About the Journal

Focus and Scope

The IJSG publishes original, peer-reviewed, scientific research articles addressing theoretical, experimental and operational aspects in the areas related to design, development, engineering, deployment and assessment of 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 foundations of game-enhanced learning and SG design, present new technological solutions aimed to improve teaching and learning, and/or provide user studies about deployment of SGs in instructional or training settings. 

All papers should advance the state of the art. Empirical studies are strongly encouraged. Papers may be one of several types: research paper; tutorial/survey; research note/short paper; addendum/corrections. Additional material can be added as software/algorithms; datasets. Advances in knowledge in application domains are not the responsibility of this journal. 

By publishing high quality scientific and technological research 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 instruction 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 IJSG does not address political/societal/ethical aspects.

The IJSG 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 (section editor), 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 fourty days. A single review cycle should thus conclude within three/four months.

Double-blind review

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

  • Correspondence to the focus & scope of the journal and the topics of the call for papers
  • 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


Call for Papers

IJSG seeks original contributions that advance the state of the art in the technologies and knowledge available to support design and development of serious games, with particular attention to education and instruction. Experimental quantitative studies are strongly encouraged.

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

Papers should address research questions emerging from the state of the art of the research in the relevant field.

IJSG does not accept as original research articles that have been shared as preprints.

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
  • Reality-driven gaming
  • Support for families, educators and trainers
  • Balancing realism, engagement, learning and entertainment
  • Collaboration and cooperation


  • Electronic systems for SGs
  • 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
  • User studies of applying serious games in educational/training settings, studying their effectiveness
  • 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

Editorial board

The Editorial board is listed here

Editor in Chief

Francesco Bellotti, University of Genova.

Contact information is available here.

Founder Editor in Chief

Alessandro De Gloria, 1955-2023.

The remembrance of Prof. Alessandro De Gloria published on the Int.l Journal of Serious Games.

Alessandro De Gloria was full professor in Electronic Engineering at the University of Genoa, where he founded led the ELIOS Lab research group at Dep.t of Naval, Electrical, Electronic and Telecommunications Engineering (DITEN). Previously, he was with the Dep.t of Biophysical and Electronic Engineering (DIBE).

Prof. De Gloria graduated cum laude in Electronic Engineering at the University of Genoa. He was member of the teaching committee of the PhD course in "Digital Humanities” and of . De Gloria has been president of the BSc and MSc degree courses in Electronic Engineering. He founded the Engineering Technology for Strategy (and Security) MSc course. He was member of the Directive Council of the Genoa University Advanced Simulation and Education Service Center (SIMAV).

De Gloria was Editor in chief and founder of the International Journal of Serious Games. He has founded and has been the first 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 concerned Computer Architecture, 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 300+ 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 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:

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

ISSN:  2384-8766

Doi prefix: 10.17083/IJSG


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.


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 (also alphabetic). 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.
  • Authors are obliged to provide retractions or corrections of mistakes

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 by the editor or the publisher 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.

Publishers and editors are committed to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed.

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>seriousgamessociety.org

Appeals and complaints

In the event the IJSG is no longer published, free access to the published archive will be preserved by the publisher.



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.