Coming soon: ISAGA 2013!


With two weeks to go, we are really happy to see the conference taking shape and all pieces coming together. We believe that the program promises to be really interesting, both from a content and from an activity point of view.

You can find the program (tentative) here:

Conference program 20130618

It consists of five keynotes, by these excellent speakers, a series of paper sessions, workshops and ‘time to play’ in a specially reserved venue to which regular activities has been assigned.

The exact scheduling of papers, their abstracts and authors can be found in the ConfTool system that you also used to register.

For your trip to Stockholm and in the city we have provided this information. From metro stop ‘Tekniska Högskolan’ there will be signs towards the conference venue, which is in the E building, Lindstedtsvägen 3.

Conference registration starts from 8:00 am on Monday June 24. For your convenience there will be an opportunity for pre-registration on Sunday June 23 from 16.00 till 17.30 hour in Hotel Birger Jarl.

We are extremely pleased that the City of Stockholm offers us a reception with buffet in the famous City Hall, the place where the Nobel Price winners get their gala dinner every year. This will take place on Tuesday evening from 19.00 – 21.00. There is no official dress code, but it is appreciated if you dress appropriately and leave your football shirts home that night.

In case of emergencies there are two people you can reach:

Jayanth Raghothama, +46 76 041 11 37,
Sebastiaan Meijer, +46 73 461 9820,

We look forward to a nice conference!

On behalf of the organising committee,
Welcome to Stockholm!


Keynote speakers

ISAGA 2013 is very proud to announce its keynote speakers. We have invited leading people from various parts of the gaming & simulation discipline, each with a unique view on the role, technique and application of the method.

On Monday, we kick off with the Opening Keynote by

Prof. Eswaran Subrahmanian (Sub)


Dr. Eswaran Subrahmanian is a Research Professor at the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems and the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). He is currently spending the year working on Smart networks and Societies at the Software and Systems division at the Information Technology Laboratory at National Institute for Standards and Technology, USA. He is also a Visiting Honorary Professor at the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore and an Advisor and Adjunct Faculty of the Ahmadabad University. He has held several positions including Chief Scientist at the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (2008-2011), Visiting Professor at Technology, Policy Management faculty at TU_Delft, Netherlands (2007-2010) and University of Lyon II, France(Summer of 2003); and Guest Researcher/Visiting Professor, National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA (2003-2008). His research is in the areas of Socio-technical systems design, Decision support systems Engineering informatics, Gaming for development and policy, Design theory and methods and engineering design education. He has worked on several R&D projects designing design processes and collaborative work support systems with Asea Brown Boveri, Alcoa, Bombardier, Boeing, and Robert Bosch.  He has also been involved in the National Health Information Systems Project, Digital Archive for Engineering Information, and the Role of Standards for Product Life-Cycle Management.  He has been a consultant to a number of organizations including ABB, Bosch, Lytix, and the Center for Knowledge society (India).  He is Founding member of Fields of View, a non-profit research society in India working  on simulation, gaming and visualization in urban systems and public safety.

He has over 80 Peer reviewed publications, edited 3 journal issues and  co-edited 3 books on Empirical Studies in Engineering Design, Knowledge Management and Design Engineering, and a co-authored book on ICT for Development. He was awarded the Steven Fenves Award for contributions to Systems Engineering at CMU. He is a  member of the Association of Computing Machinery and member of the  Design Society. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association of Advancement of Science in 2008.


On Tuesday, the keynote is connected to the IFIP SIG track co-hosted with ISAGA and delivered by

Prof. Riitta Smeds

SmedsRiitta_01_sk_Small (2)

Riitta Smeds, D. Sc. (Tech.), is Professor of Business and Service Processes in Digital Networks, Aalto University School of Science, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management. At Aalto University, she is also founder and director of SimLab, a research and teaching laboratory that applies collaborative development and simulation methods to study co-creation of knowledge and innovation in inter-organizational processes and business models. Riitta Smeds is Adjunct Professor at Hanken School of Economics, and chair of the IFIP WG 5.7 Special Interest Group on Experimental Interactive Learning in Industrial Management. Her research, funded by the Finnish Agency for Technology and Innovation, the Academy of Finland, and EU, focuses on the management of collaborative innovation in service networks, inter-organizational knowledge co-creation, and collaborative innovation methods.


