Complete your master thesis under the guidance of our group!


Gamification Group (GG) is a world-leading research group in several areas where technology and humanity meet. GG is internationally revered for seminal academic and societal contributions in the areas of novel technologies, such as motivational information systems (e.g., gamification, game-based learning, quantified-self, persuasive technologies), internet commerce (e.g., crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, sharing economies, game economies), new media (e.g., esports, streaming, immersive journalism), as well as human-computer interaction (e.g., VR, wearables, transhumanism, user interfaces). However, GG is especially recognized as the birthing ground for the general umbrella field of gamification research, where GG is the most cited and published research group internationally in its pursuit of wielding gameful approaches towards the flourishing of the planet, people, and prosperity. Our group members offer supervision of master theses for students of multiple disciplines and interests. Completing your thesis as part of the Gamification Group provides an excellent opportunity to publish in peer-reviewed venues and a kickstart for those interested in pursuing an academic career.

If you are interested in completing your thesis under the guidance of our group members, do not hesitate to contact us and discuss your research interests.








Daniel Fernández Galeote
Researcher / PhD candidate
  • Gamification and climate change engagement
  • Sustainable development
  • Environmental/climate citizenship
Literature review
Design research
How do existing games and gamification represent and persuade about climate change and sustainability overall?

What are the effects of games and gamification on players’ climate change engagement?

How can we create more engaging experiences that encourage reflection and climate action?
Fernández Galeote, D., & Hamari, J. (2021). Game-based climate change engagement: Analyzing the potential of entertainment and serious games. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 5(CHI PLAY).

Fernández Galeote, D., Rajanen, M., Rajanen, D., Legaki, N. Z., Langley, D. J., & Hamari, J. (2021). Gamification for climate change engagement: Review of corpus and future agenda. Environmental Research Letters, 16(6), 1–50.
Georgina Guillen
Researcher / PhD candidate
  • Gamification for, about or off sustainable consumption and production
  • Communicating sustainability
  • Circular economy
  • Strategic planning
Literature review
In what ways can gamification enable or improve practices of sustainable consumption?

How can circular business models be improved through gamification?
Guillen, G., Hamari, J., & Quist, J. (2021). Gamification of sustainable consumption: A systematic literature review. Proceedings of the 54th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 1345–1354.

Guillen, G., Quist, J., & Hamari, J. (2021). Gamification of backcasting for sustainability: The development of the Gameful Backcasting Framework (GAMEBACK). Journal of Cleaner Production, 126609.
Laura Cosio
Researcher / PhD candidate
  • VR in environmental communication
  • VR simulated environments
  • UX in information visualization
Design research
What types of interaction in VR aid in promoting pro-environmental behavior from users?

How can we design engaging VR nature environments which elicit emotional connections between users and nature?

Does the visualization style (realistic, caricature, abstract, etc) of a VR environment affect users' perceived credibility of the presented information?


Nikoletta-Zampeta Legaki
Senior Research Fellow
  • Gamification, gamified strategies, gamified information systems
  • Game-based learning, datafication
  • Time series forecasting, risk management
  • Decision systems, forecasting information systems
  • Data literacy
  • Statistics/forecasting education
  • Energy forecasting and policies
Literature review
Design research
Experimental research
How does gamification impact public understanding of data and datification, especially regarding Sustainable Development Goals?

How do gamified strategies influence statistics education and information and data literacy?

How does gamification impact on decision making/ data and visual analytics?
Legaki, N. Z., Karpouzis, K., Assimakopoulos, V., & Hamari, J. (2021). Gamification to avoid cognitive biases: An experiment of gamifying a forecasting course. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 167, 120725.

Legaki, N. Z., Xi, N., Hamari, J., Karpouzis, K., & Assimakopoulos, V. (2020). The effect of challenge-based gamification on learning: An experiment in the context of statistics education. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 144, 1–14.
Ana Carolina Tomé Klock
Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Gamified virtual learning environments
  • User-centered and tailored gamification
  • Gamified intersectional feminism, cultural aspects
Literature review
Design research
Experimental research
How does gamification influence psychological and behavioural outcomes in educational settings?

How does gamification affect the overall user experience when considering and understanding their individual characteristics?

How is gamification able to address current social issues, such as implicit bias and discrimination?
Klock, A. C. T., Gasparini, I., & Pimenta, M. S. (2019). User-centered gamification for e-learning systems: A Quantitative and qualitative analysis of its application. Interacting with Computers, 31(5), 425-445.

Klock, A. C. T., Gasparini, I., Pimenta, M. S., & Hamari, J. (2020). Tailored gamification: A review of literature. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 144, 1–22.
Isabella Aura
Researcher / PhD candidate
  • Gamification and storification in educational settings
  • Games & childhood
Literature review
How does gamification affect students’ learning, behavior and well-being?

