Designing Motivation - Changing Human Behaviour Using Game-Elements (G-MOTIV) was about researching and applying new approaches to behavioural change based on motivation by using game elements. We have conducted research on the motivational effect of game elements in changing behaviour. Our multidisciplinary team of scientists and designers worked on developing intelligent PSS prototypes in the fields of health care and human resources, resulting in structural behavioural change. Achieving lasting change is difficult; people are often poorly motivated to change their status quo! In the domains of healthcare and human resources, this resistance leads to large financial costs for society and reorganization costs for companies. Currently, people are ‘helped’ to change using therapy, training and coaching, however these often only result in short-term effects.

To tackle this issue we needed to help people achieve long-lasting, desired behavioural change. We turned to knowledge evolving from the serious gaming industry. The game elements of fantasy, challenge and action-consequences are known to be powerful tools for motivation.

What questions were answered?
Teams from 5 universities, creative partners, service providers and application builders have worked together to answer the question: How can game elements affect user motivation for behavioural change?

What have the teams achieved?
Case-validated generic knowledge that can be applied to PSS applications aimed at changing human behaviour.

Timeframe and communication:
G-MOTIV has started in 2011 and finished in 2015. The project has generated innovative scientific knowledge in the forms of peer-reviewed journal articles, PhD theses and industry-conferences. Throughout the project, we have communicate information and results via this website.

Who was involved?
Scientific partners: Delft University of Technology, University of Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit, Erasmus University and the Technical University Eindhoven;
Creative partners: Design Academy Eindhoven, Monobanda, IJsfontein, RANJ, Novay
Service Providers: Berenschot, Humanitas, Parnassia
Application builders: Novay.

Project leaders
Dr. Valentijn Visch, Delft University of Technology
Prof. dr. Paul Hekkert, Delft University of Technology


  • Strategic Creativity Series 04 Susana Cámara Leret Designing with young addicts and healthcare professionals in a rehabilitation clinic requires a deep understanding of the everyday situations they face, especially when the anticipated designs aim beyond the mundane at more speculative and uncharted territories. This publication brings together a wide range of perspectives of that journey, with stories about how the design of a set of smells influenced the youths’ treatment and how the design of fictional ‘companion species’ allow people at the clinic to see and discuss their daily environment in new ways. Download
  • Persuasive Game Design: A model and its definitions. Visch, V.T., Vegt, N., Anderiesen, H., & van der Kooij, K. Proposal of a general theoretical model for persuasive game design Download
  • Social gaming rules: Changing people’s behavior through games Vegt, N. & Visch, V.T Proposal of an approach towards designing social games or game elements for changing people’s social behavior for serious applications Download
  • What Remains?: A persuasive story telling game. Camaduro, A. & Visch, V.T What Remains? is a prototype that facilitates the intake of Alzheimer patient in care homes. The prototype generates storytelling and is based on co-creation principles involving the patient, the family Download
  • If the audience want to dance, why don’t they? Visch, V.T. & Cadamuro, A. Investigation of the potential of bodily experiences to the art experience by motivating a dance performance audience to participate in a performance.   Download
  • What Remains? Cadamuro, A. What remains? is a design research project that is part of a larger investigation into how game elements can be used as motivational triggers to stimulate Alzheimer patients physically and socially. What remains? uses co-design tools and turns these during the engagement with participants in the project into a service that remains and persists after the designers leave. Download
  • The in-between: an experimental venture into the position of the designer Camara Leret, S.; Raijmakers, B. Increasing interdisciplinary collaborations between art, design and science, draw  attention to the need of elucidating the position of the designer. Such stance is hereby identified as an in-between position, characterised by its exploratory nature, which contributes to the experimental practice of design as a whole. This interstitial position for design, is furthermore identified as an empowering one, which can open up doors to novel opportunities and outcomes, by enabling designers to engage within the processes that construct meaning.  Download
  • The Power of Being In-Between: How design research can empower multidisciplinary teams STBY Increasing multidisciplinary collaborations in the creation of Product Service Systems (PSS), spurs the need for a deeper understanding of the position of the design researcher, who often finds her- or himself creating cohesion between the different disciplines involved, through a range of activities from analysis, synthesis and facilitation, to inspiration, instigation and speculatio Download
  • Designing narrative games for a serious context Knutz, E., Markussen, T, Desmet, P. & Visch, V. This paper introduces a new approach to designing games for serious contexts.  Download
  • A systematic review–physical activity in dementia: The influence of the nursing home environment Anderiesen, H., Scherder, E. J., Goossens, R. H., & Sonneveld, M. H. Download the article at:
  • What remains? Strategic Creativity Series View the article at:
  • Kindred Spirits: Smell fictions + performative design research Cámara Leret, S. In: Proceedings of the 2nd Biennial Research Through Design Conference, March 2015, Cambridge, UK.  Research Through Design 2015, Aricle 10.
  • Kindred Spirits: Strategic Creativity Series #4. Camara Leret, S., Arets, D., Dubhthaigh, R., Raijmakers, B., & E. Zoete View the article at: http://www.designacademy.nl/Research/StrategicCreativity/Publications.aspx
  • Changamoto: Design and Validation of a Therapy Adherence Game. vanderKooij, K., Hogendoorn, E., Spijkerman, R., Visch, V. See http://www1.gamesforhealtheurope.org/posters2014/katinka-van-der-kooij
  • Designing gamification to guide competitive and cooperative behavior in teamwork. Vegt, N., Visch, V., deRidder, H., & Vermeeren, A. See http://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319102078
  • The Traveling Rose: A Persuasive Game to stimulate walking behaviour of older persons in bad neighbourhoods. Visch, Mulder, Bos, Prins See http://www.igi-global.com/chapter/the-travelling-rose/113484
  • A persuasive Product Service System to communicate between worlds Visch, V. T. In S. Camara Leret, D. Arets, R. Dubhthaigh, B. Raijmakers, E. Zoete (Eds.), Kindred Spirits: Strategic Creativity Series (28-34). Eindhoven: Design Academy Eindhoven.