Wednesday we will hear about the business side of gaming by the CEO of the fast-growing company Relation Technologies.

Leif Sørensen

Leif picture linkedin

My talk will focus on the development of a company like Relation Technologies working fully on the development off gamification, simulations and learning concepts. I will try to answer why we do not work as a consultants business and why we leave the big money and profit to others in our value chain.

My primary role as CEO is to ensure that Relation Technologies grow as a company through an ever increasing focus on the Global Market. For this work I draw on skills from my experience in sales to executive level, my own leadership experience, and my eternal desire to build companies and create relationships around the world. See more about me here or twitter @RT_Latest_News

Since 2001, Relation Technologies has developed learning technology for consultants to use in training situations, and today Relation Technologies supports learning processes in large Danish as well as in Global companies. Deployment of Relation Technologies´ learning technology is supported by an authorized network of trainers from both different consulting firms and from in-house trainers in organizations.

Examples of Relation Technologies are, 6, Please look at the homepages for further information.


On Thursday, the keynote will be given by somebody whom many regulars to ISAGA conferences may know. The talk will go deeper into the relation between the roots of human behaviour and gaming simulation methods, presented by

Dr. Gert Jan Hofstede


Gert Jan Hofstede (1956) grew up in the Netherlands and Switzerland. His inquisitive mind took him to various disciplines that he is integrating in his recent work. He studies social behaviour in organizations with the perspective of an evolutionary biologist, and the experience of a database design expert. Gert Jan is currently an associate professor at Wageningen University, the Netherlands, where he works mainly in Information Management. He also is a frequent guest lecturer around the world for both business and academic audiences, mainly about cross-cultural topics. His book Exploring Culture: stories, exercises and synthetic cultures was translated into several languages; Cultures and Organizations: software of the mind, 3rd ed 2010, with his father Geert Hofstede and Michael Minkov, is an international bestseller translated into 18 languages. Gert Jan investigates deep drivers of behaviour, and differences in them between cultures. To do so, he creates and animates group simulation games with ambiguous incentive systems that allow natural group behaviours to occur and to be debriefed in areas such as leadership, negotiation, and trust. In recent years he has been active in incorporating believable cross-cultural behaviour into models of humans for social simulation. He sees the incorporation of the best, most practical social science into social simulation as his final academic challenge, and one that will take many years.


The last keynote on Thursday afternoon will open a relatively new field to ISAGA: the relation between advanced distributed simulations and gaming, explained and illustrated with excellent examples by

Prof. Alexander Verbraeck


My main research interests are distributed simulation, and simulation-based design, decision support and training environments, which can be used in a multitude of settings in industry and government. This research is the first step to what has been termed “Star Trek’s holodeck” where realistic simulations of complex technical systems are seamlessly integrated with high-end virtual reality and augmented reality environments, enabling new forms of training, learning, and decision making in three-dimensional interaction spaces. Multiple stakeholders and users can interact in these spaces to support their business processes. The use of the DEVS formalism from the simulation field, the latest developments in the computer science and graphics world, and theories from social sciences will be combined in a unique toolkit that can be deployed in many different settings.

Getting to Stockholm and KTH

Stockholm is served by three airports

Most airlines fly to Arlanda airport, about 40 kilometers from Stockholm. There is a very nice and fast train called Arlanda Express that brings you in 20 minutes to Stockholm Central station. Return tickets cost 490 SEK. Taxis from the airport have a flat rate to the city. Taxi Stockholm (the black cars with yellow letters) ask 520 SEK single fare, Taxi 020 (the yellow cars) charge 490 SEK. Please take care that you take one of these official taxis and ask for the flat rate and not the meter. A cheap transport alternative is the airport bus that takes 45 minutes to Stockholm Central station’s busterminal.

Skavsta airport is further away from the city and is served by the airport bus that takes about 80 minutes to Stockholm Central station. Low-cost airlines Ryanair and Wizzair operate on this airport, and it is not too bad if you are not in a hurry.

Bromma airport is a smaller airport almost within the city that serves the Nordic countries mostly. There is a daily flight to Brussels too. You can take the airport bus or the local bus to and from this airport that take you to Stockholm Central station directly or via some stops.

From Stockholm Central station  you can either take a taxi or the excellent metro system (Tunnelbana) or bus system. Getting yourself a public transport card for the week is a good idea anyway, and can be done at the SL shop at the -1 level in the station, at most Pressbyran (coffee corners) or at any other larger metro stop. You need to charge your card, which is really easy with the automatic machines that all support English too.

