Focus and Scope

The IJSG publishes original, peer-reviewed, scientific articles addressing theoretical, experimental and operational aspects in all areas related to design, development, engineering, deployment and assessment of digital Serious Games (SGs).

IJSG aims at being a high-level reference point for a growing academic and industrial community, providing innovative research ideas and application results, reporting on pressing challenges and leading-edge research.

The journal encourages submission of manuscripts that enhance the theoretical foundations of game-based learning and SG design, show innovative technological solutions aimed to improve teaching and learning, and/or provide user studies about deployment of SGs in educational or corporate training settings. Papers investigating business/product analysis and market penetration are welcome as well.

All papers should advance the state of the art in the relevant area. Empirical studies are strongly encouraged. Papers may be one of several types: research paper; tutorial/survey; research note/short paper; software/algorithms; addendum/corrections; datasets.

By publishing high quality scientific and technological papers, the IJSG intends to address the need for scientific and engineering methods for building games as effective learning tools. A successful application of SGs for education and training demands appropriate metrics, analytics, tools, and techniques for in-game user assessment, in order to allow meeting the educational goals, provide proper user feedback and support adaptivity. Appropriate mapping should be defined in order to support translation of pedagogical goals into compelling game experiences.

The SGJ aims at filling this gap, as the world reference scientific publication for supporting SG design and deployment.

The journal is published quarterly by the Serious Games Society.

Please refer to the IJSG Call for Papers for a detailed list of topics of interest to the journal.

Peer Review Process

IJSG implements a double blind review process. Each submitted manuscript is first assessed by the editor in chief, who checks suitability for the journal. Suitable papers are assigned by the Editor-in-Chief to a member of the editorial board, based on the matching bewteen the manuscript topics and the editor's skills. Plagiarism is checked for every submission, with the support of a dedicated software service which does not keep the submitted manuscript on the server. The Handling Editor will select the reviewers' panel and will be in charge of the correspondence with them and with the authors. Each manuscript will be revised by at least two reviewers (preferably three). Based on the outcomes of the reviews, the editorial decision is taken by the Editor-in-Chief and the Handling Editor. Reviews are expected within one month. A single review cycle should thus conclude within 50 days.

Double-blind review

The identity of the authors is concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa. The authors should should thus submit:

  • Title page, with authors' names, affiliations, acknowledgements and any Declaration of Interest statement, and a complete address for the corresponding author including an e-mail address.
  • Blinded manuscript, the body of the paper (including the references, figures, etc.) without any identifying information (e.g., the authors' names or affiliations).

Peer-review process guidelines

The IJSG is committed to follow the guidelines available from COPE (COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers and COPE Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines)

Particularly, we highlight the follwoing major items pointed out by COPE.

  • Reviews should be conducted objectively
  • Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate
  • Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments and references as necessary and not be defamatory or libellous
  • Reviewers should declare any competing interests
  • Reviewers should decline to review manuscripts in which they have a competing interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers
  • Reviewers should respect the confidentiality of material supplied to them and may not discuss unpublished manuscripts with colleagues or use the information in their own work
  • Any reviewer that wants to pass a review request onto a colleague must get the editor’s permission beforehand.
Reviewers should address ethical aspects of the submission (with particular attention to plagiarism, salami slicing, etc. - please refer also to the Publication Ethics section), such as:
  • Has the author published this research before?
  • Has the author plagiarized another publication?
  • Is the research ethical and have the appropriate approvals/consent been obtained?
  • Is there any indication that the data have been fabricated or inappropriately
  • Have the authors declared all relevant competing interests?

Main criteria for manuscript assessment

The following criteria should be considered in the review:

  • Novelty
  • Advancement over the State of the Art
  • Technical Soundness
  • Readability and clarity
  • Completeness
Reviewer assessment
Reviewer performance is traced by the system and assessed by the editors especially in terms of quality and timeliness


Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

Call for Papers

IJSG seeks original contributions that advance the state of the art in the technologies and knowledge available to support development and deployment of serious games. Experimental quantitative studies are strongly encouraged.

