Treemagotchi is an online platform aiming to inform people about sustainable consumption and to encourage them to carry out supportive actions in a pleasant and social way. Users are given the opportunity to perform specific actions (e.g. search for nearby bio shops, play a game about fair trade, unsubscribe from the printed yellow pages, etc.). The collective impact of these actions (which are planned in collaboration with external partners) are visible on the website. Extra motivation is created by letting people tend to and personalize a virtual tree. This is managed by having people earn beechnuts with each action, which they can use to enhance their tree. Additionally, Treemagotchi features social network integration in order to enable participants to share their feats.

In 2009, a Dutch test project already ran. In Belgium a similar website was launched in October 2011, an initiative of the non-profit organizations Netwerk Bewust Verbruiken and Ecolife.

The Treemagotchi research project encompasses three types of research which tackle the user experience from different perspectives. From a design perspective, the extent to which users find the website intuitive and efficient is evaluated. In addition, users are profiled based on objective user data. Finally, expanding upon these profiles, a qualitative analysis is performed which studies the motivations of different user segments.

Duration of the project

The project runs from 28/09/2011 - 29/02/2012.

Staff involved

  • Prof. dr. Jan Van Looy
  • Frederik De Grove
  • Karel Verbrugge


  • ICT & Society
  • Gaming and Immersive Media Lab

Financed by

  • iMinds