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Günter Wallner <[log in to unmask]>
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Günter Wallner <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 23 Jan 2016 22:21:31 +0100
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Call for Papers for a Special Issue on
Information Visualization journal (SAGE)

*Aim and Scope*

During the last decade game developers and researchers have started to 
extensively collect in-game data of players in order to guide 
decision-making. This has led to the emergence of the new field of game 
analytics, that is, data analytics in the context of games. Over the 
last years game analytics has considerably contributed to our 
understanding of player behavior. However, with the increase in volume 
and variety of data a need for effective data visualization has arisen 
to support the interpretation of the complex and multimodal data sets 
and to provide various stakeholders with actionable intelligence. 
Despite increased attention, data visualization for game analytics is 
still in its infancy and many challenges in visualizing in-game data 
remain. Among others, game data is high dimensional, including time and 
space as well as the virtual context when decisions are made. Thus there 
is much research looking into how to reduce the dimensionality or to 
build interactive visualizations systems to tackle this problem. On the 
other hand, stakeholders who would like to look at game data, usually 
have different needs and would like to see different level-of-details in 
their visualizations. This necessitates customization and interactive 
adaptive techniques. How to design such systems for effective knowledge 
discovery is thus still a challenge. The purpose of this special issue 
is to collect novel work on visualization techniques for game analytics 
in order to contribute to the current body of knowledge and advance the 
start-of-the-art of the field.

Moreover, research on gameplay visualization so far has largely focused 
on informing development while research on player-centric visualization 
remains surprisingly largely unexplored. However, with the growing 
popularity of online games and e-sports, access to in-game data has 
become an increasingly important aspect for many players, allowing them 
to assess and to improve their skills, to compare their performance with 
the global player community, or to discuss possible strategies. From a 
developer’s point-of-view, providing players with access to in-game 
data, for example through APIs, can also improve community involvement 
and, in turn, increase the life-cycle of a game. As such this special 
issue explicitly also calls for work on visualizations targeted toward 
players in order to broaden our understanding of player-centric 

*Topics of interest*

Include but are not limited to:
·    Visualizations and visual analytics system for triangulating mixed 
data sources or multimodal data interpretation
·    Approaches for inferring behavior from game telemetry data 
(understanding the ‘why’)
·    Novel visualization techniques for sequence and time-based analysis 
of players’ execution traces
·    Spatial, temporal, or spatio-temporal analysis methods
·    Comparative and change visualization (e.g., to understand the 
consequences of design choices, to facilitate game balancing, …)
·    Case studies dealing with player behavior analysis and which make 
use of visualizations
·    Evaluation of visualizations in the context of gameplay analysis 
(e.g., which types of visualizations are appropriate for which kind of 

This special issue calls for papers that present novel approaches, 
methods and research findings and push the state-of-the-art in visual 
game analytics. As such we discourage submissions that describe 
applications or case studies of existing commercial tools. All 
submissions must be original and may not be under review by another 
publication. All submitted papers will be reviewed on a double-blind, 
peer review basis.

There are several publicly available data sets for use to visualize game 
action data. We are linking to a few well documented data sets that are 
available to public use, please see the dataset page on the accompanying 
website. Please visit respective websites for more information on how to 
download and use the datasets. These datasets are in no way compulsory 
for submission, but we encourage using them if applicable so that 
authors can have the ability to compare their work against one another.

*Important Dates*

Submission deadline: July 30, 2016
Reviews to authors: November 30, 2016
Revised papers due: January 30, 2017
Reviews to authors: March 30, 2017
Final papers due: May 2, 2017
Publication: October, 2017

*Guest Editors*

Günter Wallner (University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria), 
[log in to unmask]
Alessandro Canossa (Northeastern University, USA), [log in to unmask]
Magy Seif El-Nasr (Northeastern University, USA), [log in to unmask]


Electronic submissions of manuscripts in PDF should be made using the 
online submission system and the papers should be formatted according to 
the journal standards. During the submission process please indicate 
‘yes’ when asked if the submission is for a special issue and provide 
the special issue’s name: Visual Game Analytics. For details on the 
submission process, please visit the Journal's instruction website at:

For additional inquiries and advice on the potential suitability of any 
proposed manuscripts please contact the guest editors.

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