GeekNights presented three lectures at PAX East 2011, among them "Game Mechanics and Mechanism Design." Here, Rym and Scott introduce the audience to the bare basics of Game Theory so as to be able to explain how important a field of study called "Mechanism Design" should be (but isn't) to gaming and game design.
In short summary, "Mechanism Design" is the study of games from an interested perspective. That is to say, that the game designer has a vested interest in the play and outcome of the game. In many ways, games are mind control. It is in the best interest of game players and game designers to understand how this works and what effects it can have.