How to gamify pedagogy and learning environments in order to enhance students’ and teachers’ school experience?

How do children experience games as part of their childhood and how is gamification utilized in early childhood education?
Aura, I., Hassan, L., & Hamari, J. (2021). Teaching within a story: Understanding storification of pedagogy. International Journal of Educational Research, 106, 101728.
Wilk Oliveira
Researcher / PhD candidate
  • Gamification in education
  • Gamification and flow theory
  • Tailored gamification in education
  • Educational games
  • Computational think and gamification
Literature review
Does gamification affect students' learning and flow experiences?

Does tailored gamification affect students' learning and flow experiences?

Does gamification affect computational think?

How to tailor gamified educational settings?
Oliveira, W., Pastushenko, O., Rodrigues, L., Toda, A. M., Palomino, P. T., Hamari, J., & Isotani, S. (2021). Does gamification affect flow experience? A systematic literature review. Proceedings of the 5th International GamiFIN Conference, 2883, 110–119.

Oliveira, W., Tenório, K., Hamari, J., & Isotani, S. (2022). The relationship between students’ flow experience and their behavior data in gamified educational systems. Proceedings of the 55th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 64–73.

Business, Marketing & Decision making

Nannan Xi
Assistant Professor
  • Gamified business
  • XR commerce (AR, VR, MR)
  • Streaming
  • Robotics
Literature review
How do users pay attention to different extended realities?
Xi, N., & Hamari, J. (2021). Shopping in virtual reality: A literature review and future agenda. Journal of Business Research, 134, 37–58.
Xi, N., & Hamari, J. (2020). Does gamification affect brand engagement and equity? A study in online brand communities. Journal of Business Research, 109, 449–460.

Joseph Macey
Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Esports
  • Convergence of gaming and gambling, gamblification
  • Virtual items and economie
  • Problematic gaming
  • Cognitive frameworks
  Macey, J., & Hamari, J. (2019). eSports, skins and loot boxes: Participants, practices and problematic behaviour associated with emergent forms of gambling. New Media & Society, 21(1), 20–41.

Macey, J., & Hamari, J. (2020). GamCog: A measurement instrument for miscognitions related to gamblification, gambling, and video gaming. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 34(1), 242–256.
Eetu Wallius
Researcher / PhD candidate
  • Gamification & transportation
  • Gamification & mobility
  • Gamification & safety
Literature review
How to enhance occupational safety using gamification?

How does gamification affect safety behaviours?

How to improve production/logistics operations’ efficiency using gamification?
Wallius, E., Klock, A. C. T., Eronen, V., & Hamari, J. (2021). Preconceptions towards gamifying work: A thematic analysis of responses of a maritime logistics organization. Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Academic Mindtrek, 128–133.
Elpida Bampouni
Researcher / PhD candidate
  • VR/XR and Cognition
  • Games and Cognitive transfer
  • Multisensory experience and Perception
  • Cognitive Psychology
Experimental research
How does VR influence human cognitive aspects and/or perception?

Can digital training benefit our cognitive functions (e.g. memory)?

What are the multisensory effects on virtual experiences?

How do games influence our lives/ mood/ cognitive functions?
Xi, N., Bampouni, E., & Hamari, J. (2022). How does extended reality influence consumer decision making? The empirical evidence from a laboratory experiment. Proceedings of the 55th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 1791–1799.

Billing, E., Bampouni, E., & Lamb, M. (2020). Automatic selection of viewpoint for digital human modelling. Proceedings of the Digital Human Modelling Symposium, 61-70.

Social and emotional psychology

Mila Bujić
Postdoctoral Researcher
  • User and player experience in virtual reality
  • Virtual reality and gamification/games
  • Embodied VR avatars / Make-believe in VR
  • Social VR
  • Futures research of VR
Literature review
Experimental research
How do VR gaming experiences influence our cognition and behavior?

What are the usability heuristics for modern VR applications?

How do users discuss their social VR experiences on internet forums?
Bujić, M., & Hamari, J. (2020). Satisfaction and willingness to consume immersive journalism: Experiment of differences between VR, 360 video, and article. Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Academic Mindtrek, 120–125.

Bujić, M., Salminen, M., Macey, J., & Hamari, J. (2020). “Empathy machine”: How virtual reality affects human rights attitudes. Internet Research, 30(5), 1407–1425.
Lewen Wei
Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Media effects, media psychology
  • Communication and technology
  • Persuasion, social influence, message effects
  • Advertising, public relations
Quantitative How can both immediate and temporal effects of message attributes (format, content, source) be amplified by media technologies (e.g., social network sites, video games, wearable trackers, chatbots, etc.) to strategically communicate prosocial goals in various contexts (e.g., health, science, environment, risk, advertising, public relations)? Wei, L., & Kim, N. (2021). Attenuating public skepticism: Effects of pre-crisis corporate engagement and post-crisis CSR initiatives on corporate evaluations. Public Relations Review, 47(1).

