Challenge: In recent years, exploring space has become a trending topic again. Various private organizations such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, or Virgin Galactic and government organizations from the USA, China, India, Europe, or Russia compete for supremacy in space. Besides the exploration of new dimensions, this trend paths the way for innovations that will also change our life on earth. For example, an increasing number of satellites orbiting our earth, offer new possibilities for earth observation and high-speed internet anywhere on earth. This offers new challenges and opportunities, which can be tackled with approaches from game design and gamification. Thus, the task of this semester’s course on Designing Gamified Systems was to:

Design an innovative game or gamification approach in which gaming, space technology and mobility meets in order to either A) improving life on earth or B) improving life in space.

Date: Winter semester 2021

Lecture: Designing Gamified Systems



Team: Heschu Qarani, Jonathan Stief, Sherwet GalalCem KaratasanGerrit Sußner


The interest in space is constantly increasing: From space agencies planning longer projects, such as NASAs’ Artemis mission, to private companies such as SpaceX planning to put humans on Mars. Overall, the private sector of space tourism is projected to reach a total of US$1.7 Billion by 2027. The market will expand much further in the future, with long-term missions becoming increasingly frequent.
Yet these long-term missions pose significant strains on both the human body and the mind. First among them is the deterioration of muscles, muscle atrophy, and the cardiovascular system through microgravity. These effects are so severe that even short missions (< 30 days) can cause a muscle volume loss of 5.5 to 15.9 percent. In order to combat these effects, most space agencies employ in-flight exercises of about 2.5 hours six days a week. Secondly, space missions represent the “perfect boring situation” and can invoke mental health issues.
Our VR solution addresses both aspects equally, as it gamifies the required exercise to avoid physical consequences, as well as challenge the players mentally and provides opportunities for experiencing social relatedness. For this, it uses both state-of-the-art VR equipment, as well as a Teslasuit, to not only make the experience feel even more immersive through haptic feedback, as well as the possibility to enhance training effects. The main game consists of resource collection during the exercise and a base-building type game in the phases between workouts. Both take place in VR.
In order to overcome the dullness of the monotonous environment, the game features a story putting the players in a scenario in 2075, where Mars has been colonized, and it is now their shared mission to defend and extend the colony. However, players need to collect resources through exercise to repair and build further modules, which is conducted within the VR game.
In the story mode, they are guided through their exercise by story-related messages, collecting resources while traversing the base and the landscapes of Mars. As voluntariness represents an important point in the acceptance of gamified approaches, however, players also have the option to avoid the story. While exercising, they collect resources by swiping them to the side with their controller. From the collected resources they then have the possibility to build three different types of buildings: (1) shelter domes, which set the defense for the whole colony, (2) windmills, which produce electricity for the colony, (3) greenhouses, which produce oxygen. To increase complexity, create fun, and challenge players mentally, the electricity and oxygen stats must match the shelter, or the colony will be dysfunctional, and the defense will receive a debuff. Players will have to ready their bases for increasingly difficult challenges, such as further alien attacks, sand storms, and similar difficulties that life on Mars would bring. This aims to create a long-time engagement in the player, relying on the immersion and social interaction between the crewmates of the space mission to defend their shared colony.

We use a Teslasuit, a smart textile two-piece full bodysuit, to make the experience immersive and interactive. The suit provides haptic feedback, captures motion and biometric functions. Further, a full-body haptic feedback system is built into the suit with 80 electrostimulation channels, which could be used to provide instant feedback on the players’ performance within the game. It can be functionalized in response to motion capture comparison at any time. No additional equipment will be need. The approach may be used with existing training equipment in space stations such as the ISS.

Astronaut Mark Vande Hei Expedition 53 Flight Engineer exercises on the COLBERT (Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill) in the Tranquility module – Photo by NASA



Challenge: The use of digital technologies in rehabilitation processes is constantly increasing. In particular, studies show the advantages of telemedical assistance systems in rehabilitation and aftercare. Such cyber rehabilitation can support patients individually and at home. The aim of the project is to develop an gamified solution for assisting and motivating patients in hand rehabilitation.

