Measuring economic parameters of games
By Piotr Kowzan
Players need to recognize and follow each game’s rules in order to participate (Squire, 2006). Such rules are part of the game mechanics which, while abstract, act like a hidden curriculum (Crocco, 2011; Mhamdi, 2018). In order to recognize it within a given game-world, it is possible to evaluate what financial education it serves. To what socio-economic order does it tame players? Games can be analyzed in the same way as financial education programs (Huston, 2010). That is because of: 1) their inbuilt concept of money (i.e., medium of exchange & store of value in time); 2) borrowing conditions (i.e., bringing future resources into the present); 3) investing (i.e. ways of saving resources for future use) and protecting resources (e.g. available risk management techniques). These dimensions can serve as measurement thresholds, or each can be rated according to its complexity. The assessment may also indicate the relationship of individual games with the concepts of heterodox economics. Diverse economies of games may expand economic imagination of players and help them developing systems literacy (Zimmerman 2009).