Christoph Sebastian Deterding


      University of York



10.1998–02.2004  Magister Artium (Master) with honors in comparative literature, communication research, psychology, Westphalian Wilhelms University Münster, Germany

03–05.2003     Visiting scholar, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA (DAAD grant for completion of theses abroad)


  • Reader, Digital Creativity Labs, Department of Theatre, Film, and Television, University of York, York, UK (equivalent to Associate Professor with tenure)
  • since 03.2010            Founder and principal designer, coding conduct, Hamburg, Germany
  • 09.2014–12.2015       Assistant professor (tenure-track), Game Design Program, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA
  • 01.2014–01.2016       Associate, Hubbub, Utrecht, NL/Berlin, Germany
  • 08.2013–06.2014       Visiting assistant professor, School of Interactive Games and Media, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, USA
  • 03.2010–08.2013       PhD student in Communication Research, Graduate School for Media and Communication, Hamburg University, Germany
  • 10.2009–03.2010       Junior researcher, Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research, Hamburg, Germany
  • 08.2008–03.2010       User experience designer, Gruner+Jahr EMS GmbH, Hamburg, Germany
  • 03.2008–08.2008       Junior researcher, GATE Game Research for Training and Entertainment, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
  • 01.2007–03.2008       Program manager online, Federal Agency for Civic Education, Bonn, Germany
  • 04.2005–12.2006     Traineeship online editor, Federal Agency for Civic Education, Bonn, Germany


  • Canossa, A.; Azadvar, A.; Harteveld, C.; Drachen, A.; Deterding, S. (2019). Influencers in Multiplayer Online Shooters – Evidence of Social Contagion in Playtime and Social Play. CHI’19 Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, New York: ACM Press, paper no. 259. (Honourable mention, top 5% of submissions, 3 citations)
  • Zagal, J. P. & Deterding, S. (eds.) (2018). Role-Playing Game Studies: Transmedia Foundations. New York, London: Routledge. (7 citations)
  • van Roy, R.; Deterding, S.; Zaman, B. (2019). Collecting Pokémon or Receiving Rewards? How People Functionalise Badges in Gamified Online Learning Environments in the Wild. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 127, 62-80. (9 citations)
  • Johnson, D., Deterding, S., Kuhn, K., Staneva, A., Stoyanova S. & Hides, L. (2016). Gamification for Health and Wellbeing: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Internet Interventions 6, 89–106. (302 citations)
  • Deterding, S. (2016). Contextual Autonomy Support in Video Game Play: A Grounded Theory. CHI 2016, New York: ACM Press, 3931–3943. (Honourable mention, top 4% of submissions, 24 citations)
  • Deterding, S. (2015). The Lens of Intrinsic Skill Atoms: A Method for Gameful Design. Human-Computer Interaction 30(3–4), 294-335. (283 citations)
  • Walz, S. P. & Deterding, S. (eds.) (2015). The Gameful World: Approaches, Issues, Applications. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (186 citations)
  • Deterding, S., Dixon, D., Khaled, R. & Nacke, L. E. (2011). From Game Design Elements to Gamefulness: Defining »Gamification«. Proceedings Mindtrek’11, New York: ACM Press, 9-15. (5,902 citations)


