Affective games: adaptation and design

Salma Hamdy*, David King

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Biofeedback applications implement affect recognition and adaptation modules. The adaptation mechanism in affective games associate the extracted emotion or affect variables with in-game features and events; mainly with game mechanics. This is used to procedurally create new content or modify existing content or game characters. Explicit or implicit feedback and control offer different interaction experiences through visible indicators of affect or back-scene subtle changes in gameplay. Several experiments in the literature have attempted to formalise the adaption mechanism by deriving mathematical relationships between game features and user satisfaction or exploit machine learning to predict adjustment parameters and playstyles. Others propose affective game design patterns.
Affective game design requires the expertise of an interdisciplinary design but it seems that research is approaching affective game design with over-simplified definitions, and mainly from an implementation perspective, rather than a psychophysiological one. A game designer’s main role is to create engaging mechanics that provide players with an immersive experience through affective patterns. However, a deep understanding of the affective quality of certain game features is lacking and there is rising need to study such association. This paper attempts to investigate and analyse ways to guide game designers on the selection and operation of these features.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication20th International Conference on Intelligent Games and Simulation
Subtitle of host publicationGAME-ON'2019
EditorsRobert Grigg
Place of PublicationOstend
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9789492859082
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2019
Event20th annual European GAME-ON Conference: Simulation and AI in Computer Games - Breda University of Applied Sciences, Breda, Netherlands
Duration: 18 Sept 201920 Sept 2019
Conference number: 20


Conference20th annual European GAME-ON Conference
Abbreviated titleGame-On 2019
Internet address


  • Biofeedback
  • Affective adaptation
  • Game design patterns


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