Automate rehabilitation procedures with gameful simulations and make it accessible (at home)


Date: Winter semester 2021/2022

Lecture: Exergames


reHAND − Cyber Rehabilitation for hand injuries

Team: D. Braun, E. Alekseenko, V. Rincon, A. Patoary

Abstract: The human hands have a complex structure. Hand injuries, therefore, have a significant negative impact on multiple life aspects. This project presents a Virtual Reality (VR) Exergame to help medical practitioners receive information on improvement rates and make exercising more attractive to patients. The game has been developed in Unity 3D game engine for the HTC VIVE Focus 3. The reHAND system performs an error calculation of the user’s hand movements and then provides feedback on the accuracy with which a user can perform an exercise. While playing, a user should protect their garden from the angry jealous neighbor, who throws trash in it. Accordingly, the patient performs certain hand movements to break thrown objects. Further, reHAND covers such motivational affordances as points (intrinsic game score), levels, and storytelling.

GitLab Repository:

Designing Gamified Systems (MA)


CC photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Driven by the rising popularity of digital games, technology, business and society are increasingly influenced and penetrated by games and trends of the gaming industry. One of the probably most important phenomena of this multi-faceted development is “gamification”, which refers to the use of design principles and features from games in the design of information systems, processes, and services.

Gamification’s popularity stems from the notion that games are a pinnacle form of hedonic information systems and thus are particularly effective in invoking intrinsic motivation and experiences such as autonomy, mastery, flow, immersion, relatedness and overall enjoyment. Across industries, marketers, designers and developers are thus using gamification as a design approach when engineering digital products and services with the purpose of inducing gameful experiences, influencing human motivation and even change behavior in various contexts.

This course

  • teaches the key concepts, design patterns, and approaches of motivational, hedonic (i.e. games and video games), social and gamified information systems.
  • offers deep insights into advanced concepts and theoretical foundations of game design, motivational psychology, and information system design.
  • introduces methods and frameworks for designing gamified systems and managing gamification projects.
  • discusses latest research findings and the potential impact of gamification on society, economy and everyday life.

Course Overview

Capstone Project

The course is complemented with a practical design project, where students in a team select and apply design methods & techniques in order to create a prototype of a gamified / hedonic information system. Within this project, the students can apply knowledge and skills acquired in this lecture and their studies in a challenging context.


This course is offered as part of the European Engineering Learning Innovation and Science Alliance (EELISA – The EELISA cooperation will give the lecture an even more international setting and allow FAU students to collaborate in their projects with interdisciplinary students from all over Europe.

Learning Objectives and Skills

The students gain knowledge in understanding the underlying design principles of gamified and hedonic information systems and can analyze and discuss such systems. The students learn state-of-the-art methods, techniques, and tools for successfully conducting gamification projects and can select and apply them. The students can train their creativity, their prototyping skills as well as improve their collaboration and presentation skills.


The sessions are accompanied by tutorials, where students can learn the basics of developing games in Unity3D, as well as discuss current challenges in the implementation of their projects.


Profound English skills are required. Further, creativity, experience in software design, user experience, prototyping, and software engineering are helpful. All participating students should be motivated to work in an international and interdisciplinary group on a challenging topic.


Prof. Dr. Benedikt Morschheuser


Mareike Weber


Course details

Lecture + Capstone Project, 4 SWS, ECTS-Credits: 5


Wednesday, 09:45-13:00, LG 5.155

Module compatibility

WF IIS-MA 1 (ECTS-Credits: 5)
WF IIS-MA 2 (ECTS-Credits: 5)
WF IIS-MA 3 (ECTS-Credits: 5)
WF IIS-MA 4 (ECTS-Credits: 5)
WF WING-MA ab 1 (ECTS-Credits: 5)
WF ICT-MA ab 1 (ECTS-Credits: 5)
WF EEI-MA ab 1 (ECTS-Credits: 5)


Credits: 5


Starts on 25. Februar 2022, 14:00 via StudOn.

