GAMEON'2015, December 2-4 , 2015, University of Amsterdam (UvA), Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Keynote Speakers


Keynote Speakers

Serious Gaming for Tactical and Strategic Decision Making

Dr. A.H. (Anja) van der Hulst
Senior Consultant
Training Performance Innovations
The Netherlands


A major field of professional application of Serious Gaming is that of tactical- and strategic decision making. From the very early days, the military used wargames for strategy development and training and they still do, and, at present the use of virtual environments for tactical training is standard practice. The game concepts that originate from those military developments find an increasingly broader use, in strategic business modelling, in logistics, in urban development etc.

One might think that the actual decision making is the hardest part, yet, at the heart of tactical and strategic decision making is the process of 'situation assessment', the most 'intuitive' aspect of complex decision making. Unfortunately, in live training, it is also the most neglected. Particularly for developing situation assessment skills and the cognitive flexibility to apply those skills to situations previously un-encountered, substantial experience in essentially different settings is indispensable. Also, gaining competency in decision making requires tactically valid feedback. Both requirements makes serious gaming an attractive alternative to live training as it allows 1) to train more - by a far more short-cyclic approach, 2) to train less - by providing dedicated training by isolating competencies that need intensive training, and 3) to train differently - by dedicated game based training approaches.

In this talk, competencies in tactical and strategic decision making will be outlined, such as requirements for game based training and subsequently three entirely different game based training approaches that all found their way into professional development.

Curriculum Vitae

Anja van der Hulst PhD studied Educational Technology and obtained a PhD in applications of Artificial Intelligence to Educational Technology from the University of Amsterdam. At present, she is project manager and senior researcher at the Dutch research organization TNO, primarily in the field of Serious Gaming for tactical- and strategic training in the Safety and Security domain. She coordinates the Serious Gaming research at TNO and lectures in Serious Game design at the University of Amsterdam.

Let me Entertain you! AI that Designs Games for you

Prof. Georgios N. Yannakakis,
Institute of Digital Games,
University of Malta


Can AI understand how players feel, think and react and, in turn, automatically design new games for them? Can those computationally designed games be considered creative? When does this happen and who judges after all? What happens when we design together with an AI instead? Do we merely co-design or can a machine truly foster our creativity as human designers?

In this talk I will address the above questions by positioning computer games as the ideal application domain for computational creativity, affective computing and machine learning for the unique features they offer. For that purpose, I will identify a number of key creative facets in modern game development and discuss their required orchestration for a final successful game product. I will also focus on the study of player emotion and will detail the key phases for efficient game-based affect interaction. Advanced methods for player experience modeling, game adaptation, procedural content generation, and computational game creativity will be showcased via a plethora of game projects developed at the Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta.

Curriculum Vitae

Associate Professor Georgios N. Yannakakis ( is the Director of the Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta (UoM). He received the PhD degree in Informatics from the University of Edinburgh in 2005. Prior to joining the Institute of Digital Games, UoM, in 2012 he was an Associate Professor at the Center for Computer Games Research at the IT University of Copenhagen.

He does research at the crossroads of artificial intelligence, computational creativity, affective computing, advanced game technology, and human-computer interaction. He pursues research concepts such as user experience modeling and procedural content generation for the design of personalized interactive systems for entertainment, education, training and health. He has published over 180 journal and conference papers in the aforementioned fields and his work has been cited broadly. His research has been supported by numerous national and European grants and has appeared in Science Magazine and New Scientist among other venues. He is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing and the IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games. He has been the General Chair of key conferences in the area of game artificial intelligence (IEEE CIG 2010) and games research (FDG 2013).