Yes, games and the real world are different, so what works in game theory can't directly apply to the real world. But it seems that game designers are good at figuring out the sorts of problems we have in our world now. In fact, economist theories include some of the game controls, to a simpler extent thandescribes in his post.
So dear game designers (and want-to-be game designers), how would you propose fixing the economy?
Reshared post from +Sai
Something curious from my experience with game design (and in particular, my knowledge of how deeply fucked up some of Zynga's economies were and the things done to prevent it): our real world economy has many of the same problems. In particular, they are mostly related to the exponential growth of capital.
I say 'problems' here from a fairly pragmatic POV: in a game, if one player has multiple orders of magnitude more of a currency than another player, there are a bunch of things that just break. E.g. you can't let them have any kind of transaction relationship, because if you do then any other incentives you might want to use become moot. You get hyperinflation and recalibration of expectations that become extremely difficult to control or correct. You are forced into a vicious cycle of further exponential challenge, which is hard to sustain.
There are a few ways to correct for this, in game design.
1. Forbid players to transact except in very limited ways. (This is also necessary because of gambling related issues. E.g. Zynga Poker has a team dedicated to using ML to determine whether accounts are using faked games to effectively transfer chips, to prevent chips from being sold off site, because that would make it a bona fide gambling operation rather than just a game. Which is really really not allowed.)
2. Impose time costs on transactions, to at least slow the possible rate of exponentiation to something vaguely feasible. E.g. this is often done by having a soft turns-per-day limit (unlock 1 turn every x seconds, default to n available) coupled with a buy-more-turns-with-USD mechanic. If you don't do this, any opportunity to gain some percentage of your current capital converts to an opportunity to have infinite cash.
3. Don't give percentage-based rewards at all, only ones from a ~geometric scale tied to the same constant amount of performance. E.g.does this — the amount of stuff you have does not, except to a minor degree, influence how much more stuff you can get. There's a ceiling function, where you are maxed out in advantage; having yet more stockpiled doesn't change things.
4. Have multiple currencies, some of which are more protected than others, phasing out the ones with runaway inflation (either over time for the game, or over playtime for a player).
5. Have absurdly expensive moneysinks that grant virtually no significant benefit except to show off.
Hopefully I don't have to spell out the analogy to real world economy. Though unlike a game, that one's rather a bit more difficult to control.