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April 24, 2019
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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 - 02/25/2019 - 10:00]

I published an article here ...

I published an article here on Gamasutra in 2017 detailing how the ESRB is promoting children 's gambling, a position they continue to maintain in 2019: r n r n the ESRB is Promoting Childrens Gambling.php

Comment In: [News - 02/21/2019 - 04:16]

I think rather than denying ...

I think rather than denying or affirming a gaming disorder classification, a positive first step for the ESA and Mr. Pierre-Louis would be to acknowledge that games can cause physiologic effects. And...that they probably don 't know what those are, even though game developers are putting a lot of effort ...

Comment In: [News - 01/10/2019 - 12:08]

I 've written a number ...

I 've written a number of articles on the subject of diversity and inclusion over the last 18 months for Gamasutra. Probably most of my articles in that time are on this subject, because it is increasingly a subject that we as an industry are getting wrong and it 's ...

Comment In: [News - 01/07/2019 - 04:03]

Thank you, I found that ...

Thank you, I found that quite stimulating : Making the game predictable to the developer while giving the illusion of unpredictable for the user is always a very difficult paradox. When the game is essentially single player, this is much easier to solve on the predictable for the developer side, ...

Comment In: [News - 01/02/2019 - 09:54]

I have to agree with ...

I have to agree with everyone but Joel here. If Stardock really wanted to resolve this legally, and they seemed hot to do so, they should have done exactly that and waited for that process to resolve one way or another before going to market.

Comment In: [News - 12/13/2018 - 07:33]

Pay to win business models ...

Pay to win business models undermine the skill based nature of esports. So games that rely on this sort of business model will make poor esports products, regardless of how much money is spent marketing them as such. Thus it becomes very difficult to make a positive return on such ...