Call: Information Sciences special issue on Serious Games

Information Sciences:
Special Issue on Serious Games


The emergence of Serious Games as a field of study, research and business has taken many by surprise. Ten years ago few would have guessed that games technologies would be so pervasive, not just in terms of entertainment games which have diverged into many genres including casual games, mobile games and multiplayer online games. Comparatively recently a new genre of games has emerged: games for non-entertainment purposes, and including educational games, training simulations, educational online multiplayer games, games for change, meaningful games and games for health, to name a few. The main trends in research have diverged as well: papers in educational science journals, health journals, popular science journals and psychology journals indicate the range of interest in these non-entertainment games.

The term serious games has not found favour with all, and terms such as gamification – which includes the use of game elements – are emerging everyday. The movement triggered by Clark Abt in the US came to be known as the serious game movement, and in the international academic communities at least has been used over the last ten or so years to describe a new discipline and sets of practices that centre around the use of games technologies, processes and approaches in non-entertainment contexts. Children, adult learners, university and college students, trainee doctors, nurses and emergency workers, army recruits, military officers and teachers have been exposed to e-learning and more recently game-based learning approaches in the seminar room, workplace and lecture hall.

The transition away from traditional learning in general has brought with it the emergence of e-learning, online, technology enhanced learning and the use of innovative technologies from games to simulations delivered on mobiles and tablets, on the move and in traditional contexts, allowing for more flexible delivery of educational and learning content. The need to provide a future model of learning for the next generation of pupils in schools and training colleges is leading to the maturing of these kinds of new techniques. The powerful role of gamification and serious games then is recasting how learning, working and living, as well as playing is taking place, shaping our modern 21st century communities.

This volume aims to bring together some of the leading contributions in the field of serious games, in its broadest definition, and aims to bridge some of gaps in the existing communities of practitioners and academics: between the US and Europe, Asia and Africa; between different disciplines from psychology to educational science and from science education to arts and design; between different sectors from academia to industry, policy development to health and medicine.

The volume will aim to appeal to a wide range of readers therefore such as computer scientists, IT specialists, Managers, Trainers and tutors, academics in education and scientists interested in creative problem-solving.


The main themes at work in the field are numerous and include the role of games to support problem-solving in a range of different contexts and communities.

Main themes include:

  • Use of games technologies, processes and approaches for improving the efficacy of learning and training
  • Use of games for conveying complicated datasets (e.g. Big Data) using semantic web techniques and technologies
  • Advancing scientific techniques by using games as ‘petrie dishes’ for ethnographic studies in populated virtual worlds
  • Developing, testing and validating research hypotheses in serious games and populated virtual environments, including the use of citizen science for modelling complex systems and research problems
  • Use of games for supporting behavioural and attitudinal change
  • Using Games for motivating hard-to-reach user and learner groups

The areas that we invite submissions into (but are not limited to):

  • Games for Therapy and Health
  • Games for Emergency Responders and Defense
  • Games for Change
  • Serious Games for Education and Training
  • Educational games and simulations
  • Games in Cultural Heritage
  • Meaningful games
  • Policy, strategic, business and management games


The submitted papers must be written in English and describe original research which is not published nor currently under review by other journals or conferences. Author guidelines for preparation of manuscript can be found at

For more information, please contact the Editor-in-Chief: W. Pedrycz ( or managing guest editors: Sara de Freitas ( or Diane Jass Ketelhut (


All manuscripts and any supplementary material should be submitted through Elsevier Editorial System (EES). The authors must select as “Serious Games” when they reach the “Article Type” step in the submission process. The EES website is located at:


This site will guide you stepwise through the creation and uploading of you article. The guide for Authors can be found on the journal homepage (


W. Pedrycz
Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Alberta, Electrical & Comp Engineering Research Facility
Edmonton, T6G 2V4, Canada.


Sara de Freitas, Serious Games Institute, Coventry University, UK
Diane Jass Ketelhut, University of Maryland, US


Paper submission: Oct. 15, 2012
Acceptance notification: March 15, 2013
Final papers: May 15, 2013
Suggested date for publication: July/August 2013


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