Serious and social games have penetrated various sectors from education and health to defense and security due to the significant improvements they bring mainly with respect to learning/training performance and experience quality. As sensing devices proliferate every day and IoT systems invade our everyday life, they create opportunities for coupling gaming experiences and processes with real-life events. They allow the definition of novel concepts which leverage on the potential of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) paradigm to directly link actions, decisions and events happening in real-life with in-game educational progress. They also enable affect detection whose integration in the gaming process can significantly benefit people with special needs, ranging from children with learning disabilities or suffering autism to elder people suffering dementia. In parallel, delivering tools and frameworks that accelerate the design and development of such serious games would significantly boost their penetration in the market as it would allow for agile design of applications targeting smaller groups and/or temporal needs.
The challenge is to effectively combine gaming principles, IoT technologies and social science to support the easy design and development of creative and effective applications. Papers tackling this challenge and contributing novel concepts, methodologies, frameworks, system architectures, example prototypes and real-life validation activities describing lessons learnt in these fields are welcome in this session. Business models and opportunities as well as the presentation of sustainable ecosystems are also of interest to the session. Although research papers addressing any sector in the aforementioned perspective are eligible, preference will be provided to works targeting education, health and social inclusion.

List of topics for the current special issue:

  • Frameworks for design/development of IoT enables games
  • Novel concepts integrating IoT systems and serious games
  • Novel methodologies accelerating serious games design and development
  • Combining affect detection with gaming processes
  • IoT-assisted games for inclusive societies
  • Real-life experiments/evaluation of gaming processes
  • Artificial intelligence in serious games applications
  • Business models and opportunities for IoT-integrating serious games
  • Novel tools for developing serious games
  • Sustainable ecosystems for IoT and serious games integration
  • Game design and development tools (use of game technology in serious games)
  • Cost-effective production of serious games (authoring tools, collaborative authoring, interactivity and collaborative authoring, storytelling)
  • IoT and (adaptive) serious gaming as enablers of augmented/immersive personalized experience
  • Learner engagement and serious games


Helen C. (Nelly) Leligou is currently assistant professor of the Automation Engineering department of the Piraeus University of Applied Sciences. She was Lecturer and then assistant professor at the Electrical Engineering Dept. of the Technological Educational Institute of Sterea Ellada. Her research interests lie mainly in the areas of Information and Communication Technologies including a) routing protocols and trust management in Wireless Sensor Networks, b) control plane technologies in broadband networks including HFC, PON, WDM metro and core networks and c) industrial, embedded and network system design and development. Currently she is working on the design and (software) implementation of crowdsourcing approaches towards addressing societal challenges (e.g. energy efficiency) and advanced -technology learning systems. Her research results have been published in more than 100 scientific journals and conferences. She has participated in several EU-funded ACTS, IST, ICT and H2020 research projects in the above areas.

Sotiris Karachontzitis obtained his Ph.D. degree on resource allocation and physical layer security in multiuser wireless systems from University of Patras, Greece, in 2015. Since then, he is a senior telecom engineer in Synelixis S.A. and his recent research interests include NFV orchestration in 5G wireless systems, mobile and cloud computing, and cybersecurity in industrial IoT. During the last decade, he has actively participated in several EU-funded FP6, FP7 and H2020 projects and he has published more than 20 papers in influential international journals and conference proceedings. Dr. Karachontzitis serves as a regular reviewer for top ranked scientific journals of IEEE, IET, and EURASIP and he has participated in the TPC of several international conferences.