Dr. Pascal Lessel

Post-Doctoral Researcher


Research Interests

GamesGamificationBehavior Change Support SystemsLive-Streaming of GamesCrowdsourcing

Open Thesis Topics

This work focuses on context factors (e.g., stream type: casual stream vs. speedrun) that apply to audience influence options in game live-streams. Building on previous work, your task is to conduct studies in which different situations in typical game live-streams are shown and in which different audience influence options are presented. The relevant influence options for this thesis are not bound to the actual content of the game, instead they work independently of the streamed game (“beyond the game”). Typical examples include modifying the streamer’s room lighting, activating vibration feedback on the streamer’s arm, or exchanging keyboard bindings. The goal of these studies is to derive guidelines which context factors moderate the perception of these modifications.


The focus is on the study. Likely, you need to either create small mock up prototypes and find a streamer using them (for recording sessions) or you need to have good skills to create proper visualization material, to clarify what happens.


  • Read our previously published papers on live-streaming.
  • Background or interest in game live-streams.
  • Completed HCI and/or the Statistics lecture and ideally already attended at least one seminar at our chair

How to apply

Please send me an email with the following pieces of information (if you do not answer every point, your application will not be considered):

  • When you plan to start the thesis
  • When you plan to finish the thesis
  • A short motivational statement why this topic is interesting for you
  • A summary why you be a good fit for this topic
  • Your transcript of records
  • Provide the information, whether you have contacts to streamers who would be willing to assist in the study
  • Assume that changing the lighting situation in the streamer’s room is the only possible audience influence option beyond the game. Under this assumption, list context factors that you think are relevant in live-streaming and explain how you would do an online study to investigate these contexts (max 2 A4 page)



Further Topics for BSc / MSc Theses

If the above topics are not a good fit for you, I'm open to your suggestions, if they are in my area of interest. More specifically, a good topic fits to one of these categories:

  • "Bottom-up" gamification/customization in gamification
  • Player-controlled game design (e.g., see PleaseBeNice)
  • Audience-participation games for live-streams (e.g., games like ChoiceChamber or Twitch Plays Pokémon)
  • Improved interaction channels between streamer and audience in live streaming scenario)

If you contact me, please add a one pager describing your idea.

I am also coordinating aspects related to the Media Informatics program at Saarland University. If you have questions to the program, you can also contact me.


  • Seminar: Rapid Game Development: Erstellung eines Computerspiels in einem interdisziplinären Team (Summer 2023)
  • Media Projects: Overall Organization (Winter 2022/2023)
  • Seminar: Games User Research (Winter 2022/2023)
  • Proseminar: Interacting for Fun - Spiel und Spaß mit dem Computer (Summer 2022)
  • Seminar: Walk While Work - UX-Driven Development of Player Type-Centric Motion Games (Winter 2021/2022)
  • Media Projects: Overall Organization (Winter 2021/2022)
  • Lecture Series: Decisions² - Analoges und Digitales Game Design - Co-Organization (Winter 2021/2022)
  • Media Projects: Overall Organization & Smart City Saarbrücken Media Project (Winter 2020/2021)
  • Advanced Lecture: Gamification & Game Studies (Summer 2020)
  • Media Projects: Overall Organization & User-Driven Game Development Media Project (Winter 2019/2020)
  • Internship Seminar: Organziation (Since WS 2019/2020)
  • Seminar: Rapid Game Development: Erstellung eines Computerspiels in einem interdisziplinären Team (Summer 2019)
  • Seminar: Innovative Retail Technologies (Winter 2018/2019)
  • Seminar: Games User Research (Summer 2018)
  • Seminar: Livestreaming meets HCI (Summer 2017)
  • Seminar: Gamified Life - Integration of Gamification Elements into Everyday Life (Winter 2014/15)
  • Lecture: User Interface Design (Summer 2014) - Coordination
  • Seminar: Multi-User Gaze-Based Interaction (Summer 2014)
  • Seminar: From Analog to Digital: Moving from Paper-Based Artifacts to Digital Counterparts (Winter 2013/14)
  • Lecture: Ubiquitous Media (Summer 2013) - Coordination
  • Lecture: User Interface Design (Summer 2013) - Coordination
  • Proseminar: Programmierung mobiler Geräte mit Android (Winter 2012/13)

