during the first round of regulatory debate. This responsibility had a profound effect on my writing as I see this as a necessary, albeit perilous professionally, niche. 

Since 2014 I have been focusing my research on the development of game physiology methodology, and merging that with my previous work in game economics to create game neuroeconomics. The techniques I have developed are both powerful and (again) controversial as I seek to meet consumer needs directly instead of through trial and error.To allow me to continue writing on controversial subjects that are in the interest of the gaming industry, and to permit me to continue my private research, I tend to assist the industry as a confidential consultant. This allows me to assist some of the world's largest and most prestigious gaming companies while maintaining a firewall that protects both our interests. 

I am grateful that since 2012 the editorial staff at Gamasutra has continued to allow me to post my articles here, especially as I increasingly address issues that go beyond strict gaming applications.

For more information about me, please check my LinkedIn profile ( 

A complete list of my less recent (2010-2012) papers is here:

I also have various podcasts floating around with NPR and Josh Bycer's Game Wisdom that can be found with a Google search if you want to hear me go into more depth on various topics.



Expert Blogs

There seems to be a lot of confusion over what a game economy is, and what a game economist does. To help reduce confusion, Ramin Shokrizade creates some definitions as to what game economics is and isn't.

Posted by Ramin Shokrizade on Thu, 25 Jan 2018 10:36:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Design, Production, Serious
Ramin identifies the two core consumer needs in IM, and suggests that by meeting those needs directly we can improve product success and consumer health. He also shows us how. Part two of a two part series.

Understanding how games and other media affect consumers on a biological level can lead to major breakthroughs in commercial success and public health. Part 1 of a 2 part series.

Ramin Shokrizade recently suggested that the technology exists to make our F2P games more consumer friendly. Here he reveals some of the methods he has created and urges developers to consider adopting them as an alternative to existing methods.

Posted by Ramin Shokrizade on Mon, 04 Dec 2017 10:05:00 EST in
It's getting real over at EA with regards to consumer and regulator push back against their business models. Here Ramin Shokrizade uses Star Wars themed analogies to describe how this is a market shock, and how it will affect the entire industry.

Posted by Ramin Shokrizade on Mon, 06 Nov 2017 10:41:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Production, Serious
Recent Google and Carnegie Mellon University statistical studies have shown us what kinds of teams and employees are most successful, but statistics don't explain "why", which we need to build the teams they describe. For this we can look to neuroscience.

Ramin Shokrizade's Comments

Comment In: [News - 04/13/2018 - 06:05]

While not gender specific, these ...

While not gender specific, these sorts of gamer threats against Korean developers have been met with developers caving in immediately for a very long time. When I was on the dev team for Shattered Galaxy Nexon, 2001 the game was going very well until a hack was developed/deployed in Korea ...

Comment In: [News - 04/03/2018 - 07:31]

Exactly Terry. If you create ...

Exactly Terry. If you create a game with power progression, but no social progression, you are promoting conflict. I keep reading articles here where Jeff Kaplan talks about player toxicity in his game. Using brute force techniques The Blizzard approach since 2004 to deal with a problem you don t ...

Comment In: [News - 03/20/2018 - 08:58]

Okay I am mostly in ...

Okay I am mostly in agreement with both of you, but Bradley I would say that our games have not become more realistic. Photorealism is not realism. We have become very good at modeling power progression in games. What we have not advanced significantly in and I would suggest we ...

Comment In: [Blog - 03/16/2018 - 08:19]

This was something that concerned ...

This was something that concerned me also, that we are as designers not that good at creating games that promote social interaction that we ourselves are not that good at. The result is that our games do a poor job of promoting social interaction, and when we do it is ...

Comment In: [News - 03/08/2018 - 06:23]

I think this meeting was ...

I think this meeting was very premature. Based on who was invited, the intent seemed to be what do we do about this problem not is there a problem . Without agreement on if there is a problem, attendees will have no mandate to do anything other than to say ...

Comment In: [News - 03/08/2018 - 11:04]

@Jakub: I was waiting for ...

@Jakub: I was waiting for someone to make the real point here, and you did. Looking at if games induce one behavior or another is a red herring. What games are good for, and will get much better at over time, is accelerating learning. I went into great detail as ...