This is a list of our current research projects. Recently completed projects can be found below.
The automated understanding of human behavior is a scientific challenge with many applications in society such as in social surveillance, health care and content-based video retrieval. In ARBITER, we research (1) how bodily interactions can best be represented quantitatively, and (2) how to automatically recognize interactions from video data. This approach allows us to robustly classify interactions in both space and time at a fine scale.
- Project members UU: Dr. Ronald Poppe
- Funding: NWO TOP C2
This project will pioneer the use of mainstream PlayStation VR technologies for innovative educational applications which engage world-wide audiences in the Europe’s rich historical and scientific heritage. The resulting technology and tools will provide an infrastructure for creating educational VR experiences and generate new business opportunities outside of Sony’s core gaming activities on the PlayStation platform. In the process it will create inclusive narrative-driven VR experiences which improve the social and physical accessibility of cultural heritage and contribute to the digital preservation of historical sites.
Partners: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Sony Sheffield Hallam University, Jenner Trust, UTC Sheffield Academy Trust (UK), VRTron Ltd (Malta), CNR (Italy)
- Project members UU: Dr. Herre van Oostendorp, dr. Egon van den Broek, Chris Ferguson
- Funding: Horizon2020 ICT-24-2016
The current project aims to get insight in how mobile personalized technology can motivate urban residents to become physically active. More specifically, we aim to gain insight into the effectiveness of elements within an exercise app (motivational feedback, goal setting, individualized messages, gaming elements (gamification)) for making people more physically active, and how the effectiveness depends on characteristics of the individual and the urban setting. This results in a flexible exercise app for inactive citizens based on theories in data mining, machine learning, exercise psychology, behavioral change and gamification. The project contributes to the development of theories on sustainable behavioral change via personalized technologies.
Partners: University of Amsterdam (UvA), Applied University of Amsterdam (HvA), Federal University of São Paulo (Brazil), city of Utrecht, city of Amsterdam, Info.nl, ZappYou, Amsterdam Smart City.
- Project members UU: Dr. Monique Simons, dr. Dick Ettema
- Funding: NWO/SIA/FAPESP-program Data-driven research on Sports & Healthy Living
This network brought together leading international and UK scholars, indie games developers and creative industry stakeholders to examine this transformation of the young but highly significant video games industry to identify how it makes possible new kinds of cultural production, collaboration and creativity.
Partners: University West of England (UK), Dutch Game Garden
- Project members UU: Dr. Stefan Werning, Prof.dr. Joost Raessens, Drs. Stephanie de Smale
- Funding: Arts & Humanities Research Council (UK) – Game changing research networks for the Video game industry
The interpretation of medical images to establish diseases (radiology) is a very complex skill with great clinical implications. Learning this skill requires an intensive training program according to the principles of deliberate practice: intensive training focused on specific tasks, complete with feedback and the possibility to repeat and refine. Serious gaming facilitates these training principles by adding gaming elements which stimulate motivation (engagement) as well as the learning activity itself.
The goal of this project is to develop, validate and evaluate a serious game for radiology education, with a target audience of bachelor medical students, aimed at improving their image interpretation skills.
The project develops the competence to critically imagine and strategically plan for a future other than traditional law enforcement planning strategies and mechanisms currently allow for. Participants will co-design a toolkit to facilitate creative, novel and relevant scenario planning. These methods include deductive and inductive scenario approaches as well as morphological scenario development, simulation gaming and information assemblages. The combination of disciplines and expertise guarantees an innovative and creative approach to data collection that brings new knowledge to the scenario planning debate from law, politics and security, organizational anthropology and creative methods, scenario planning and systems resilience, and gaming and new media.
Partners: Coventry University, Oxford Brookes University, National Crime Agency (NCA)
- Project members UU: Dr. Ingrid Hoofd, Dr Joost Vervoort
- May 2017 – April 2019
- Funding: Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CREST), United Kingdom
Within this Initial Training Network, UU and Noldus IT will develop a tracking system which uses a mobile camera mounted on the subject (egocentric video). New algorithms will be developed to calculate the location of the subject from the video sequences. By combining with other body worn systems (e.g. accelorometers), methods will be developed to detect a range of behaviours, e.g. social interaction, loneliness, falls, changes by mild stroke.
