Game Design Theory
Well there isn't to my knowledge, but there totally should be. Anyway, game theory attempts to phrase all mutually complex interactions with formal mathematical descriptions... Whereas game design theory formally defines various games that one could design, with the end goal being to create the most attractive and compelling games to a perfectly rational participant. Humans are rarely rational creatures so the proper effects of this can usually only be seen on very large (i.e. planetary) scales.
Language is a good example of good game design theory winning out. Religion was another. Government yet another. The best languages and religions that we invented as a growing species were ones that followed certain patterns and had certain qualities. These grew organically as their development was too complex for a single human to author. Note that I didn't say any of these 'game systems' were perfect, just good enough that they provided the average participant a benefit that organisms outside the game did not have... Which was enough to ensure the games' continued existence and success on the meta-civilization scale.
Though there were many languages, Latin based systems won out (amid other possibilities) due to certain egalitarian qualities at their base layer, allowing the average player to enjoy a huge number of benefits, even when interacting with someone much already fluent.
Consider religion too - though many consider it a great evil of our society, and though true that many horrors have been committed in the name of religion, it was an important social glue for civilization for many aeons. The best religions were the ones which allowed anyone to achieve a high degree of divinity and were easily accessible. They were games that fed off certain human needs, and they provided their players with not only innate perks of playing ("hey, no more worrying about what happens after death! it's actually gonna be okay... if you play our game!") but also they gave all players an equal platform and new type of language on which to exchange power, value, and affection.
I leave it to the reader's imagination how the most effective and viral forms of government were also the best designed 'games".
"Is this off topic?"
"No, go fork yourself. You're off topic".
Welcome to the new world of
Blockchains as a game
They, like many marvelous new systems before them, are indeed abstract games. And they were designed with certain principles at their core. Let us call a game that gives an author a massive disproportionate advantage not just an asymmetrical game but an asymptotic one. Such games correspond to early religions where one player was deemed the God Emperor and had powers and privileges that no other player could ever possess, no matter how hard they worked.
Friends Don't Let Friends Play Bad Games
The entire idea of an ICO is antithetical to the idea of a well designed game. It immediately creates a line of insiders and outsiders (power players vs. normals) and decimates the value proposition of a new blockchain.
By people like Vitalik being a known entity which arbitrates and influences token assignment (which literally already happened after the DAO fiasco) and holds a titanic amount of value he spawned himself with (meaning he just started the game that way and didn't earn it fairly in equal competition with other players) it means Ethereum is a shitty designed game - the religious equivalent of ancient Egyptian theocracy.
Monero on the other hand has done quite the opposite - allowed all players an equal chance to accrue tokens alongside the ongoing authors of the system. No sole player is a God-master of this game system. Monero is the most technically sophisticated blockchain on this planet. And it is also an elegant and fair one from a game design theory standpoint.