Department of Telecommunications
iknowles 'at' indiana 'dot' edu
I am a virtual economist and gamer-behavior researcher. My academic and professional background is in economics and data analysis, and I have been working in this area since 2006.
My current research focuses on how video game companies compete with one another by setting in-game “wages” for their players. These are the wages players get from beating monsters or completing challenges. The players then use the awarded points, currency, or other resources in order to obtain items and services inside the game, which can enhance the play experience and make some challenges easier. My hypothesis is that, all other things equal, players are more likely to flock to games with higher wages. But with higher wages, players can push through content faster, therefore finishing a game more quickly, which may lower a player’s lifetime value to a game company. It may also feed back into game publishers’ calculi regarding the quality and quantity of games they supply. That feedback is precisely what I would like to measure.
Methodologically, my expertise lies in using econometrics – and increasingly machine learning and data mining – on large data sets, including “big data”. I am also learning to combine experimentation (i.e. A/B testing) with large data sets to identify important factors for segmenting player populations.
If you have questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch with me via my email at the top of the page!