Partners: Noldus IT.
- Project members UU: Dr. Ronald Poppe, Prof.dr. Remco Veltkamp
- Funding: Marie Sklodowska-Curie EU Framework for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020, under Grant Agreement No. 676157
L2TOR (say ‘el tutor’) is a new project which will start beginning 2016. It is a Horizon 2020 funded collaborative project, led by Plymouth University, in which social robots will be programmed to provide dual language instruction to 4-year-olds. In the current project robots will be designed and programmed to provide language input in Dutch-English, Dutch-Turkish, German-English, German-Turkish, and Turkish-English. Utrecht University is in charge of designing ‘lessons’ series, that is, structured interaction-activity scenarios in the domains spatial, mathematical, and mental state language. In addition, Utrecht University is responsible for the three-country evaluation study in the final year of the project.
Partners: Plymouth University, Tilburg University, Bielefeld University, Koc University
- Project members: Paul Leseman, Ora Oudgenoeg, Sanne van der Ven
- funding: Horizon 2020
The goal of the RAGE project is to support the EU based industry for non-leisure games (applied games) amongst others by developing an interoperable set of advanced technology assets tuned to applied gaming, and by showing how these technology assets are used in applied games. Utrecht University will particularly contribute to the assets for interactions and assessment, social agents, and embodiment and physical interaction.
Partners: Open Universiteit Nederland, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, INESC ID, Playgen ltd, Okkam srl, FTK forschungsinstitut fur telekommunikation und kooperation ev, The University of Bolton, Technische Universität Graz, Inmark Estudios y Estrategias sa, Universiteit Utrecht,Uuniversitatea Politehnica din Bucuresti, Nurogames gmbh, Bip Media sarl, Sofiiski Universitet Sveti Kliment Ohridski, Stichting Praktijkleren, Gameware Europe Limite, Ministério da Justiça, Groupe Randstad France, Hull College of Further Education
- Site leader for Utrecht University: Prof. Dr. Johan Jeuring; Assistant Professor Zerrin Yumack
- Funding: H2020 - ICT-21-2014: Advanced digital gaming/gamification technologies
- Blogpost: http://rageproject.eu/utrecht-university-virtual-human-controller-uuvhc-...
This research project will give insight into what the influence of gamification is on energy consumption in households by means of electricity and gas usage and on attitudes towards sustainable energy use at home. For this project Powersaver Game is designed that is to be used as a research instrument that will allow us to investigate different factors and that could strengthen the change in attitude and behaviour. Since our aim is an effective transfer between the game world and real world, we introduced gamification elements from the real world, by energy saving activities, in the game. Powersaver Game is used in a series of experiments. First, the game will be compared with a control (non-game) version. Next, features such as feedback, personal relevance and competition will be examined.
Partners: Inholland University of Applied Sciences, BeNext, Oogwenk, ToekomstGroep
- Project members UU: Jan Dirk Fijnheer, Herre van Oostendorp, Remco Veltkamp
- Funding: Inholland University of Applied Sciences
By applying immersive simulation technology and stated-preference methods this project is focused on developing an in-depth understanding of the meaning of attributes of e.g. the bicycle and walking infrastructure, traffic rush, gradients, urbanization degrees, and greenness in stimulating walking and cycling for various population categories in The Netherlands and São Paulo. The results will be used for policy recommendations in both countries.
Partners: University of Oxford, University of São Paulo
- Site leader for Utrecht University: Prof. Dr. Martin Dijst (Geosciences)
- Funding: FAPESP-ESRC-NWO Joint Call for Transnational Collaborative Research Projects
The focus of the Graduate Programme Game Research lies on the computer science and humanities aspects of games. We perform research and education on the development, application and socio-cultural context of (serious) games and simulations, for example with regard to persuasive technologies and interaction, artificial intelligence, software technology, and virtual worlds, in relation to subject areas like playful-smart cities, health, education, and safety.
