This special issue will be composed from the extended versions of papers accepted for SGames 2016 conference. Authors are required to include at least 30% of new, yet unpublished material in the article.
Games are structured contexts, with clearly-defined rules, where players must overcome challenges and face opponents (real or game characters) to achieve victory. Games can offer incredibly immersive and engaging environments where users ‘learn by doing’ and improve skills and competences related to decision making, strategy, teamwork, social skills, leadership and collaboration.
Serious Games focus on the design, development, use and application of games for purposes other than entertainment. Education and training represent the main areas of application of Serious Games but they have been equally used, with success, for health, research, emergency planning, advertisement and military purposes. The most striking effect in the use of Serious Games is an increased user motivation and engagement towards the “serious” objectives. Interaction and simulation are fundamental tools for this motivation and engagement: providing intuitive and innovative forms of interaction with the game captures the user interest and creating intelligent game play maintains that interest.
However, in spite of the existing evidence of success, there is still a limited use of Serious Games. This has mainly to do with social concerns and stereotypes about the relation of games and serious purposes. Other issues relate to physical and cost barriers, hardware and license cost, access (for online games), maintenance and support. But this limited use is also related to the lack of extended evidence of effective application.
SGAMES, the International Conference on Serious Games, Interaction and Simulation is a multidisciplinary approach to the presentation of research, theory, application, practice and validation in the field of Serious Games for any level and any area. As such it covers areas like cognition, psychology, technology-enhanced education, evaluation and assessment, multimedia and information technology, interaction and simulation. SGames 2016 is interested in new scientific approaches and results from experiments and real-life applications.