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The goal of social science research is to discover fundamental features of human behavior. One of the best environments to accomplish this task are "games." Scientific behavioral experiments are a particular type of games, where the players' preferences are revealed through strategic interactions. "Gamification" -- the general technique of applying behavioral economics insights to understand any type of problems through games -- is increasingly been used in corporate business. This talk introduces the open-source project nodeGame (nodegame.org), a framework in Node.js to create and manage real-time and discrete-time synchronous behavioral experiments.
The basic API for creating and running behavioral experiments in a stand-alone server or on the cloud is presented, and techniques to recruit participants from the Amazon Mechanical Turk labor market and other sources such as Volunteer Science are discussed. The talks also peeks into the world of academia, showing how the availability of data and new quantitative methodologies has changed the way social scientists do research. Their current and future needs for better, more reliable software, simple APIs, and down-to-Earth documentations are discussed.