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Is there any (theoretical?) work on "gamification" in game theory?

I do not have a proper definition of gamification, but StackExchange would be an example. Contributers like us provide a costly service without monetary compensation, but in exchange for fictional reputation points or badges that do not mean much -- other than it being fun to obtain them. I certainly would not post anything without the "game aspect" implying a certain non-monetary payoff that can be designed. Moreover, it is different than other non-monetary services like organizing workshops or refereeing, which at least have real-life consequences for my professional reputation.

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  • $\begingroup$ I am not an expert on game theory but just putting game theory and gamification as key words in google scholar yields a lot of results many of them containing theoretical models. Are you looking for something specific? $\endgroup$ – 1muflon1 Nov 19 '20 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ I would be happy about any approach. I did not see anything in (theoretical) economics journals about that. $\endgroup$ – Bayesian Nov 19 '20 at 16:31
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    $\begingroup$ For example, this was one of the top searches: dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/… - it even mentions stack overflow $\endgroup$ – 1muflon1 Nov 19 '20 at 16:33
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It seems that there is already some prior work on theory of gamification from game theory perspective. For example, Easley & Ghosh (2016), provide theory on optimal badge design even explicitly mentioning sites like StackOverflow and their paper seems to be highly cited. Hamari, Huotari & Tolvanen (2015) have article titled "Gamification and economics" which offers a survey of uses of gamification in various economic concepts. The paper itself does not seem to offer any novel models but it offers a literature review with a chapter specifically focusing on game theory.

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    $\begingroup$ (+1) Thx, Arpita Ghosh indeed seems to have a bunch of relevant papers on the subject, like the JET with Patrick Hummel or papers with Preston McAfee (who always writes great stuff)! Let me leave the question open for a while as other may also want to chip in. I can accept your answer later. $\endgroup$ – Bayesian Nov 19 '20 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Bayesian glad that I could be of help, also of course please keep it open I am not expert on this issue hopefully someone can hook you up with even better sources $\endgroup$ – 1muflon1 Nov 19 '20 at 17:19

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