Papers may be one of several types: research paper; tutorial/survey; research note/short paper; software/algorithms; addendum/corrections; datasets.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

Serious Game design:

  • Mapping pedagogical goals, outcomes and principles into serious game mechanics
  • SG mechanics
  • Gamification design
  • Design of score, rewards, achievements, and related interfaces
  • Ubiquitous/pervasive gaming
  • Support for educators and trainers
  • Balancing realism, engagement, learning and entertainment
  • Collaboration and cooperation


  • Human-Computer Interaction for SGs (hardware, software)
  • Modeling and simulation
  • Learner performance modeling, assessment (stealth, formative, summative) and feedback
  • Learning analytics
  • Adaptivity
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning for SGs
  • Big data for SGs
  • Neuro-scientific principles, experiments and applications
  • Computing architectures for SGs
  • Technological support for collaborative games
  • Immersiveness and multimedia experiences
  • Augmented and virtual reality
  • Computer Graphics & Visual Effects
  • Emotions and Affective Interaction
  • Interactive narrative and digital storytelling
  • Procedural content generation
  • Smart toys for learning
  • Efficient development tools
  • Social computing
  • Support for gamification
  • Security & privacy
  • Interoperability and standards
  • Quality of service for SGs


  • User studies applying serious games in formal education
  • User studies applying serious games in training (professional, corporate and executive training, skill development and other workforce programs)
  • Case studies on developing/deploying serious games in application domains such as business, management, entrepreneurship, environment, cultural heritage, health, fitness, sport, smart buildings, humanities, engineering, manufacturing, security, safety, ethics, etc.
  • User studies of applying serious games in the above domains, studying effectiveness for learning/training
  • Understanding how, when, with whom, for what to use SGs
  • Human factors in SGs
  • Verification of knowledge transfer
  • Study of the long-term impact
  • Assessing personal abilities through SGs
  • Usability studies


  • Pedagogical theories and their applications in SGs
  • User modeling
  • User assessment
  • Methodologies and principles for SG user assessment
  • Support for educators and trainers
  • Support higher-order thinking through SGs

Business and Marketplace:

  • SG market studies
  • Business models for SGs
  • Pervasive and mobile gaming
  • Products to support SG development and deployment
  • SG knowledge and technology transfer

Editorial board

Editor in chief:
Alessandro De GloriaUniversity of Genoa, Italy

Editorial board:
Albert Anghern, Institut Européen d'Administration des affaires, France  
Sylvester Arnab, Coventry University, United Kingdom
Jannicke Baalsrud-Hauge, Universität Bremen, Germany
Francesco Bellotti, University of Genoa, Italy
Riccardo Berta, University of Genoa, Italy
Rafael Bidarra, Techincal University Delft, The Netherlands
Rosa Maria Bottino, National Research Council, Italy
Donald Brinkman, Microsoft, USA
Anthony Brooks, Univeristy of Aalborg, Denmark
Damian Brown, Serious Games Interactive, Denmark
Deniz Eseryel, University of Oklahoma, USA
Samir Garbaya, Ecole Nationale supérieure d'arts et métier, France
Stefan Göbel, Technical University Darmstadt, Germany
Ole-Ivar Holthe, Geelix, Norway
Dirk Ifenthaler, Open Universities Australia, Australia
Michael Kickmeier-Rust, Graz University of Technology, Austria
Kristian Kiili, Tampere University of Technology, Finland
John Kirriemuir, Silversprite, United Kingdom
Milos Kravcik, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
Dimitris Kristis, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
Effie Law, University of Leicester, United kingdom
Theo Lim, Heriot-Watt University, United kingdom
Iván Martínez-Ortiz, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
Pablo Moreno Ger, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
Michela Mortara, National Research Council, Italy
Manuel Ninaus, Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien, Germany
Michela Ott, National Research Council, Italy
Carmen Padron, Atos, Spain
Gonçalo Pereira, INstituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores, Portugal
Ken Perlin, New York University, USA
Andrew Phillips, Rochester Institute of Technology, USA
Rui Prada, INstituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores, Portugal
Claudia Ribeiro, INstituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores, Portugal
James Ritchie, Heriot-Watt University, UK
Ion Roceanu, National Defence University “Carol I”, Romania
Daniela Romano, University of Sheffield, UK
Margarida Romero, University of Laval, Canada
Ben Schouten, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands
Kam Star, Playgen, United kingdom
Kelvin Sung, University of Washington Bothell, USA
Remco Veltkamp, University of Utrecht, Netherlands
Wim Westera, Open Universiteit Nederland, Netherlands
Telmo Zarraonandia, Universidad Carlos III Madrid, Spain

