IEEE Transactions on Games

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Special Issue on Gaming Applications for Cultural Heritage

This Special Issue of IEEE Transactions on Games concentrates on the most recent advances and developments in the design and use of gaming approaches in cultural contexts. Digital Games have been introduced in various sectors, such as education, cultural participation, healthcare, engineering, emergency management, behaviour change, just to name a few, with “serious” purposes besides pure entertainment. While engaging players in achieving “serious” goals may seem to conflict with the entertainment purposes of commercial games, merging each domain can be exploited to create unique experiences that profit from the motivational aspects of learning and having fun.

Until now, cultural experiences and content fruition exploited pre-packaged tools. This kind of technology usually provides immersive experiences but offers very little personalisation and interaction modes between users and between the user and cultural artefacts. The interaction/interrelation between gaming and cultural content attempts to create an innovative, participatory, inclusive approach to User eXperience while involving the audiences of tomorrow, e.g., the ‘Millennials’. Such audiences have already developed models of socialisation and relationships linked to gaming. For example, games like Minecraft are an evidence of their inclination to use games as an artistic expression tool and as a key vehicle for education, socialisation and relationship building.


Advances in graphics and hardware functionalities allow video games to introduce new gameplay modes, using physical environments and cheap IoT sensors to enhance interaction with cultural artefacts so that immersive experiences could stimulate all human senses, including sound and touch; by enhancing both tangible and intangible interaction modes, players actively interact with heterogeneous contents to reach immersion, engagement and even flow, reducing boredom and enhancing motivation and a sense of accomplishment. Mobile computing allows users to exploit their devices in non-formal learning environments such as museums and libraries. At the same time, Virtual and Augmented Reality applications can improve learning by providing experiences in explorative digital environments that would otherwise be impossible to replicate or at least very expensive.



This special issue is focused on interactive experiences and gaming topics, highlighting the multidisciplinary nature of developing useful CH games or gamified experiences to attract collaborations between researchers in the humanities, industrial companies and institutions interested in CH products, gameplay researchers and experts in technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Human-Computer Interaction and eXtended Reality. Contributions focused on game mechanics applied to cultural content, the application of innovative technologies to support game designers exploiting hardware capabilities (e.g., computational resources, tracking, sensors) of mobile, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) devices and IoT paradigms are of particular interest for this Special Issue as well as contributions related to co-design experiences and methods, and end-user tools that aim at democratising and making gaming design processes more diverse.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Game mechanics and gamification for Cultural Heritage
  • Cultural Industries and Digital Games
  • Digital Games for Cultural promotion and education
  • IoT technologies for tangible interaction in Cultural contexts
  • Cultural gaming applications exploiting the IoT paradigm
  • Serious games for edutainment in Cultural Heritage
  • Tools, design methods and artefacts to (co)develop interactive applications for CH
  • End-user tools to engage non-technical stakeholders in the ideation and design of CH games or gamified experiences
  • Interactive Cultural exhibitions and experiences through VR/AR/XR
  • Mobile devices and game design for Cultural Heritage
  • Cultural participation, Virtual Worlds and Metaverse
  • Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Storytelling for Art and Cultural Heritage
  • Affective evaluation and Behavior Analysis in Cultural experiences

Call for Papers:

We invite the submission of high-quality papers on the topics above in the following formats:

  • Research papers: analytical papers of new research concerning the use of specific technologies, design and development tools or evaluation frameworks;
  • Case studies: real-world applications, evaluation of industrial solutions, and lessons learned in putting solutions into practice;
  • Surveys and tutorials: analysis of the state of the art.

Authors should follow IEEE Transactions on Games guidelines for their submissions and clearly identify their papers for this special issue during submission. Papers must present original, previously unpublished work and will be subject to the standards and peer-review process of the journal. Scientific and technological content in line with the journal is expected. See ( for author information guidelines and page length limits.

Important Dates:

  • Paper submission: June 28th, 2024
  • First decisions: September 27th, 2024
  • Early access SI publication (online): December 2024
  • Publication in print: Mid 2025

Guest Editors:

  • Fabrizio Balducci (University of Bari Aldo Moro)
  • Pierpaolo Basile (University of Bari Aldo Moro)
  • Paolo Buono (University of Bari Aldo Moro)
  • Paloma Diaz (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
  • Fabio Zambetta (School of Computing Technologies, RMIT University)