  • Awards
  • 2019 Honourable mention, CHI 2019 (top 5% of submissions)
  • 2017 Honourable mention, Foundations of Digital Games 2017
  • 2016 Honourable mention, CHI 2016 (top 4% of submissions)
  • 2015 Best paper nomination, Foundations of Digital Games 2015 (top 18% of submissions)
  • 2010-2013 PhD grant, Hamburg Federal Initiative of Research Excellence
  • 2011 Top 3 paper award, Jahrestagung 2011 der DGPuK-Fachgruppe Rezeptions- und Wirkungsforschung   
  • 2004 German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) grant for completion of theses abroad
  • Academic Leadership roles
  • 2020-present Founding Editor-in-Chief, ACM Games: Research and Practice
  • 2019-present Interim Director, EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence
  • 2016-2018 Executive Board Member, Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA).
  • 2011-present Founder and Lead Organiser, Gamification Research Network
  • Invited Keynotes
  • Deterding, S. (2018). Designing for Motivation: Bridging the Gap Between Psychology and Design Practice. 16th International Conference on Motivation 2018, August 16, 2018, Aarhus, Denmark.
  • Deterding, S. (2017). Outside the Box: Toward an Ecology of Gaming Enjoyment. Lincoln Games Research Symposium 2017, November 10, 2017, Lincoln, UK.
  • Deterding, S. (2017). Fun on First Click: Convert Users into Passionate Customers with Onboarding. Bizplay 2017,September 28, 2017, Karlsruhe, Germany.
  • Deterding, S. (2017). City Games: Up and Down and Sideways on the Ladder of Abstraction. ISAGA 2017, July 10, 2017, Delft, The Netherlands.
  • Deterding, S. (2017). Desperately Seeking Theory: Gamification, Theory, and the Promise of a New Science of Interaction Design. ICA 2017 Preconference “My So-Called Gamified Life”, May 25, 2017, San Diego, CA, USA.
  • Deterding, S. (2017). Desperately Seeking Theory: Gamification, Theory, and the Promise of a New Science of Interaction Design. GamiFIN 2017, May 9, 2017, Pori, Finland.
  • Deterding, S. (2017). Memento product mori: On ethics in digital product design. Mind the Product Engage 2017, April 28. 2017, Hamburg, Germany.
  • Deterding, S. (2017). Gamification: Missverständnisse und Lösungen. Gamify Conference 2017, March 8, 2017, Munich, Germany.
  • Deterding, S. (2016). Explodierende Medien. Praktiken Medialer Transformation, December 9, 2016, Hamburg, Germany.
  • Deterding, S. (2016). I wonder …? Designing for Curiosity. Museums+Tech 2016: Sharing our Stories. October 19, 2016, London, UK.
  • Deterding, S. & Evers, V. (2016). Technology for a Better Society. 10th International Conference on Design and Emotion, September 29, 2016, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Deterding, S. (2016). Desperately Seeking Theory: Gamification, Theory, and the Promise of a Data/AI-Driven New Science of Design. ACM SIGIR 2016 Workshop GamifIR’16, July 21, 2016, Pisa, Italy.
  • Deterding, S. (2016). Gamification: Future Tools. Invited keynote, Control System 2016, April 27, 2016, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Deterding, S. (2014). This Stupidly Simple Trick Helped These Sites Multiply Their Clickrates.* Invited keynote, UXI Studio, December 15, 2014, Tel Aviv, Israel. * Designing for Curiosity
  • Deterding, S. (2014). Spielräume: Zur Freiheit programmiert? Invited keynote, ORGATEC Trend Forum, October 23, 2014, Cologne, Germany. (Playgrounds: Can Freedom Be Programmed?)
  • Deterding, S. (2014). Eudaimonic Design: Rethinking Persuasive Technology. Persuasive 2014, May 23, 2014, Padua, Italy.
  • Deterding, S. (2014). Designing the Good Life: The Ethics of User Experience Design. UX Live 2014, January 19, 2014, Tel Aviv, Israel.
  • Deterding, S. (2013). Outside the Box: Toward an Ecology of Game Enjoyment. Future and Reality of Gaming 2013, September 28, 2013, Vienna, Austria.
  • Deterding, S. (2012). Paideia as Paidia: From Game-Based Learning to a Life Well-Played. Games Learning Society 8.0, June 15, 2012, Madison, WI, USA.
  • Deterding, S. (2011). Gamification: Die Antwort auf das Engagement-Problem? Community & Marketing 2.0 Summit, June 8, 2011, Hamburg, Germany. (Gamification: Solving the engagement problem?)
  • Deterding, S. (2011). Don‘t Play Games With Me! Gamification between Hype and Hope. Web Directions @ Media 2011, May 27, 2011, London, UK.