Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Computer Engineering and Computer Science

Degree Program

Computer Science and Engineering, PhD

Committee Chair

Elmaghraby, Adel

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Sokhadze, Estate

Committee Member

Sokhadze, Estate

Committee Member

Imam, Ibrahim

Committee Member

Chang, Dar-jen

Committee Member

El-Baz, Ayman

Author's Keywords

virtual reality; feedback; affective gaming; serious games; healthcare; emotion


One of the most important factors to influence user experience in human-computer interaction is the user emotional reaction. Interactive environments including serious games that are responsive to user emotions improve their effectiveness and user satisfactions. Testing and training for user emotional competence is meaningful in healthcare field, which has motivated us to analyze immersive affective games using emotional feedbacks. In this dissertation, a systematic model of designing interactive environment is presented, which consists of three essential modules: affect modeling, affect recognition, and affect control. In order to collect data for analysis and construct these modules, a series of experiments were conducted using virtual reality (VR) to evoke user emotional reactions and monitoring the reactions by physiological data. The analysis results lead to the novel approach of a framework to design affective gaming in virtual reality, including the descriptions on the aspects of interaction mechanism, graph-based structure, and user modeling. Oculus Rift was used in the experiments to provide immersive virtual reality with affective scenarios, and a sample application was implemented as cross-platform VR physical training serious game for elderly people to demonstrate the essential parts of the framework. The measurements of playability and effectiveness are discussed. The introduced framework should be used as a guiding principle for designing affective VR serious games. Possible healthcare applications include emotion competence training, educational softwares, as well as therapy methods.