Dr. ing. S.C.J. (Sander) Bakkes

Leuvenlaan 4
Kamer 4.13
3584 CE Utrecht

Dr. ing. S.C.J. (Sander) Bakkes

Assistant Professor

“Medical treatment of sick children can be made more pleasant and more effective with a game in which children (together) learn in a playful way to better cope with their illness. The most challenging is to design the game interactions in such a way that they transfer towards positive effect in the real world.”

Sander Bakkes is Assistant Professor and Game Researcher at the Faculty of Science. Dr. Bakkes works on the development of personalized games and game interventions for health care, education, and research. He leverages user models to automatically tailor a game intervention for the individual user. His aim is to improve the gaming experience and optimize the effectiveness and adherence of an intervention. To do this, Dr. Bakkes draws on his expertise in adaptive artificial intelligence, game experience modeling, and game design.

Dr. Bakkes is involved in the HUB 'Playing = Growing Up Healthy'. In this HUB, together with colleagues from other disciplines,  he explores the power and possibilities of play. The main purpose of this is to gain insight into how play can help children to cope better with their (chronic) illness. Dr. Bakkes also works on a game to assist children with a heart defect, on a training game for crisis management, on interactive toys to practice fine motor skills, and on a training game for the Dutch Police Academy to promote international cooperation.

In addition to his work as a researcher, Dr. Bakkes supervises various PhD students and developed the courses Game Design, and Gamification & Applied Games for education. In addition, he is a regular contributor to scientific journals, international conferences and popular media.