Additional information

More details on course updates, materials, technical requirements, and other information will be announced in StudOn.

Keywords: Gamification, Interactive Information Systems, HCI, Customer Engagement, Social Computing, Hedonic Systems, Games


Inspiration from previous semesters


Capstone project topic:
Design of an innovative game or gamification approach at the intersection of gaming, mobility and space technology, which improve life on earth or travel in space. 

Gamification, crowdsourcing, satellite techonology, mobility, augmented reality

Billionaires start space tourism

Guest lecturers:
Alexander Satanowsky – Head of in-Car Gaming – Mercedes-Benz AG
Georgina Guillén-Hanson – Researcher on Gamifying Sustainable Consumption – Gamification Group Finland
Daniel Fernández Galeote  – Game Designer and Researcher on Gamifying Sustainable Consumption – Gamification Group Finland
Dr. Michael Reinhardt – Head of OpenIT Studio – Siemens Healthineers
Nicolas Butterwegge – IT Strategy Manager – Siemens Healthineers

Capstone project challenge:
Design of an innovative game or gamification approach in which sports, gaming, and mobility meet as part of an unforgettable mixed-reality experience for potential visitors of the 2022 Olympic Asian Games in China, Hangzhou.

eSports, sports, augmented reality, mobility, gamification

Asian games announced to have eSports as official discipline

Guest lecturers:
Alexander Satanowsky – Head of in-Car Gaming – Mercedes-Benz AG
Georgina Guillén-Hanson – Researcher on Gamifying Sustainable Consumption – Gamification Group Finland
Daniel Fernández Galeote  – Game Designer and Researcher on Gamifying Sustainable Consumption – Gamification Group Finland












Open positions

You are interested in conducting research in the field of gamification, games, digital customer experience, eCommerce, crowdsourcing, AR/VR, Metaverse, eSports, Human-Computer Interaction, new media …?

Please take a look at our job offers or send us an unsolicited application:


We are seeking two PhD students (m/f/d) for research on gaming in mobility

In cooperation with our gamification research group at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), CARIAD SE is seeking two PhD students (m/f/d) for research on gaming in mobility:

PhD position 1: Exploring the demographic, cultural, social, and psychological factors of gaming in mobility (m/f/d):
In this role, you will empirically investigate the demographic, cultural, social, and psychological characteristics of potential users of digital games in cars and mobility services through an international cross-sectional study. Further, the project conducts a systematic literature review and experiments to examine relevant design patterns of such solutions.
Apply here:

PhD position 2: My car is my studio: Motivating, designing, and understanding gameful solutions for digital content creation in mobility (m/f/d):
In this role, you will investigate how the creator economy could use cars to generate and share virtual goods (e.g. as NFTs), which socio-psychological uses and gratifications could be satisfied with digital mobility-based content creation, and how such innovation can shape the future of mobility, in-car entertainment, and value creation.
Apply here:

Both candidates will be employed at CARIAD SE as doctoral students and supervised by Prof. Dr. Benedikt Morschheuser at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, as well as Dr. Steffen P. Walz, Dr. Stefan Mayer and further colleagues at CARIAD.

If you have any questions regarding these two PhD positions, please do not hesitate to contact Prof. Dr. Benedikt Morschheuser via email or contact form.


Further, we offer support in writing an application for international doctoral programs, e.g. in cooperation with the Finnish Gamification Group, as well as PhD scholarships.

For experienced researchers we offer support in writing an application for the attractive Marie Skłodowska-Curie scholarships from the European Union and other scholarship programs.

External Researchers

We are open to external doctoral candidates who would like to join our team. If you are interested please check the WISO and FAU guidelines for external PhD students. When all criteria are met, please contact us!

Research Assistants

The start-up of a chair for gamification and digital customer engagement offers space for a wide range of tasks. Are you a student at FAU and interested? Please write us an email with a résumé, an overview of grades and a summary of your skills, your motivation and areas of interest.

