The Role of Spontaneous Order and Choice in Video Games: A Case Study of Destiny
33 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2017
Date Written: April 1, 2016
Complex and uniquely human spontaneous orders are central to the Austrian understanding of the market process and price system. Yet, these spontaneous orders are often difficult to study with traditional empirical methods. Since virtual worlds serve as extensions of our own world, video games offer alternative methods to empirically study spontaneous order. To that end, this paper presents a case study analyzing the role of spontaneous (or emergent) order and choice in facilitating enhanced value for players. Through exploring the wide applications of choice within different aspects of Destiny, I provide evidence of the benefits of decentralized decision-making within virtual worlds, as well as some of the problems associated with the lack of choice. Given the theoretically limitless number of game elements from which to draw, this analysis utilizes the most basic and highly representative examples from the Destiny universe to showcase the phenomenon of spontaneous order.
Keywords: Spontaneous order, emergent order, Destiny, video games, Austrian economics
JEL Classification: B53, P49, Z10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation