Serious games (games for purposes other than entertainment [1]), as well as persuasive games (games for promoting desirable behavior without coercion [2]) are increasingly adopted by scholars and have also found their way into industry. Elements of games are also increasingly used to design gameful interactions (this is also referred to as gamification [3,4]). Serious and persuasive approaches focus on imparting knowledge and raising awareness about a topic or an issue, but also on attitude or behavior change in a desirable direction, for example towards a more healthy lifestyle [5].

In an era where we are used to highly individualized, personal and ubiquitous interactions and with the possibility to collect an enormous amount of information about people’s behaviors, habits and attitudes in our devices and our environments, personalization has increased much in significance since it became a topic in Human-Computer Interaction [6]. As of right now, we do not only have advanced opportunities to personalize serious and persuasive games and gameful interactions, we have also scientific evidence that this is highly useful. Studies show that these technologies are more effective in educating users about certain topics and in supporting them in behavioral and attitudinal change, as well as in raising awareness and engaging them in specific topics, when they are personalized in contrast to employing a one-size-fits-all approach. For example, the efficacy of personalization has been shown in personality-targeted user interface design [7], persuasive technology [8,9] and games [5,10,11,].

Personalization has been investigated along several dimensions, such as personality [7], cognitive abilities [12], gender [13], persuadability (the susceptibility to persuasive strategies, [14]) as well as player types [5], gamification user types [15,16] and behavior [8].

Although personalization of serious and persuasive games and gameful interactions is a vibrant and highly promising area and has become an increasingly researched field, many aspects of it are underexplored. Recent advances of the field show new evidence of the value of using personality factors for tailoring gamification [16,17], first empirical data [18] and experiments [19], suggestions of new player archetypes as personalization dimensions [20], investigations on the validity of existing type models [21], and discussions of the value of personalization [22].

There is common understanding on the importance of personalization itself, but also an ongoing debate and a growing number of research on the approaches used for personalization: Will we use subjective or objective variables for personalization [8]? Will we use continuous (such as traits [17]) or categorical (such as types [23]) dimensions? Will we personalize according to specific interactions (e.g. game dynamics [24]) or ends of the interaction (e.g. different goals)? Will we rely on an a priori personalization or will we be able to personalize in real-time? With the proposed workshop we aim to discuss and advance these questions with the specialized audience targeted by the UMAP conference.


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  19. Marc Busch, Elke Mattheiss, Wolfgang Hochleitner, et al. 2016. Using Player Type Models for Personalized Game Design – An Empirical Investigation. International Journal on Interaction Design & Architecture(s) Accepted for Publication.
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  21. Gabriel Barata, Sandra Gama, Joaquim Jorge, and Daniel Goncalves. 2016. Early Prediction of Student Profiles based on Performance and Gaming Preferences. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies: 1–1
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