Wei, L., & Liu, B. (2020). Reactions to others’ misfortune on social media: Effects of homophily and publicness on schadenfreude, empathy, and perceived deservingness. Computers in Human Behavior, 102, 1-13.
Simo Järvelä
Postdoctoral researcher
  • VR
  • Emotions, empathy, emotion skills
  • Biocybernetics, cognitive science, decision-making
  • LARP, roleplaying games, simulations, meditation
Experimental research
  Salminen, M., Järvelä, S., Ruonala, A., Harjunen, V. J., Jacucci, G., Hamari, J., & Ravaja, N. (2019). Evoking physiological synchrony and empathy using social VR with biofeedback. IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, 1949-3045.

Kivikangas, J. M., Chanel, G., Cowley, B., Ekman, I., Salminen, M., Järvelä, S., & Ravaja, N. (2011). A review of the use of psychophysiological methods in game research. Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds, 3(3), 181-199.
Anna-Leena Macey
Ph.D. candidate
  • Communication & social interaction
  • Virtual Reality (social interaction, emotional management, user/avatar relationship)
  • Embodied cognition
Literature review
Experimental research
How can we manipulate virtual reality environments to enhance user empowerment and reduce stress?
Bujić, M., Macey, A.-L., Järvelä, S., & Hamari, J. (2022). Playing with embodied social interaction: A thematic review of experiments on social aspects in gameful virtual reality. Interacting with Computers.

Macey, A.-L., Macey, J., & Hamari, J. (2022). Virtual reality in emotion regulation: A scoping review. Proceedings of the 6th International GamiFIN Conference, 3147, 64–74.

Design & Space

Mattia Thibault
Assistant Professor
  • Urban gamification, playable cities, ludic cities, DIY urbanism, location-based games, gamification of the built environment
  • Ludification of culture
  • Play and meaning-making, semiotics of play
  • Toys and toyification
  • Punk gamification
Design research
How can the environment encourage or discourage playful behaviour?

How the presence of toys in offices and shops affects our perception of work?

How can we use play and games to reappropriate alienated urban spaces?
Thibault, M. (2019). Towards a typology of urban gamification. Proceedings of the 52nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 1476–1485.

Thibault, M., Buruk, O. T., Buruk, S. S., & Hamari, J. (2020). Transurbanism: Smart cities for transhumans. Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference, 1915–1928.
Oğuz ‘Oz’ Buruk
Assistant Professor
  • Playful Pervasive Devices Design and Development
  • Playful Extended Reality Environments
  • Playful Wearables Design and Development
  • Fictional and Speculative Design
  • User and Player Experience Research
Literature review
Design research
How can we design playful posthuman technologies?

How can we design playful body-integrated technologies?

What is the role of games & play in fashion design?

How can we enhance engagement with nature and lived experiences through playful technologies?

How can we augment virtual worlds through embodied technologies?
Buruk, O. T., Özcan, O., Baykal, G. E., Göksun, T., Acar, S., Akduman, G., Baytaş, M. A., Beşevli, C., Best, J., Coşkun, A., Genç, H. U., Kocaballi, A. B., Laato, S., Mota, C., Papangelis, K., Raftopoulos, M., Ramchurn, R., Sádaba, J., Thibault, M., … Yildiz, M. (2020). Children in 2077: Designing children’s technologies in the age of transhumanism. Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–14.

Jung, S., Xiao, R., Buruk, O. O., & Hamari, J. (2021). Designing Gaming Wearables: From Participatory Design to Concept Creation. In Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction, 1–14.
Bojan Kerous
Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Affect-aware HCI
  • MR, XR, AR, VR teamwork/collaborative social and affective dynamics
  • Behavioral/physiological annotation
  • Affective interface/interaction prototyping
  • Examination of Uncanny valley constraints
  • High fidelity avatar/agent/partner interaction
  • Esport performance (effects of self-regulation strategies, physical activity, entertainment/wellbeing)
  • Executive functioning in esports
  • Interoception in esports
Literature review
How can affect-aware technology-mediated interaction (visualization or a physical manifestation of affect) augment interhuman experience?

Does rapport or simple familiarity moderate uncanny valley?

Why is “uncanny valley” useful and is it?

Does exercise beat self-regulation (interoceptive practice) in esport performance?

Is there a relationship between game genre and executive functioning?

