Research Topic

Design Methodology for Educational Games in Extended Reality

About this Research Topic

The release of the first Oculus Rift developer kit in March 2013 ushered in a new era of excitement for virtual reality (VR) applications, with the promise of lower latency, higher frame rate, and improved graphics quality than was previously possible. Around the same time (AR) technologies started to mature on mobile platforms. Since then, there have been many exciting recent commercial developments in the creation of new virtual reality headsets, controllers/sensors, and
interactive software. This commercial energy has acted as a catalyst for research innovation within extended reality (XR) research (incorporating VR or AR).

The accessibility of recent development tools and software development kits, as well as the availability of higher-level social content creation tools such as AltspaceVR and VRchat, have enabled
educators to develop new interactive learning spaces. These new learning platforms have matured quickly, with researchers and innovators bringing their experiences from creating other social
learning spaces within Second Life and other virtual learning environments. Some of the challenges in designing learning spaces and activities within XR is similar to non-XR virtual and non-virtual
contexts; how to enhance engagement and improve learning experiences. We encourage research submissions that reflect on XR design and investigates the construction of the virtual space for learning, embedded learning activities, social/collaborative learning, aesthetic design, the use of games and gamification to enhance learning effectiveness, and the design and development methodology.

This Research Topic seeks to consolidate the current state of the art game design principles and methods for interactive educational XR experiences. We are seeking contributions that describe the theoretical underpinning for research in this area, share current significant novel research results, and shine a light on the unique potential for future innovation within this area. This edition should serve as a reference for the research community on the best practices for designing XR learning spaces, particularly with embedded educational games, games enhanced learning and simulation, or gamification enhancement.

The scope of this call mainly focuses on methods that can be applied to educational game design within XR. Theoretical and practical topics of interest include but are not limited to:
– Formal models, frameworks, and methods for game design, development, and analysis.
– Co-design and participatory design, including design/game thinking.
– Reconciling game design objectives and embedded game mechanics, with educational
learning outcomes.
– Interaction design, including multi-user interactions.
– Prototyping and testing, including crowd sourcing.
– Design principles and patterns.
– Virtual reality specific design scope and constraints, including health and safety.
– UI and UX design, testing, and evaluation.
– Engagement, motivation, and feedback. Including gamification, game-based learning, and
psychological approaches.
– Multi-user environment and interactive design.
– Experimental method, procedure, and effective measurement of outcomes.


Keywords: Game Design, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, Education, Learning, User Experience


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The release of the first Oculus Rift developer kit in March 2013 ushered in a new era of excitement for virtual reality (VR) applications, with the promise of lower latency, higher frame rate, and improved graphics quality than was previously possible. Around the same time (AR) technologies started to mature on mobile platforms. Since then, there have been many exciting recent commercial developments in the creation of new virtual reality headsets, controllers/sensors, and
interactive software. This commercial energy has acted as a catalyst for research innovation within extended reality (XR) research (incorporating VR or AR).

The accessibility of recent development tools and software development kits, as well as the availability of higher-level social content creation tools such as AltspaceVR and VRchat, have enabled
educators to develop new interactive learning spaces. These new learning platforms have matured quickly, with researchers and innovators bringing their experiences from creating other social
learning spaces within Second Life and other virtual learning environments. Some of the challenges in designing learning spaces and activities within XR is similar to non-XR virtual and non-virtual
contexts; how to enhance engagement and improve learning experiences. We encourage research submissions that reflect on XR design and investigates the construction of the virtual space for learning, embedded learning activities, social/collaborative learning, aesthetic design, the use of games and gamification to enhance learning effectiveness, and the design and development methodology.

This Research Topic seeks to consolidate the current state of the art game design principles and methods for interactive educational XR experiences. We are seeking contributions that describe the theoretical underpinning for research in this area, share current significant novel research results, and shine a light on the unique potential for future innovation within this area. This edition should serve as a reference for the research community on the best practices for designing XR learning spaces, particularly with embedded educational games, games enhanced learning and simulation, or gamification enhancement.

The scope of this call mainly focuses on methods that can be applied to educational game design within XR. Theoretical and practical topics of interest include but are not limited to:
– Formal models, frameworks, and methods for game design, development, and analysis.
– Co-design and participatory design, including design/game thinking.
– Reconciling game design objectives and embedded game mechanics, with educational
learning outcomes.
– Interaction design, including multi-user interactions.
– Prototyping and testing, including crowd sourcing.
– Design principles and patterns.
– Virtual reality specific design scope and constraints, including health and safety.
– UI and UX design, testing, and evaluation.
– Engagement, motivation, and feedback. Including gamification, game-based learning, and
psychological approaches.
– Multi-user environment and interactive design.
– Experimental method, procedure, and effective measurement of outcomes.


Keywords: Game Design, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, Education, Learning, User Experience


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

21 December 2020 Abstract
20 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

21 December 2020 Abstract
20 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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