KTH and the main conference hotel BIrger Jarl can be reached from metro stop ‘Tekniska Högskolan’ on the red line of the metro towards ‘Mörby Centrum’. Take the exit at the end of the train called Tekniska Högskolan.

Car rental is available from all airports and within the city from all major rental brands. You will not need the car within Stockholm (and parking is expensive!) but if you plan to explore beautiful Sweden further it might be a good idea. Driving in Sweden is among the safest in the world and relatively calm. Please be advised that the threshold for alcohol in traffic is very strict and heavily enforced. Do not drink on your flight if you want to drive a car after that.

Important notes for authors

Dear authors,

We receive many questions regarding various aspects of the submission process. Here are some answers to the Frequently Asked Questions.

1. Is it possible to submit multiple papers?

Answer: Yes, within the ConfTool environment you can submit another paper or other contribution after you finished the submission of the first.

2. Do I have to present my paper?

Answer: Yes, at least one author has to register, pay and attend ISAGA2013 to present the work. The proceedings are fully prepared before the conference, but will be printed in July. Not attending means no publication. (Sorry, but some authors play this nasty game)

3. Is there a template and do I have to follow it?

Yes, the template can be found here and you have to follow it for the final upload. Given that the time limit for final submission will be tight, we highly encourage to follow this template directly for your first submission too.

4. Is there a maximum page count?

Yes, there is. It is 8 pages, including figures, tables and references.

5. What do I do with my name and references for the double-blind review?

Please remove your name from the first submission. References to your own work can be left in. It is good practice to cite yourself in a balanced way, so that it won’t be so obvious in the reference list anyway.

6. Is it going to be fun?

Yes, we are working on some really great speakers, and are receiving interesting submissions already.

Special workshop “Methodology of gaming simulation for learning, research and design”

You are cordially invited to a workshop on Methodology of gaming simulation for learning, research and design at the 44th conference of the International Simulation and Gaming Association (ISAGA). The ISAGA 2013 conference will take place June 24 – 28, 2013, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden.

The aim of the conference is to contribute to the methodological advancements in the gaming simulation domain. The conference will be organized along three pillars called the Science, Craft and Art of gaming simulation. For the workshop we refer to cultural anthropologist Barth (2002) who distinguished three interrelated faces of knowledge (cf. Klabbers, J., 2009, The Magic Circle: Principles of Gaming & Simulation. 3rd and revised edition, p. 87‐88):

  • A social organization; (building a social organization is a ‘craft’
  • A substantive corpus of assertions; (investigating the validity and realism of assertions is a ‘science’)
  • A range of media of representation; (creating all sorts of media of representation is art, craft, and science)

A social organization is a collective network of people who build and maintain mutual relationships. In gaming terminology these are interacting actors jointly playing roles, following and creating rules and using available resources.

Assertions convey how people connect objects and actions to explain events, and processes. These explanations may have a mythical or a rational connotation. In games as abstract representations and models of reality the related “causal” inferences usually are expressed in terms of behavioral (descriptive) or normative (prescriptive) rules, and codes of conduct.

In cultures, the media of representation range from signs, symbols that are being used during consecrations, holy dances, sacral contests ‐ all part of a festival or mythical ritual ‐ to mathematical knowledge used for computations, to images in gross anatomy atlases, technical laboratory equipment for microbiological experiments, chemical models, geography atlases and scale models, and so on. These representations shape both thought and action and thus the practices of the people involved.

In gaming ‐ especially in digital games ‐ these media of representation are flourishing in a great variety of forms of exotic interfaces mirroring all sorts of magic, virtual and real worlds. In the more traditional field of gaming we use board games, role playing games, computer supported games and so on, as media of representation.

These three faces of knowledge interrelate in particular ways in different knowledge traditions (cultures), and they generate tradition‐specific criteria for validity of knowledge‐about‐the‐world. Games mirror certain knowledge traditions. Games are social organizations and they relate to assertions about various aspects of the represented reference systems. Games are and use different media of communication and representation. Game designers, facilitators and players consciously and unconsciously select, communicate and deal with the underlying knowledge traditions. Through game design, and using games for research or learning we (re)construct social organizations, sets of assertions and media of representation. Through gaming we create new understanding and enhance our scope of action for changing existing social systems into more preferred ones.

