Rising to the challenge: An emotion-driven approach toward adaptive serious games

Claudia Schrader*, Julia Brich, Julian Frommel, Valentin Riemer, Katja Rogers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Serious games are steadily becoming a powerful tool for educational purposes as their challenging characteristics are suggested to make them particularly appealing to learn with. This challenging nature, however, comes at a price, namely, the need to maintain the optimal balance according to players’ emotional experiences. By focusing on players’ emotions as main player characteristic considered to be important for learning processes and performance, this chapter surveys empirical research and current game development that contributes to an emotion-adaptive framework for games. The goal of this chapter is to clarify the importance of continuously adjusting game characteristics to players’ emotional states. As the interaction between game characteristics and players’ emotions highlights the need for continuously assessing at what point gameplay becomes more or less positively or negatively affected, methods for emotion recognition are presented. A summary of adaptable game design elements as well as implementation methods for adaptivity are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSerious Games and Edutainment Applications
Subtitle of host publicationVolume II
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9783319516455
ISBN (Print)9783319516431
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Adaptive games
  • Adaptivity
  • Emotion recognition
  • Procedural content generation
  • Serious games


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