Accessible Gamification (Further Course)

Target Groups and Required Skills

Anybody who is interested in deriving knowledge from Game Design for non-game contexts and software developers who want to learn about combining gamification and accessibility in particular.

Learning Platform

The course is hosted on edX: Accessible Gamification for Business. You can also find a single-page version of the course content on

Course duration and efforts

The course is self paced with about 60 minutes of material spread over 5 weeks. Participants should reserve another hour or two per week for homework and time to think and reflect on the topics.

The course has been available as a self-paced course on edX since October 2017.

Short Description

The course will start with an introduction to well-known gamification patterns and approaches. This will lead us to an interesting challenge: combining accessibility and gamification. To solve this, we will take one step back and look at digital games to find patterns that make them fun and entertaining. The course will guide you through a series of games, where we derive game design patterns to serve as basic building blocks for an accessible gamification approach.

Long Description

You will learn how to derive patterns by dissecting the game design of actual, commercial games. Here, we will dive into five of the most prominent game design patterns, namely Reward, Development, Exploration, Challenge and the Action Space. For each of these fields, we derive patterns on how to apply the respective core principle without relying on visual representations, thus building the foundation of an accessible gamification framework. After completing the course, you should be able to utilize your learned patterns when designing, extending or describing an applications, not just its front end.

Course Team

Andreas Stiegler (Hochschule der Medien / Stuttgart Media University).

Course Structure

Week 1: Gamification

  • Games and fun
  • Gamification
  • Quest: some real-world examples for motivation
  • Players: Bartle
  • Quest: genres & players; classification quiz
  • Beyond Bartle
  • Quest: Analyze some games you play! / What kind of player are you?

Week 2: Accessible Gamification

  • Gamification Concepts
  • Quest: Sample Business Process
  • Gamification Requirements
  • Quest: Picture Show: real world examples. Is there gamification involved?
  • Accessibility: personalisation vs accessibility; Universal Design; gamification and accessibility.
  • Quest: find some collisions of accessibility & gamification

Week 3: Game Design Patterns

  • One Step Back
  • Quest: game design vs game mechanics
  • Reward
  • Quest: examples: Dungeon Crawler
  • Discovery
  • Quest: Examples: Space Sims
  • Challenge
  • Quest: examples: RTS
  • Development
  • Quest: Examples: MMOG
  • Action space
  • Quest: examples: FPS
  • Quest: pick a game of your choice and dissect it

Week 4: Examples: Reward & Challenge

  • Reward: immediate & measurable; designing reward (Skinner box, achievements, exclusivity)
  • Quest: showcase: RPG quest rewards
  • Challenge: business process vs gamification; designing challenge
  • Quest: showcase: Casual “Arkanoids”
  • Applications for the web
  • Quest: design a quest for an RPG

Week 5: Examples: Action Space & Development

  • Action space: action space models; action space pollution
  • Quest: TCG strategies
  • Development: characters and history; visuals; economy
  • Quest: MMOG characters
  • Applications for the web
  • Quest: take a look at your web browser and its action space


See edX verified certificates.

How to Register

Anyone can create a free account on edX. There are several registration options: creating an account sign-in connected to your account on Facebook, Google+ on Microsoft, or creating an account using an e-mail address and password.

Open Educational Resources

The content from this course is available as a set of open education resources.