Is there a relationship between game genre and interoceptive awareness?
Kerous, B., Barteček, R., Roman, R., Sojka, P., Becev, O., & Liarokapis, F. (2020). Social Environment Simulation in VR Elicits a Distinct Reaction in Subjects with Different Levels of Anxiety and Somatoform Dissociation. International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction, 36, 505-515.

Kerous, B., Skola, F., & Liarokapis, F. (2017). EEG-based BCI and video games: a progress report. Virtual Reality, 22, 119-135.
Ferran Altarriba Bertran
Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Interaction design, HCI & Design methods
  • Human-nature interaction
  • Human-food interaction
Design research
How can we use playful technology to enrich the experiential texture of mealtime?

How can we design technology that adds a playful and social note to our experiences within nature?

How can we co-imagine future technology designs with diverse stakeholders?
Altarriba Bertran, F., Duval, J., Bisbe Armengol, L., Chen, I., Dong, V., Dastoor, B., Altarriba Bertran, A., & Isbister, K. (2021). A Catalog of Speculative Playful Urban Technology Ideas: Exploring the Playful Potential of Smart Cities. Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Academic Mindtrek, 60–71.

Altarriba Bertran, F., Pometko, A., Gupta, M., Wilcox, L., Banerjee, R., & Isbister, K. (2021). The playful potential of shared mealtime: A speculative catalog of playful technologies for day-to-day social eating experiences. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 5(CHI PLAY).
Ruowei Xiao
Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Internet of Things
  • Web service architecture
  • Web based software development
Design research
How to combine IoT and gamification to enhance user engagement?

How to integrate gamification with smart city services, e.g., smart public transportation, to improve user experience?
Xiao, R., Wu, Z., Buruk, O. T., & Hamari, J. (2021). Enhance User Engagement using Gamified Ineternet of Things. Proceedings of the 54th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 4806–4815.

Xiao, R., Wu, Z., & Wang, D. (2019). A Finite-State-Machine model-driven service composition architecture for internet of things rapid prototyping. Future Generation Computer Systems, 99, 473-488.
Velvet Spors
Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Interaction design, HCI and Design methods
  • Human-nature interaction
  • Technology in/with/for care
  • Games and gamefulness within (mental) health
  • Social justice
Design research
How can technology teach and support people in doing self-care?

How can we use gamification in nature contexts (in meaningful, ethical and considered ways)?

What can we learn from playing games for designing caring technologies?
Spors, V., & Kaufman, I. (2021). Respawn, Reload, Relate: Exploring the Self-Care Possibilities for Mental Health in Games through a Humanistic Lens. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 5(CHI PLAY), 1–31.

Spors, V., Wagner, H. G., Flintham, M., Brundell, P., & Murphy, D. (2021). Selling Glossy, Easy Futures: A Feminist Exploration of Commercial Mental-Health-focused Self-Care Apps’ Descriptions in the Google Play Store. Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–17.
Eshtiak Ahmed
Researcher / PhD candidate
  • Human-nature-technology interaction
  • User experience
  • Human-technology interaction
  • Human-robot interaction
Literature review
Design research
How can technology be leveraged to create a sustainable relationship between humans and nature?

How can daily life activities be made more interesting and engaging through technology?

How does interactive technology affect human lives in the long run and how can it be reshaped for a better quality of life?

How is robotic companionship created and how can companion robots reshape human lives?
Ahmed, E., & Ahtinen, A. (2021). Design implications for a virtual language learning companion robot: Considering the appearance, interaction and rewarding behavior. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Human-Agent Interaction, 56–65.

Ahmed, E., Buruk, O. T., & Hamari, J. (2022). Robots as Human Companions: A Review. Proceedings of the 2022 Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems. Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, Taipei.
Sangwon Jung
Researcher / PhD candidate
  • Altered states of consciousness (ASCs) in HCI
  • Virtual reality
  • Human-centred design (HCD), User-centred design (UCD), User experience design (UXD)
  • Product development, Service design, Industrial design
Literature review
Design research
What are the possible designs of technology-driven altered states of consciousness?

How could the design of games alter users’ states of consciousness?

How can altered states of consciousness be portrayed in video games?

What are the ethical concerns around technological alteration of states of consciousness?

How is the user experience of currently available altered states of consciousness games?
Jung, S., Xiao, R., Buruk, O. O., & Hamari, J. (2021). Designing Gaming Wearables: From Participatory Design to Concept Creation. In Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction, 1-14.

[Forthcoming] Jung, S., Buruk, O. O., & Hamari, J. (2022). Altered States of Consciousness in Human-Computer Interaction: A Review. In Proceedings of the Nordic Human-Computer Interaction Conference, 1-13.