Designing a Serious Game for Eliciting and Measuring Simulated Taxpayer Behavior

March 2014
Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Taxation, Modeling and Simulation, Social Behavior
Tobin Bergen-Hill, The MITRE Corporation
Rob Creekmore, The MITRE Corporation
John Bornmann, The MITRE Corporation
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​Serious games are designed for an ultimate purpose other than pure entertainment. In the case of a business simulation game, the design typically is centered on a "table top exercise" environment where the player is learning successful business practices. The virtual reality based technology and the design methodology described in this paper go well beyond such typical business game design. It introduces more immersive three-dimensional taxpayer behavior elements to the game—an element not usually found in commercially available business simulation games—and also triggers tax-related behaviors and records the resulting behavioral response data in order to test behavioral hypotheses. The virtual reality based serious game design methodology is discussed, including the development team's adaptation of the game to test a specific experimental hypothesis regarding taxpayer behavior. Various techniques and technologies for measuring taxpayer behavior are described, and their effectiveness is evaluated in the context of an experimental test session involving human subjects. Follow-on work and applications of this approach are proposed in the conclusion.

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