We invite you to submit a paper to our workshop and to elaborate the linkages between these three interrelated faces of knowledge, and the way they mirror various reference systems, and what rules of correspondence between them apply. These understandings may help improve gaming for professional practice, learning, research, and design. The format for abstracts and the possibility to upload your contribution can be found at

Submission Deadline for this particular track is 15 February 2013. For further information, please contact the workshop organizers.

Jan Klabbers
Willy Kriz

Special workshop: “Fidelity and Embodied Experiences in Games”

Heide Lukosch, Rens Kortmann, Delft University of Technology – The Netherlands
Jan Klabbers, KMPC – The Netherlands

You are cordially invited to a workshop on fidelity and embodied experiences in games at the ISAGA 2013 conference. By fidelity we mean the level of realism a game represents. Embodied experiences are considered important drivers for sense making and learning processes in games. In our workshop we will discuss the theoretical concepts of fidelity, embodied experiences, and explicit & tacit knowing in games and their interrelationships.

Fidelity refers to rules of correspondence between the game and the reference system. It relates to verification and validation of games from the viewpoint of the analytical sciences, and to usability from design science perspective. Concepts such as functional, physical or psychological fidelity – including the actions and assignments of the players and their affective reactions – make up the overall level of fidelity. Although the topic of fidelity is often discussed in games research, little is known about the effects of different levels of fidelity on, for instance, the feeling of presence and immersion in a game, on embodied experiences, on explicit and tacit knowing, and how fidelity effects learning in a game.

Embodied experiences in games consist of a mix of cognitive, affective, and sensory-motor processes that take place in a game player. They give rise to tacit knowing. Adequate embodied experiences and tacit knowing enhance the (further) development of adequate perception-action repertoires in players, deemed suitable for acting in the reference system involved. To study and design valuable embodied experiences in games, we need to understand how the embodied mind of game players is stimulated by a game. Embodied cognitive science may reveal many lessons suitable for game analysis and design.

We welcome contributions that discuss the theoretical concepts of fidelity, tacit knowing, and embodied experiences, and the relation between these three concepts in games. Related topics are also welcome. Papers submitted to our workshop may address, but are not limited to following topics:

  • Fidelity and validity of games and their effects
  • Embodied experiences in games (game analytics, embodied cognition, sense making, etc.)
  • Presence and immersion in games (related to fidelity and embodied experiences)
  • Emerging explicit and tacit knowing through embodied experience
  • Fidelity, embodied experiences, and learning effects of games
  • Fidelity, embodied experiences, and their effects on a player’s awareness

We invite you to submit a paper to our workshop held at the 44th conference of the International Simulation and Gaming Association (ISAGA). The event will take place on 24 – 28 June 2013 at the Stockholm campus of the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology KTH. The format for abstracts and the possibility to upload your contribution can be found at

We plan a participatory workshop with a lot of interaction to discuss the concepts of fidelity, embodied experiences, tacit knowing and their interrelationships. Furthermore, we intend to create a special issue based on the workshop contributions within an international scientific journal.

For further information, please contact the workshop organisers

Heide Lukosch and Rens Kortmann {h.k.lukosch}{l.j.kortmann}

Jan Klabbers

Proceedings to appear at Springer

We are very proud to announce that we found Springer willing to publish the proceedings of ISAGA and the IFIP workshop as a volume in Lecture Notes in Computer Science. This highly acclaimed series is indexed by:

  • ISI Conference Proceedings Citation Index – Science (CPCI-S), included in ISI Web of Science
  • EI Engineering Index (Compendex and Inspec databases)
  • ACM Digital Library
  • dblp
  • Google Scholar
  • IO-Port
  • MathSciNet
  • Scopus
  • Zentralblatt MATH

It is now therefore even more attractive to submit your paper to ISAGA and to present in Stockholm in June 2013!

Free entrance to ISAGA

In collaboration with the SG Academy, we announce the best paper competition for student papers. The best student paper will win a free admission to ISAGA 2013, and of course the eternal fame.

If you are interested, visit the SG Academy website and submit your paper!

Bank payment now enabled

To overcome the processing fees that card payment instances like Paypal charge, we enabled the payment of conference fees via bank transfer too. Details can be found in the conference management system once logged in. We encourage all European participants to use this method of payment.