Editor in Chief

Alessandro De Gloria is full professor in Electronic Engineering at the University of Genoa, where he leads the ELIOS Lab research group at Dep.t of Naval, Electrical, Electronic and Telecommunications Engineering (DITEN).

Prof. De Gloria graduated cum laude in Electronic Engineering at the University of Genoa, where he is currently teaching Computer Graphics Architecture (Electronic Engineering MSc) and 3D Visualization for Analysis of the Architectural and Artistic Heritage (Humanistic sciences school, MA). He is member of the teaching committee of the PhD course in "Digital Humanities”. De Gloria has been president of the BSc and MSc degree courses in Electronic Engineering. He is the founder of the new born Strategic Engineering MSc course. He is member of the Directive Council of the Genoa University Advanced Simulation and Education Service Center (SIMAV).

De Gloria is Editor in chief and founder of the International Journal of Serious Games. He has founded and been president of the Serious Games Society (SGS), a cultural association that aims at supporting the growth of an emerging academic and industrial community in the field of serious games. SGS was born in 2012 as a spin-off of Game and Learning Alliance (GaLA), the Network of Excellence (NoE) on Serious Games within the Technology-Enhanced Learning area founded by the European Union (EU) 7th Research Framework  IST-ICT. Prof. Alessandro De Gloria has been the coordinator of the GaLA NoE, which gathered the cutting-the-edge European R&D organizations on Serious Games (31 partners). The SGS continues the GaLA NoE aims after the end of the EU funding. The SGS publishes the International Journal of Serious Games and manages the GaLA Conf, dating since 2012.

Within the “Gruppo Elettronica” (GE), the Italian association of Electronic Engineering university professors, De Gloria has been responsible of the Application sector at national level, and of the overall Genoa local Unit. He has been one of the founders of the Liguria District of Technologies (SIIT), of which he has been Director of the Technical Scientific Committee until 2012.

Prof. De Gloria main research interests concern Serious Games design and implementation, modeling and simulation, virtual reality, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), digital cultural heritage, technology-enhanced learning, embedded Systems, mobile applications. De Gloria authored 220+ papers in peer-reviewed international journals and conferences on the above-cited topics. He has been international or local responsible for 10+ EU industrial research projects (Horizon, FPx, Artemis, Erasmus) in the last 15 years, in the fields of automotive, serious gaming and technology enhanced learning.

Abstracting and Indexing

The articles of the International Journal of Serious Games Technology are currently included in the following databases/resources:

  • DBLP
  • DOAJ
  • EBSCO databases
  • ESCI, in the ISI Web of Science Core Collection
  • Google Scholar
  • J-Gate 
  • Science  Citation Index  (SCI)  


ISSN:  2384-8766

Doi prefix: 10.17083/IJSG


The IJSG does not involve any article processing nor author submission charge.

Author's rights


Authors grant IJSG an exclusive license to publish.

This journal uses an exclusive licensing agreement. Authors will retain copyright alongside scholarly usage rights and the IJSG will be granted publishing and distribution rights.

Rights granted to the IJSG

  • The exclusive right to publish and distribute an article, and to grant rights to others, including for commercial purposes.
  • The right to provide the article in all forms and media so the article can be used on the latest technology even after publication.
  • The authority to enforce the rights in the article, on behalf of an author, against third parties, for example in the case of plagiarism or copyright infringement.

