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Prof. Sebastian Deterding

iGGi Responsible Innovation Lead


Sebastian Deterding is a designer-researcher working on playful, gameful, motivational, and eudaimonic design. His work asks how we might re-design the socio-technical rule systems we live in to enable a good life for all.

He is founder of the Gamification Research Network, and co-editor of The Gameful World (MIT Press, 2015). An internationally recognised leader of gamification research, he is frequently invited to keynote and speak at venues like Lift, Interaction, GDC, Games Learning Society, Google, IDEO, and MIT, and his work has been covered by The Guardian, The New Scientist, the Los Angeles Times, arte, and EDGE Magazine among others.

As a senior research fellow at the Digital Creativity Labs, Sebastian works on the intersection of AI, machine learning, and design for augmented creativity: how can we create systems that learn to automatically adapt and serve optimally engaging content to users, and serve optimally supportive design suggestions and tutorials to creators?

He is particularly interested in supervising students with a design, HCI, or behavioural sciences background on the following topics:

  • understanding and designing for uncertainty, curiosity, and epistemic emotions in games

  • applied games for decarbonisation and climate adaptation

  • design for behaviour change

  • Self-determination theory and games

Research themes:

  • Game Design

  • Games with a Purpose

  • Computational Creativity

  • Player Experience

  • Gamification


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