Dr. M. (Maria) Freese


Maria Freese is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Policy Analysis Section of the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management of Delft University of Technology. She obtained her Bachelor in Psychology and master’s degree in Human-Technology-Interaction from the Otto-von-Guericke University in Magdeburg. From 2013 to 2017 Maria worked as a doctoral candidate at the German Aerospace Center in Braunschweig.


As a postdoctoral researcher, Maria Freese is particularly interested in the design, development, and use of serious games as research instruments, in order to analyse complex systems.

Within the T-TRIPP project (NWO TTW) and in cooperation with the TU Delft Gamelab, Maria has developed the serious "MachiaCelli" game, a game designed to bring scientists and policy-makers together, and to foster their mutual learning. The second game, that was developed within this project, is called "Cards for Biosafety", which trains junior biotechnology researchers in their awareness of biosafety and related risks. She is also part of the Safety Deal project (RVO) where she supports the team and assists with research on the long-term effectiveness of serious games. In addition to this, Maria studies ways of optimising facilitation processes (briefing, debriefing) of serious games, and from her psychological perspective, she is doing research on the role of emotions in human-gaming interactions.  

Maria is a member of the Swiss Austrian German Simulation and Gaming Association (SAGSAGA) and the International Simulation and Gaming Association (ISAGA). She is also a reviewer for the Journal of Simulation & Gaming. In 2021, Maria was awarded the German Simulation and Gaming Award for her Phd thesis on the influence of emotions on team decisions by using the example of a serious game for airport management.

Last but not least, Maria is an enthusiastic teacher and is always looking forward to the beginning of September when a new round of the Game Design Course starts.

  • Freese, M., Lukosch, H., Wegener, J., & König, A. (2020). Serious Games as Research Tools in Transportation Research – Do’s and Don’ts. European Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research, 20(4), 103-126. https://doi.org/10.18757/ejtir.2020.20.4.4205 
  • Schwägele, S., Zürn, B., Lukosch, H. K., & Freese, M. (2021). Design of an Impulse-Debriefing-Spiral for Simulation Game Facilitation. Simulation & Gaming, 52(3), 364–365. https://doi.org/10.1177/10468781211006752 
  • Lukosch, H.K., Bekebrede, G., & Freese (M.) (2021). Systems Engineering Master: Game Design Project (SEN9235). In R.E. Ferdig, E. Baumgartner& E. Gandolfi (Eds.) (2021), Teaching the Game: A collection of syllabi for game design, development, and implementation (Vols. 2, p. 581ff). Pittsburgh, PA: ETC Press.
  • Freese, M., & Bekebrede, G. (2020). Digital versus Analogue Simulation Games: Influence on Validity, Play(er) Experience and Learning Outcomes. In Marfisi-Schottman I., Bellotti F., Hamon L., Klemke R. (eds), Games and Learning Alliance. GALA 2020. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 12517. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-63464-3_44 
  • Preuss, M., Gómez-Maureira, M. A., Barbero, G., & Freese, M. (2020). A Taxonomy of AI in Hybrid Board Games. In G. N. Yannakakis, A. Liapis, K. Penny, V. Volz, F. Khosmood, & P. Lopes (Eds.), Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, FDG 2020 [105] (ACM International Conference Proceeding Series). Association for Computing Machinery ACM). https://doi.org/10.1145/3402942.3409607 
  • Freese, M., Lukosch, H., & Tiemersma, S. (2020). From Entertainment to Seriousness – How to translate Entertainment Games into Simulation Games? ZMS-Schriftenreihe, 12, Norderstedt: Book on Demand GmbH. 
  • Game Design Project

Maria Freese

Postdoctoral Researcher

Multi-Actor Systems

Policy Analysis

Research interests:
Simulation & Gaming
Transport & Logistics
Airport Management
Emotions & Facial Action Coding System

Additional information