Creative Commons License



The International Journal of Serious Games(IJSG) by Serious Games Society is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.



Publication Ethics

The IJSG is committed to follow the guidelines available from COPE (COPE resources, COPE Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines).

We highlight the following main aspects.

Ethical responsibilities of authors

Authors should refrain from misrepresenting research results.  Rules of good scientific practice include:

  • The manuscript has not been submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration. 
  • The manuscript has not been published previously (partly or in full), unless the new work concerns an expansion of previous work (which must be declared, for transparency).
  • A single study is not split up into several parts to various journals or to one journal over time (e.g.  ‘salami-publishing’).
  • No data have been fabricated or manipulated
  • No data, text, or theories by others are presented as if they were the author’s own (‘plagiarism’). Other works must be properly cited, quotation must be used for verbatim copying, and permissions secured for copyrighted material.   
  • Appropriate software services may be used for plagiarism detection, without anyway keeping the manuscript on the server.
  • All the authors have contributed to the manuscript, corresponding to their order. Corresponding author is appropriately identified.
  • Adding and/or deleting authors at revision stage may be warranted upon appropriate justification. 
  • Requests for addition or removal of authors as a result of authorship disputes after acceptance are honored after formal notification by the institute or independent body or with the agreement of all authors. 
  • Upon request, authors should be prepared to demonstrate the validity of the presented results. Confidential or proprietary information is excluded.

In case of suspicion of misconduct, the journal will carry out an investigation following the COPE guidelines.  If concerns are confirmed by the investigation, the author will be contacted to address the issue. If misconduct has been established, the Editor-in-Chief’s may take actions such as, for instance: 

  • If the article is still under consideration, it may be rejected and returned to the author. 
  • The author’s institution may be informed.
  • If the article has already been published online, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction, either an erratum, with the motivation, will be placed with the article. Retraction of the article may also be considered, according to the COPE Retraction Guidelines. The paper will be kept on the online journal system, watermarked “retracted”, together with the motivation note.

Conflict of interest

Authors must disclose all relationships or interests that could have influence or impart bias on the work. Disclosure of relationships and interests provides a more complete and transparent process. Examples of potential conflicts of interests include: reserch grants, project sponsorships, employment, multiple affiliations, any kind of financial supports, etc.

A conflict of interest can interfere with objectivity in judging. Therefore, authors should inform the editor at the time of manuscript submission of any potential conflict of interest with a potential reviewer or editor. Similarly, if the member of the editorial board who has been appointed as responsible for the review becomes aware of a conflict of interest, he will inform the editor. 

Research involving human participants

If the manuscript presents a study involving human participants, authors should include a statement that the studies have been approved by the appropriate institutional and/or national research ethics committee and have been performed in accordance with the ethical standards as laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards

Informed consent

All participants should have given their informed consent in writing prior to inclusion in the study. Identifying details (e.g., names, dates of birth, identity numbers, etc.) of the participants should not be published unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the participant gave written informed consent for publication. 

Appeals and complaints

Complaints and appeals may refer to editorial decisions, failure of processes (e.g., long delays in the review), publication ethics.

In all cases, the Editor-in-Chief decides after consulting the Handling Editor, considering the authors’ argumentations, and the reviewer reports. Appropriate feedback will then be given to the complainant and other stakeholders of relevant.

The publisher, Serious Games Society, may be contacted on difficult cases: contacts<at>


Journal History

The journal was founded in 2013, as part of the activities of the Serious Games Society, an international association for promoting the study, design and utilization of Serious Games. The founding editor has been Alessandro De Gloria, full professor of Electronics Engineering at the University of Genoa, who is currently the editor in chief.

The first issue of the IJSG appeared online in Q1 2014. Since then, the journal has been regularly published every three months, also hosting special issues dedicated to specific topics or events in the world of serious games.