Personalisation of Serious Games

Although, dedicated tools, methods, guidelines and knowledge are essential to realise effective serious games, they still are not a guarantee for success. An important reason is that all people are different: they have different preferences, different abilities, different performance motivations, different personality treats, and so on. What works for one person, may not work for another person. A (serious) game that is engaging and effective for one person may not be engaging and effective for another person.

Therefore, a promising avenue is to make sure that the serious game is adapted to the characteristics of the individual player. However, how serious games can be personalised, which factors can be used to personalise (e.g. personality, gender, learning types, user abilities, player types, user states, contextual/situational variables, …), what effect personalisation has (e.g. on player/user experience), and whether there is any return on investment is still largely unexplored.

Flavours of Personalisation


In this context, we investigated whether the theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI) [1] as developed by Gardner could be used to adapt a serious game to an individual. The theory of MI states that the intelligence of a human being is multi-dimensional, as opposed to the common one-dimensional understanding of intelligence (i.e. expressible as Intelligence Quotient). In MI eight different dimensions are recognized. The Theory of MI states that everyone possesses all intelligences but to different degrees. We explored the applicability of this theory for personalized and player-centered (serious) game design by looking for empirical evidence. The investigation shows that there is a correlation between gamers’ intelligences, their preference for games, and game mechanics. Based on these results mappings have been defined between MI dimensions and game mechanics and a supporting tool has been developed. The research results are described in the papers mentioned below . The tool is freely available on The tool allows to select game mechanics which are appropriate to particular MI dimensions. A screenshot of the tool is given below. 

[1] H. Gardner, Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. Basic books, 2011.

Tool supporting the mapping between MI dimensions and game mechanics

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