Project Details

Applied Game Design for Non-Entertainment Systems

In the last couple of years, we have seen a rapid explosion of mass-market consumer software that takes deep inspiration from video games, especially from game design. This phenomenon has been called “gamification” and this game design trend connects existing concepts and research in human-computer interaction, psychology, and game studies, especially serious games, pervasive games, alternate reality games, and playful design. Using game design elements, such as reward or punishment systems, in non-game contexts to motivate user activity has rapidly gained traction in interaction design. This has spawned an intense debate within the professional game development community as well as the development of numerous “gamified” applications – ranging from productivity to finance, health, sustainability, news, user-generated content (UGC), and tutorials. Our goal in this research is to identify what game design elements are especially suitable to motivate behaviour in what areas of non-entertainment products.



Lennart Nacke
Director of the HCI Games Group


Marim Ganaba
Master's Student
Melissa Stocco
Undergraduate Student
Dominic Elm
Master's Student
Rina Wehbe
Ph.D. Student, EEG Analysis of Gameplay Comprehension, Registered Expert on Fancy Biology Stuff
Gustavo Fortes Tondello
Ph.D. Student in Personalized Health Gamification
Dennis Kappen
Ph.D. Student, Game Design and User Interaction for Older Adults, Mystically Adept People-Person, and Lover of Orange and Blue Logos
Alberto Mora
Ph.D. Student
Elisa Mekler
Post Doctoral Fellow


Year 2017

Applying Gameful Design Heuristics

Gustavo F. Tondello and Lennart E. Nacke. 2017. Applying Gameful Design Heuristics. In Proceeding of the 2017 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI 2017. Denver, CO, USA. ACM. doi:10.1145/3027063.3027116

Year 2016

Design Strategies for Gamified Physical Activity Applications for Older Adults

Dennis L. Kappen, Lennart E. Nacke, Kathrin M. Gerling, and Lia E. Tsotsos. 2016. Design Strategies for Gamified Physical Activity Applications for Older Adults. In Proceedings of the 49th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. IEEE, 1309-1318. doi:10.1109/HICSS.2016.166

The Gamification User Types Hexad Scale

Gustavo F. Tondello, Rina R. Wehbe, Lisa Diamond, Marc Busch, Andrzej Marczewski, and Lennart E. Nacke. 2016. The Gamification User Types Hexad Scale. In Proceedings of the 2016 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play - CHI PLAY '16. Austin, TX, USA. ACM. doi:10.1145/2967934.2968082