Affective Player Experience of Fear (APEX of Fear): Enhancing User Experience of Horror through Affective Computing

  • Clasen, Mathias (PI)
  • Terkildsen, Thomas (Project manager)
  • Bøgh, Jonas Vázquez (Collaborator)
  • Mandryk, Regan (Collaborator)
  • Nacke, Lennart (Collaborator)
  • Yannakakis, Georgios (Collaborator)

Project: Research

Project Details


Recreational fear is entertainment that’s designed to spook people, to make them scream, shiver with fear, and break out in cold sweats. It’s paradoxically one of the most consistently popular, profitable and rapidly growing phenomena in entertainment. People are willing to spend good money to experience intense fear and bodily terror. While current solutions are capable of scratching the recreational fear itch, their ability to reliably elicit fear and their business potential are being bottlenecked by limitations of existing media. Our solution removes these barriers and provides the apex of fear attractions by building on decades of combined research. Imagine a horror attraction which, in line with current entertainment trends, is capable of adapting the experience based on what YOU feel and fear. This is the kind of emotion recognition technology we have created. Our affective gaming research and solution has repeatedly shown that it can significantly improve user experience in a lab setting using multimodal psychophysiological measures combined with our artificial intelligence system. In spite of this, there is still no widespread commercial adoption of affective gaming technology in entertainment today. We want to change that!
While this kind of affective computing tech has numerous potential applications, we want to set up a warehouse-scale horror attraction, which uses state-of-the-art Virtual Reality hardware in combination with our real-time adaptive affective gaming solution to keep the players in the sweet spot of fear. Based on preliminary market research, we posit that the market for premium horror experiences in Denmark is unsaturated, which we will capitalize on. During the proposed 12-month InnoExplorer project the goal is to raise the technology readiness levels of affective gaming from 4 to 7 by developing and testing a prototype and to further evaluate the commercial potential of our solution with a focus on de-risking IPR protection.
Short titleAPEX of Fear
Effective start/end date01/01/202231/12/2022


  • Innovationsfonden: DKK1,490,360.00