Georgios Yannakakis is Associate Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen

Augmented-Reality (Playware Playground) Games Research


The Playware prototype playground consists of several building blocks (i.e. tangible tiles) that allow for the game designer (e.g. the child) to develop a significant number of different games (e.g. Bug-Smasher, Space-Invaders) within the same platform. The overall technological concept of Playware is based on intelligent physical identities (tiles) that incorporate processing power, communication, input and output, focusing on the role of the morphology-intelligence interplay in developing game platforms.

The principal goal here is to construct user models of a class of game-playing experience. Specifically, the aim is that models can predict the answers to which variants of a given game are more or less “fun.” This approach is referred to as Entertainment Modeling. Entertainment generated by a physical game experience is captured through features extracted from user-game interaction and user’s physiological state and feature selection is used for choosing the appropriate set of features that successfully predict expressed entertainment preferences. The output of the constructed model is a real number in the range [0, 1] such that more enjoyable games receive higher numerical output. This basic approach of entertainment modeling is applicable to a variety of games, both computer and physical using features derived from physiological data and/or from the interaction of player and opponent measured through game parameters.

The proposed approach can be used for adaptation of the game’s entertainment features (challenge, curiosity) according to the player’s individual playing and physiological features in real-time. The key to this is the observation that the models relate features to an entertainment value. It is therefore possible in principle to infer what changes to game features (given embedding of the features in the model) will cause an increase in the entertainment value of the game, and to adjust game parameters to make those changes.


Anders, Marie-Laura and Michelle playing Bug-Smasher (12MB each video)

Real-time Adaptive Bug-Smasher

Mads and Christian (~8MB each video)

Media Coverage

  • "Computer game shifts up a gear if kids act bored," New Scientist magazine, issue 2622, 24 September 2007, page 27 [article]
  • "Computer game hots up if kids act bored," [article]
  • "Gra, która podgrzewa atmosferę," [article] (in Polish)

Further interested in Augmented-Reality Games research?

Papers about Playware Playground

  • G. N. Yannakakis, J. Hallam and H. H. Lund, "Entertainment Capture through Heart Rate Activity in Physical Interactive Playgrounds," User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction, Special Issue: Affective Modeling (to appear) [pdf]
  • G. N. Yannakakis, and J. Hallam, "Modeling and Augmenting Game Entertainment through Challenge and Curiosity,"  International Journal on Artificial Intelligence Tools, vol. 16, issue 6, pp. 981-999, December 2007. [pdf]
  • G. N. Yannakakis, and J. Hallam, "Entertainment Modeling in Physical Play through Physiology beyond Heart-Rate," in Proceedings of the Int. Conf. on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 4738 Lisbon, pp. 256-267, Portugal, September, 2007. Springer-Verlag [pdf].
  • G. N. Yannakakis, and J. Hallam, "Feature Selection for Capturing the Experience of Fun," in Proceedings of the AIIDE'07 Workshop on Optimizing Player Satisfaction, AAAI Press Technical Report WS-01-01, pp. 37-42, Stanford, USA, June, 2007. AAAI Press [pdf]
  • G. N. Yannakakis and J. Hallam, "Game and Player Feature Selection for Entertainment Capture,'' in Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence and Games, pp. 244-251, Hawaii, USA, 2007. [pdf]
  • G. N. Yannakakis, J. Hallam and H. H. Lund, "Capturing Entertainment through Heart-rate Dynamics in the Playware Playground," in Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Entertainment Computing, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 4161, pp. 314-317, Cambridge, UK, September 20-22, 2006. Springer-Verlag. [pdf]
  • G. N. Yannakakis, H. H. Lund and J. Hallam, "Modeling Children's Entertainment in the Playware Playground," in Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence and Games, pp. 134-141,  Reno, USA, May, 2006. [pdf]
  • G. N. Yannakakis, J. Hallam and H. H. Lund, "Comparative Fun Analysis in the Innovative Playware Game Platform," in Proceedings of the 1st World Conference for Fun 'n Games, pp. 64-70, Preston, England, June 26-28, 2006. [pdf]
  • F. Hammer and G. N. Yannakakis, "Promoting Children's Physical Activity using Adaptive Playgrounds," in Proceedings of the 4th European Youth Heart Study Symposium: Children, Physical Activity & Health, Odense, Denmark, 24-25 April, 2006.[doc]
Book Chapters
Reports & theses
Player Satisfaction Modeling
Physical Game Interaction



































Last updated: 27/09/08