Saturday, October 28, 2017

IEEE Transactions on Games, your new favorite journal for games research

At the start of 2018, I will officially become the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Games (ToG). What is this, a new journal? Not quite: it is the continuation of the IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games (TCIAIG, which has been around since 2009), but with a shorter name and much wider scope.

This means that I will have the honor of taking over from Simon Lucas, who created TCIAIG and served as its inaugural Editor-in-Chief, and Graham Kendall, who took over from Simon. Under their leadership, TCIAIG has become the most prestigious journal for publishing work on artificial intelligence and games.

However, there is plenty of interesting work on games, with games or using games, which is not in artificial intelligence. Wouldn't it be great if we had a top-quality journal, especially one with the prestige of an IEEE Transactions, where such research could be published? This is exactly the thought behind the transformed journal. The scope of the new Transactions on Games simply reads:

The IEEE Transactions On Games publishes original high-quality articles covering scientific, technical, and engineering aspects of games.

This means that research on artificial intelligence for games, and games for artificial intelligence, is very welcome, just as it is was in TCIAIG. But ToG will also be accepting papers on human-computer interaction, graphics, educational and serious games, software engineering in games, virtual and augmented reality, and other topics.The scope specifically indicates "scientific, technical engineering aspects of games", and I expect that the vast majority of what is published will be empirial and/or quantitative in nature. In other words, game studies work belonging primarily in the humanities will be outside the scope of the new journal. The same goes for work that has nothing to do with games, for example, game theory applied to non-game domains. (While there is some excellent work on game theory applied to games, much game theory research has nothing to do with games that anyone would play.) Of course, acceptance/rejection decisions will be taken based on the recommendations of Associate Editors, who act on the recommendations of reviewers, leaving some room for interpretation of the exact boundaries of what type of research the journal will publish.

Already before I take over as Editor-in-Chief, I am working together with Graham to refresh the editorial board of the journal. I expect to keep many of the existing TCIAIG associate editors, but will need to replace some, and in particular add more associate editors with knowledge of the new topics where the journal will publish papers, and visibility in those research communities. I will also be working on reaching out to these research communities in various ways, to encourage researchers there to submit their best work the IEEE Transactions on Games.

Given that I will still be teaching, researching and leading a research group at NYU, I will need to cut down on some other obligations to free up time and energy for the journal. As a result, I will be very restrictive when it comes to accepting reviewing tasks and conference committee memberships in the near- to mid-term future. So if I turn down your review request, don't take it personally.

Needless to say, I am very excited about taking on this responsibility and work on making ToG the journal of choice for anyone doing technical, engineering or scientific research related to games.