    See: http://www.designacademy.nl/Research/StrategicCreativity/Publications.aspx
  • The smell-memory kit: Diving for memories to share. Visch, V.T. In D Arets, R Dubhtaigh, A Cadamuro, B Raijmakers & E Zoete (Eds.), What remains? (Strategic creativity series) (pp. 35-38) Eindhoven: Design Academy Eindhoven. (TUD)

    See: http://www.designacademy.nl/Research/StrategicCreativity/Publications.aspx
  • A systematic review e physical activity in dementia: The influence of the nursing home environment Anderiesen, H., Scherder, E.J.A, Goossens, R.H.M., Sonneveld, M. H. Retrieve the article from:
  • Play Experiences for people with Alzheimer’s Disease Anderiesen, Scherder, Visch, Goossens, & Eggermont Download


  • Coin Game

    board-like non-digital game to enhance collaborative meeting outcomes
  • Wupperman

    We implemented a ‘social module’ on a large interactive screen in the canteen of an ultramodern production factory. The social module consists of employee profiles with: personal interests, badges, and skills. To fill in the personal interests, a window pops up regularly, asking a question about one of the team members. The profiles and pop-up window are expected to trigger social communication amongst the employees and increase the feeling of being part of a team.
  • Changamoto

    digital app to motivate clients in addiction therapy situation to fill in their diary.
  • What Remains?

    The growing number of people affected by late-stage Dementia demands new solutions and requires innovative approaches. What Remains? is a design research project that aims to stimulate positive behavioural changes in elderly patients affected by this degenerative disease, and helps family and staff to humanise care home services. 
  • Multiplayer Breakout

    digital game to study social experiences and behaviour.
  • Active Cues

    interactive table projection to motivate people with dementia for physical and social activity
  • Smell memory kit: The Molecules that Matter

     In a series of smell sessions, we introduced different odour samples and asked the patients to record their associations with each sniff. We soon realised that smelling makes you want to talk. The limited vocabulary we possess to talk about smells was not hindering but instead motivated the patients’ curiosity to guess and describe each sample’s origin and, more importantly, to share the personal stories and anecdotes triggered by each smell. It was discovered that describing smells and relating to them with personal stories eases sharing personal accounts with others. This led to the design of the Smell-Memory Kit: The Molecules that Matter, which would later be implemented during the intake conversations in the clinic.
  • Kindred Spirits series

    The Kindred Spirits series consists of design fictions proposals that explore current relationships between patients from Mistral rehabilitation clinic, staff and their facility. The series presents two design outcomes, co-created with the patients from the clinic. These Kindred Spirits were inspired by the patients’ daily experiences, aiming to envision and understand alternate possibilities for the systems and services offered in the clinic. Design fictions can challenge existing preconceptions regarding the use of objects and their environments. The staged interactions these design artefacts present often lead to critical discussions, which expand on the role of technology in society, and consider wider needs and expectations derived from its implementation. The Kindred Spirits series contextualises this discussion, exploring the creation of collective future visions by embedding the design process within the everyday experiences of the patients.