An ongoing field-based encounter between students and staff from different disciplines, bringing together students with academic researchers from Geography, Sociology, Development Studies, Geoinformatics, Game Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies and New Media Studies in order to explore the links between mapping, mobility and play.
Partners: University of Manchester (UK), University of Warwick (UK)
- Project members UU: Drs. Alex Gekker, Dr. René Glas
- Funding: Erasmus +
This research project has set up the first unified effort between game research, cultural heritage institutions and the Dutch game industry. It seeks answers to questions around definition, preservation, archiving and exhibition of the history of Dutch digital games and game development.
Partner: Sound and Vision
- Project Members UU: Dr René Glas, Dr. Jasper van Vught
- Funding: NWO Museumbeurs and Utrecht University Focus Area Game Research seed money grant.
The research in this project is concerned with the characteristics, design principles, and effectiveness of persuasive gaming. We study gaming practices that combine the dissemination of information with attempts to engage players in particular behaviors and attitudes.
Partners: Erasmus University Rotterdam, Eindhoven University of Technology, Submarine, IJsfontein
In this project we do research on affective body animation, crowd simulation, biomechanical animation, computational modelling of music emotion, and video analysis of human interaction. The Emotigy.org game is crowd sourcing tool to collect data about perceived emotion in music.
Partners: University of Amsterdam, University of Twente, Waag Society, CGI, Inreda Diabetic, info.nl, Elitac BV, DIGIFiT, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Motek Medical, 8D Games
- Project leaders: Prof. Dr. Remco Veltkamp, dr. Zerrin Yumak, dr. Frans Wiering, dr. Roland Gerearts,
dr. ir. R.W. (Ronald) Poppe
- Funding: FES fund
In a rapidly changing environment in which technology plays a major role in the lives of adolescents, there is strong need to develop an intervention that meets the needs of these youngsters. Media and games have become a fact of live, and for that reason we will employ the concept of serious gaming for the development of an intervention for increasing self-control among adolescents. The main focus is to develop a game which is fun to play and will keep adolescents motivated to finish the training/game. The game will include evidence-based training paradigm’s, however these paradigm’s are incorporated in such manner that they are not explicitly visible for the player.
The game will be designed by students of the Game Technology study in corporation with a Game Design Studio.
Partners: Shosho Amsterdam (Game Design Studio)
- Project leader: dr. Margot Peeters
- dr.ir Robbert Jan Beun, Wouter Boendermaker MSc, dr. Rens van de Schoot, prof. dr. Remco Veltkamp
- Funding: Dynamics of Youth (DoY)
A project aimed to develop and sustain simulations and simulations games within Utrecht University’s institution-wide academic education. The goals is to support teaching staff to use simulations and simulation games to realizing learning goals; develop and train core competencies of students; to train students to work in multidisciplinary settings around complex issues; to connect educational education to changing ways of learning of contemporary students.
- Project leader: Dr. Tom Overmans
- Funding: Utrechts Stimuleringsfonds Onderwijs
Communicate! is project that develops the Virtual Patient, a serious game for practicing communication skills. It supports practicing interpersonal communication skills by interacting with a virtual character that responds to choices of a player and displays emotions. Besides a playing environment, Communicate! offers an editor for scenarios. A scenario is a graph-like structure, extended with several constructs to avoid the development of repetitive structures. The research in the project focuses on scenario development, and several aspects and technologies related to learning.
- Project leader: Prof.dr. Johan Jeuring
- 2013 - 2016
- Funding: Educate-IT
SAGE aims to develop a sustainable serious games curriculum in the undergraduate IT programs of the four consortium universities from Palestine and Tunisia.
Partners: Birzeit University and Al-Quds University (Palestine), University of Sousse and University of Sfax (Tunisia), RWTH Aachen (Germany), Utrecht University, Stockholm University (Sweden)
- Project member: Dr. Ir. Frank van der Stappen, Dr. Ir. Arjan Egges
- Funding: EU Tempus Program
The goal of the project is to develop computerized strategies to improve exercise adherence. A mobile e-coaching system has been developed that uses strategies from gaming and persuasive technology in the domain of insomnia therapy.