Ongoing / Finished Theses / Media Projects

  • The Trash Game - Ein gamifizierter und crowd-basierter Ansatz zur Motivation bewusster Mülltrennung (Finished, Bachelor, Maximilian Altmeyer)
  • Socialized Club System - Ein gamifiziertes System zur Verbesserung
    der Kommunikation und der Übersicht in Großraumdiskotheken (Finished, Bachelor, Dominic Gottwalles)
  • Analyzing Crowd Interaction within a Collaborative Gaming Scenario (Finished, Bachelor, Christian Wolff)
  • To-Do List Applications for Smartphones - Investigating the Current State of the Art and Developing Design Guidelines in a Participatory Design Process (Finished, Bachelor, Christopher Schommer)
  • DEPlata - A Digitally Enhanced Planning Table for Rough Factory Layouts (Finished, Master, Nico Herbig)
  • ExpenseControl - A Gamified, Semi-Automated, Crowd-Based Approach For Receipt Capturing (Finished, Master, Maximilian Altmeyer)
  • Enriched Livestream Experience: Expanding Hearthstone-Livestreams with New Communication Channels (Finished, Bachelor, Alexander Vielhauer)
  • Twitch Plays Hedgewars: A Case Study of the “Twitch Plays” Phenomenon (Finished, Master, Matthias Hennemann)
  • The Encouragement of Walking with Gamified Mobile Applications - Development of a Research Prototype (Finished, Bachelor, Sarah Sterz)
  • Motivating Users with Bottom-Up Gamification in a Microtask Setting (Finished, Master, Christian Wolff)
  • Development and Evaluation of a Multiplayer Game with Shared Game Control (Finished, Bachelor, Vladislav Hnatovskiy)
  • Measuring the Effect of User Designed Gamification in an Image Annotation Setting (Finished, Master, Dominic Buchheit)
  • CrowdChess 2.0 - Exploratory Studies of Audience-Driven Chess in the Live-Streaming Context (Finished, Bachelor, Oliver Braese)
  • Player Types 2 Go: Towards Predicting Hexad Player Types Using Smartphone Data (Finished, Bachelor, Marc Schubhan)
  • "Enable or Disable Gamification?" Investigting the Effect of Choice in a Gamified Setting (Finished, Bachelor, Lea Schmeer)
  • Boosting Viewer Influence in Gaming Live Streams using Biometrics and Gaming Environment Manipulations (Finished, Master, Julian Sahner)
  • Crowdjump: Untersuchung des Prozesses der nutzer-gesteuerten Entwicklung eines Plattformer-Spiels (Finished, Bachelor, Nicolas Brauner)
  • FitnessRPG: Ein gamifiziertes System zur Motivation sportlicher Aktivität in Fitnessstudios (Finished, Bachelor, Nikodemus Schmidt)
  • Investigating Audience Participation Options in a Live-Streamed Game (Finished, Bachelor, Maksim Shpakov)
  • Gamified University Courses (Finished, Bachelor, Luis Herres)
  • Influence of Different Contexts on Vocabulary Learning (Finished, Bachelor, Tamino Lobert)
  • Investigating the Effect of Choice between Fixed Gamification Interventions in a Gamified Online Survey (Finished, Master, Swathi Krishnaraja)
  • Untersuchung von konfigurierbarer Gamification in einer Dot-Probe-Task (Finished, Bachelor, Jonas Wallach)
  • SocialCluster: Ein Assistenzsystem zur Unterstützung journalistischer Recherchen durch Clustering von Beiträgen aus sozialen Netzwerken (Finished, Bachelor, Simon Rauch)
  • Investigating the Choice between Absolute and Relative Leaderboards in a Gamified Image Tagging Task (Finished, Bachelor, Dennis Gudea)
  • "Neighbourtopia" (Finshed, Media Project, Norine Coenen, Stefanie Lehmann, Alexander Vielhauer)
  • "GymLife" (Finished, Media Project, Philip Hell, Omair Bhatti, Jan Ehrlich)
  • CrossFit-RPG (Finished, Media Project, Jills Els, Daniel Ngoufack, Nils Lipp, Jennifer Betz)
  • User-Driven Game Design (Finished, Media Project, Jan-Robin Aumann, Jan Larisch, Seref Güngör)
  • Smart City (Finished, Media Project, Daniel Lange, Jonas Wagner, Tobias Gürtler, Thorsten Willems, Michal Jakub Jurek, Felix Houy, Maksim Moor)

  • Train the Spire (Ongoing, Master)
  • House Rules in Board Games (Ongoing, Bachelor)
  • Viewer Types & Customization in Live-Streaming (Ongoing, Master)
  • User Interaction in Real-Time Collaborative Art Scenarios (Ongoing, Bachelor)

Academic Services & More

Reviewer: CHI PLAY 2023 Full Papers,INTERACT 2023, GamiFIN 2023, CHI 2023 Papers, CHI Play 2022 Work-in-Progress, MuC 2022 (Part of PC for Short Papers), CHI Play 2022 Full Papers, IEEE Transactions on Games, CHI 2022 Papers, CHI Play 2021 Papers, INTERACT 2021, CHI 2021 Papers, MUM 2020 (PC), CHI Play 2020 Work-in-Progress, IMX 2020 Work-in-Progress, CHI 2020 Late Breaking Work, CHI 2020 Papers, CHI Play 2019, INTERACT 2019, TVX 2019, CHI 2019 Late Breaking Work, CHI 2018 Papers, CHI 2017 Papers and Notes, CHI PLAY 2017 Full Papers, CHI 2016 Papers and Notes, MobileHCI 2016 Papers Program, UbiComp 2016 Papers and Notes, Interacting with Computers 2016, CHI 2015 Papers and Notes, Mobile HCI 2015 Papers Program, Social Science Computer Review 2015, MUM 2015 Papers, Mobile HCI 2014 Papers Program, NordiCHI 2014 Papers, NordiCHI 2014 Posters, Mobile HCI 2013 Posters, UbiComp 2013 Adjunct

More: Member of the GamesTalente jury since 2020.

Selected Videos

If you are interested in my work, you can also watch these videos

  • BU-ToDO: Example of "Bottom-up" Gamification in a task management application
  • Helpstone: An example of enhanced audience interaction options in a game live-stream
  • More Autonomy in Gamification Systems: A study that revealed that allowing users to disable gamification in a system is useful

PDF Access to Selected Publications

Publications ()