Special issue on
Board and video games in education: challenges and opportunities
Guest Editors

Massimiliano Andreoletti, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimento di Pedagogia

Sylvester Arnab, Coventry University, Centre for Postdigital Cultures

Marcello Passarelli, National Research Council of Italy, Institute for Educational Technology

Liliana Silva, Università degli Studi di Modena e di Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento Educazione e Scienze Umane


Playing, a fundamental form of learning intrinsic to all cultures and critical at every age, finds a structured expression in games. Over recent decades, the popularity of digital and analog games has surged, substantially influencing our cultural landscape and there's a growing acknowledgment of games’ potential beyond entertainment.

Concurrently, there has been renewed interest in dynamic and constructivist educational practices, influencing both the process and outcomes of learning. As games can promote active engagement with learning materials, they have been effectively harnessed as a tool for promoting disciplinary learning, transversal skill building, cognitive development and socialisation. Importantly, games are being used to transcend traditional educational boundaries, and are finding applications in workplaces, museums, remote learning environments, and even homes, where they facilitate both structured and spontaneous, self-directed learning.

On the other hand, game adoption, especially in formal learning contexts, requires familiarity with the medium and a reflective approach from teachers and educators, to avoid possible pitfalls related to their use.  

Recognizing the importance of games for learning, both in and out of schools, in formal, non-formal, and informal contexts, this special issue of the Italian Journal of Educational Technology (IJET) aims to attract empirical contributions exploring the relationship between games and learning throughout the life cycle and across learning environments.

We invite contributions that address, but are not limited to, the following questions:

  • How can specific board games, digital games and role-playing games be used to facilitate learning in formal, non-formal, and informal educational settings?
  • What are the most effective teaching strategies for integrating games into various educational contexts, and what barriers might inhibit their adoption?
  • How should games be designed to foster disciplinary learning, critical thinking, problem-solving, and soft skills among learners?
  • How do games influence learner engagement, motivation, and attitudes towards learning in different educational environments?
  • How can games promote learning in professional training or throughout the life cycle?
  • What are the differential impacts of game modalities such as digital, tangible, hybrid, and augmented reality on learning?
  • What are the challenges and ethical considerations for using games in education, and how can they be addressed?
  • How can the effectiveness of games for learning be evaluated / assessed? 
  • How should games be designed and integrated into existing learning courses to address current challenges and curricular topics?
  • How can games be designed to ensure accessibility and foster inclusion?


We welcome: 

  • Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research articles, including case studies, with a word limit of approximately 6500 words.
  • Comprehensive literature reviews, with a word limit of approximately 7000 words. 

We particularly welcome interdisciplinary contributions that integrate education, game science, psychology, pedagogy, game design, and technology to explore the impact of games on learning.

Submission Details:

Contributors should submit their manuscripts by September 30th, 2024 via the journal website after registering as an author. When submitting, please refer to this call for papers in the "Comments for the editors" field. Papers should be written in English and formatted according to the journal's author guidelines. All submissions will undergo a double-blind peer review process. The expected publication of the special issue is in Spring 2025.

For further information about this special issue, please contact marcello.passarelli@cnr.it