Call: ‘Games for Learning’ – Special issue of Interaction Design and Architecture(s)

Call for Papers: Special Issue on “GAMES FOR LEARNING”

to be published at the
Interaction Design and Architecture(s) Journal (IxD&A)
(ISSN 1826-9745)

Guest Editors:

  • Kostas Karpouzis, Institute of Communication and Computer Systems, National Technical University of Athens, Greece
  • Ginevra Castellano, School of Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Rilla Khaled, Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta
  • Evangelia Dimaraki, University of the Aegean, Ellinogermaniki Agogi

Important dates:

Deadline: 22 November 2013

Other important dates:

  • Notification to the authors: 20 December, 2013
  • Deadline for submission of the final camera ready version of accepted papers: 10 January 2014
  • Publication of the special issue: January 2014


So we know that people of all ages like to play. There are even attempts to formulate the concept of play theoretically and to identify why it’s so important to our lives. We can even recall that play is one of the first things we do after we are born, constituting our first man-machine interface (with toys) and one of the first social activities we engage in. Even though playful learning is a recurrent vision in pedagogical thought, the educational system in most countries treats play as something antagonistic to learning: young students are allowed to play only during pre-defined sessions between classes and learning usually relies on formal teaching methods. This distinction was carried over, until recently, to the respective research fields in digital technologies: CS people working on games concentrated on the AI-side (how to make successful computer agents and non-player characters that play games in an unsupervised manner), while research on technology-enhanced learning looked for theoretical foundations in the most traditional learning research, missing out almost completely on concepts of engagement, playful learning and related concepts which recently emerged, such as ‘gamification’. As a result, most of the games produced for explicitly educational purposes from the collaboration of CS and TEL researchers, may have been effective with respect to their learning objectives, but they were not in the end adopted by their prospective users. In addition, game-based learning research has yet to tap into the potential of using games to cultivate creativity. While traditional media such as arts and crafts are essential to the enhancement of certain creative skills, games can be used to explore approaches to enhancing creativity that draw upon the broader digitally mediated culture: playing games requires creative skills that many students are now familiar with in terms of learning and then optimising the mechanics of a game.

This special issue of the IxD&A journal intends to expand the results of the Games for learning workshops at the Intelligent Tutoring Systems 2012 ( and Foundations of Digital Games 2013 ( conferences, by bringing together researchers from the fields of games research, game AI, intelligent systems, affective computing, design, human-computer interaction and user experience with people from the fields of education, technology-enhanced learning, cognitive sciences, psychology and ergonomics in order to foster the exchange of ideas and experiences from designing, developing and evaluating learning games in terms of usability and learning effect.

The special issue welcomes original research papers from topics including, but not restricted to:

  • Game design
    • User and group modelling for game-based learning
    • From educational methodologies to game mechanics
    • Mapping graphics and design to learning objectives
    • Designing for tangible, mobile and location-based games for learning
    • Gamification, reward systems, transfer to real life
  • Game AI for learning
    • User experience and affect-based adaptation
    • Group-based adaptation
    • Selecting proper content for players and player types
    • Adapting to learning performance and objectives
    • Non-player characters as tutors
  • Technology-enhanced learning
    • Learning and motivational theories for game-based learning
    • Game-based ‘fun’, ‘flow’ and ‘engagement’ in learning
    • Defining and promoting creativity and ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking
    • UX evaluation of game-based learning
    • Outcome evaluation of game-based learning
    • Instruction via narrative/storytelling
    • Collaboration, conflict and social behaviour in games
  • Higher-level concepts
    • playful learning and creative learning
    • maximising user engagement
    • social context awareness and adaptation
    • alternate reality, augmented reality and news games
    • psychology and ethics of gaming
    • game-based learning in the school curriculum

KEYWORDS: serious games, educational game design, learning objectives, playful learning, evaluation, user-centred design, emotion in games

Submission procedure

The manuscripts should be submitted either in .doc or in .rtf format.

All papers will be blindly peer-reviewed by at least two reviewers. Authors are invited to submit a 8-14 pages paper (including authors’ information, abstract, all tables, figures, references, etc.). The paper should be written according to the IxD&A authors’ guidelines ->

Authors’ guidelines

Link to the paper submission page: (when submitting the paper please choose as first Domain Subject: “IxD&A special issue: ‘Games for learning’)

More information on the submission procedure and on the characteristics of the paper format can be found on the website of IxD&A Journal where information on the copyright policy and responsibility of authors are also published.

For scientific advices and for any query please contact the guest-editors:

  • kkarpou[at]
  • g.castellano[at]
  • rilla.khaled[at]
  • dimaraki[at]

marking the subject as: “IxD&A, special issue on: ‘Games for learning’”


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