Partners: Delft University of Technology, University of Amsterdam, Philips
- Project leader: Dr. Ir. Robbert Jan Beun
- Funding: STW-Philips-NIHC
The key objective of this research programme is to investigate to what extent and how digital maps can be considered as new techno-cultural phenomena that have altered our way of being in and moving through our spatial environments. Part of this research project investigates playful mapping practices that people nowadays engage with.
Partners: University of Warwick (UK), University of Manchester (UK)
- Project members UU: Drs. Alex Gekker
- Funding: European Research Council
Growing Games is a stimulation programme to foster the durable grow of the Dutch applied game sector.
Partners: Dutch Game Garden, Izovator, TNO, Economic Board Utrecht, IMMovator, ClickNL Games, Dutch Games Association, HKU, Hogeschool Utrecht, Kamer van koophandel, Spil Games, CbuzineZ, Hanegraaf, FreedomLab, aBSRD, Center for Applied Games, Dasym, Koninklijke Landmacht, Hogeschool van Amsterdam, Ministerie van Defensie, KPMG, Games for Health, AMC, Game World Consultants, Hilversum Mediastad, Provincie Utrecht
- Project member: Prof. Dr. Remco Veltkamp
- Funding: province of Utrecht
This project researches which musical features make you remember a fragment well. Through the game www.hookedgame.nl we collect data about those hooks in music.
Partners: University of Amsterdam, Meertens Institute, Sound & Vision
- Project leader: Prof. Dr. Remco Veltkamp
- Funding: NWO CATCH
In this project we aimed to respond to the call of the cTWO (commissie Toekomst Wiskunde Onderwijs, Commission Future of Math Education) for making more use of ICT in the classroom and for the further appliance of math in authentic contexts. We did so by designing a first prototype of a 3D world that offers high school students a relevant authentic context in order to develop active mathematical thinking, one of the spear points of the new math curriculum for both havo and vwo. This relevant context is shaped by the history of mathematics, which is currently not a part of Dutch high school curricula. In the envisioned game, history, enriched with relevant heritage objects from Museum Boerhaave, will serve as a narrative to create practical, technical and scientific situations (contexts) in which math is used as a tool to solve a certain problem.
Partners: Museum Boerhaave, Huygens ING, QLVR, Brill Publishers
- Project leaders: Prof. dr. Toine Pieters, prof. dr. Remco Veltkamp
- Period: August 2014-June 2015
- Funding: NWO KIEM and Utrecht University Focus area Game Research
This Summer School was hosted by Utrecht University, but organized by different European universities that are considered as leaders in the field. It consisted of a two-week intensive programme during which students were encouraged to develop their research ideas further. It provided a unique opportunity to learn about cutting-edge theories and methodologies from leading scholars in the field. Students had the rare opportunity to broaden their horizon internationally, and gained knowledge about games and play from an interdisciplinary perspective.
Partners: Erasmus University Rotterdam, Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Warwick, (UK), University of Tampere, (Finland), Leuphana University (Germany)
- Project leader: Prof.dr. Joost Raessens; Dr. René Glas, Dr. Teresa de la Hera, drs. Alex Gekker, drs. Stephanie de Smale
- Funding: EP Nuffic
This network explored the burgeoning ‘Games for change’ movement that has emerged in the last decade, which has appropriated to engage people beyond entertainment. A growing number of artists, educationalists and activities are developing games that contend with personal, social and political subject matter, e.g. poverty, immigration, fiscal crisis, with the explicit intention of altering or affecting player opinion outside of the game world.
Partners: Manchester Metropolitan University (UK)
- Project members UU: Prof.dr. Joost Raessens, Drs. Niels Hoogendoorn
- Funding: Arts & Humanities Research Council (UK) – Game changing research networks for the Video game industry