Current Job Offers

Studentische Hilfskraft (m/w/d) mit Erfahrungen in der Psychologie gesucht für Forschung im Bereich Gamification

Juniorprofessur für Wirtschaftsinformatik (insb. Gamification) - adidas Stiftungsprofessur

Studentische Hilfskraft (m/w/d) mit Erfahrungen in der Psychologie gesucht für Forschung im Bereich Gamification

Das Aufgabengebiet umfasst u.a.:

Für die Unterstützung in Forschung, Lehre und Projekten mit Industriepartnern suchen wir eine studentische Hilfskraft (m/w/d) mit Kompetenzen in der Psychologie und Interesse an Forschung im Bereich von Games & Gamification.

Wir suchen eine/n engagierte/n und motivierte/n Kandidat/in, die/der sich selbständig und verantwortungsvoll mit einem Thema auseinandersetzen und dieses vorantreiben. Die Wochenarbeitszeit kann flexibel gestaltet, abgesprochen und eingeteilt werden. Ein Arbeiten im Home-Office ist möglich. Ein baldiger Start ist wünschenswert.

Das Aufgabengebiet umfasst, aber ist nicht beschränkt auf:

  • Mitarbeit bei Forschungsprojekten im Bereich Gamification, Gaming, Metaverse, AR/VR, Exergames, eSports, Digital Customer Engagement, Mensch-Computer-Interaktion.
  • Konzeption, Umsetzung und Begleitung von wissenschaftlichen Studien und der Auswertung von Daten.
  • Unterstützung bei der Vorbereitung und Durchführung von Lehrveranstaltungen im IIS Master im Bereich Gamification, Gaming, Interactive Information Systems, Human-Computer-Interaction.
  • Erstellung von Präsentationen, Grafiken und Visualisierungen von Forschungskonzepten, Forschungsvorhaben, Informationen und Zusammenhängen.
  • Viele weitere Aufgaben sind möglich, die wir individuell an Deine Fähigkeiten, Interessen und Lernfelder anpassen z.B. Programmiertätigkeiten, Prototyping oder Aufgaben im Bereich Design.

Notwendige Qualifikation

  • Dich faszinieren interaktive Medien wie Games und Social Media
  • Du hast Erfahrung in wissenschaftlichen Methoden und deren Anwendung
  • Du bist neugierig, interessiert und lernbereit
  • Du kannst selbständig arbeiten und bist gewissenhaft
  • Du hast ausgezeichnete Deutsch und Englischkenntnisse in Wort und Schrift
  • Du kannst dich schnell in neue Sachverhalte einarbeiten

Wünschenswerte Qualifikation

  • Studium der Psychologie (BA oder MA) oder einem verwandten Studienfach
  • Du bringst Kenntnisse in Microsoft Excel, Word und Power Point mit. Idealerweise auch in weiteren Programmen wie z.B. Photoshop oder Illustrator
  • Kenntnisse im Bereich UX, oder im Web- & App-Design sind ein Plus
  • Erfahrungen mit Unity3D o.ä. sind ein Plus


  • Im Rahmen der Tätigkeit hast du die Möglichkeit praktische Einblicke in die Arbeit an unserem Lehrstuhl erlangen. Gleichzeitig kannst du Kontakte zu unseren Industriepartnern knüpfen.
Application deadline


Job title
Studentische Hilfskraft (m/w/d) mit Erfahrungen in der Psychologie gesucht für Forschung im Bereich Gamification
Job start
Deployment location
Juniorprofessur für Wirtschaftsinformatik, insbesondere Gamification

Part-time / full-time
Teilzeit befristet

Weekly working hours
Contact for further information
Prof. Dr. Benedikt Morschheuser
Phone: +49 911 5302-450

Für alle Stellenausschreibungen gilt: Die Friedrich-Alexander-Universität fördert die berufliche Gleichstellung der Frauen. Frauen werden deshalb ausdrücklich aufgefordert, sich zu bewerben.

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