Portrait of Dr Carlo Fabricatore Dr Carlo Fabricatore

View research degree topics that Dr Carlo Fabricatore might supervise

c.fabricatore@hud.ac.uk | 01484 473599



Dr. Carlo Fabricatore holds an Associate Professorship (University Teaching Fellowship) and leads the Pro-Social Immersive Technologies (PSiT) research incubator at the University of Huddersfield (School of Computing and Engineering). Carlo joined Huddersfield in 2013. Throughout his career, he worked in the games industry, the IT industry and the Academia, collaborating with leading-edge organisations.

Carlo has been involved since 1996 in international research projects focussed on games, learning and complex systems, developing international collaborations with institutions and organisations including the Interactive Software Federation of Europe, the Learning Development Institute (USA), the Italian National Research Council, Nintendo, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” (Italy), and the Fielding Graduate University (USA). Carlo’s currently research studies the use of games to foster learning in formal and informal environments, and the application of game theory, gameful experience design and game-based learning to enhance social systems, with a specific focus on sustainable development, complex systems dynamics and wicked problems.

His pedagogic interests are focussed on game-based, experiential and problem-based learning, and the application of complex systems theory to develop adaptive educational strategies. His specialist teaching areas are: game design and development; interaction design; software engineering; and management. Throughout his career Carlo has been appointed to design and direct numerous innovative study programmes in computer science and digital games, including the first Italian Master’s programme in Video Game design, which he created and directed between 2003 and 2006, and the B.Sc. in Computer Games Design & Development run by the University of Worcester, which he designed and led between 2010 and 2013. At Huddersfield Carlo leads modules in games design and development, and serves on the Teaching and Learning Committee of the School of Computing and Engineering.

Carlo has a strong industrial track-record working in the fields of IT and digital games. In the game industry he managed and participated in a variety of projects, for platforms ranging from the Nintendo Gameboy to the Sony Playstation, and collaborating with leading organisations including Nintendo and Atari. In the IT industry Carlo specialised in software architectures, information systems and management consulting and coaching, and collaborated with multinational organisations such as Accenture, Microsoft and the United Nations.

Outside of work, Carlo is a keen sports angler who enjoys venturing remote places in the pursuit of the ultimate immersion in nature, and a passionate guitar player.

Research and Scholarship

Inspired by the 1998, 2012 and 2015 UN agendas for sustainable development, Carlo’s research aims at leveraging immersive technologies, game-based interaction design and context-aware computing systems in order to:

  • Foster the development of high-order thinking skills enabling people to deal with complex systems and complex problem solving, to support strategic thinking in corporate environments and sustainability learning in formal educational environments.
  • Enhance care and quality of life for people suffering high social impact diseases (e.g. dementia) and disorders (e.g. autism), through the use of adaptive assistive technologies and game-based engagement strategies.

Accordingly, Carlo is currently leading key projects in the fields of healthcare, sustainability learning and education.

The project “GARD - Game-based Augmented Reality for Dementia” studies the use of game-based interaction design approaches and adaptive assistive technologies to enhance caregiving, delay the onset of dementia and enhance patients’ motivation, social engagement and overall quality of life.

The project “Gaming for Sustainable Development” studies the use of play, games and game-based interaction design to foster people’s engagement with sustainability wicked problems, and sustainability learning in formal and informal environments.

In the field of education, since 2003 Carlo has conducted action research to develop strategies leveraging complexity science and game-based interaction design to enhance student engagement,

Learning, and foster the development of creativity and high order thinking capabilities required to cope with complex authentic scenarios. This work pivots around the Engage-Adapt-Learn (EAL), a system of strategies and technologies aimed at facilitating the adaptive design of learning activities and environments, based on the continuous monitoring of the student experience.

Throughout his career has successfully engaged in securing competitive research funding totalling over £600.000, including:

  • £30.000 granted by the University of Huddersfield for the start-up of the project “GARD - Gamified Augmented Reality for Dementia” (PI).
  • £32.100 granted by the University of Worcester to finance action research on: game-based sustainability learning; gamified instructional design; testing and development of the EAL framework (PI).
  • €504.852 granted by the European Commission (Leonardo da Vinci Programme) for the project “Q@Kit, a framework for the dissemination of Quality in Education and Vocational Training in a More Competitive and Dynamic Europe” (CI).
  • €200.000 granted by the European to finance the implementation of a digital game development specialisation programme and related action research for the development of the EAL framework (PI).

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Fabricatore, C. and L�pez, X. (2014) ‘Complexity-based learning and teaching: a case study in higher educationInnovations in Education and Teaching International , 51 (6), pp. 618-630. ISSN 1470-3297

Fabricatore, C. and L�pez, X. (2013) ‘Fostering Creativity Through Educational Video Game Development Projects: A Study of Contextual and Task CharacteristicsCreativity Research Journal , 25 (4), pp. 418-425. ISSN 1040-0419

Lopez, X. and Fabricatore, C. (2012) ‘Fostering Students' Creativity through Video Game DevelopmentProceedings of the 12th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies , ICALT2012 , pp. 340-341.

Fabricatore, C. and L�pez, X. (2012) ‘Sustainability Learning through Gaming: An Exploratory StudyElectronic Journal of e-Learning (EJEL) , 10 (2), pp. 209-222. ISSN 1479-4403

Fabricatore, C., L�pez, X. and Dill, K. (2009) ‘The central role of learning in videogamingVideo Games: Their Role in the Development of Children and Adolescents. , pp. 1-3.

Fabricatore, C., Nussbaum, M. and Rosas, R. (2002) ‘Playability in Action Videogames: A Qualitative Design ModelHuman-Computer Interaction , 17 (4), pp. 311-368. ISSN 0737-0024

Book Section

Craven, M. and Fabricatore, C. (2016) ‘Game Features of Cognitive Training’. In: 2016 International Conference on Interactive Technologies and Games (ITAG) 2016. : IEEE Computer Society. pp. 42-49. ISBN 978-1-5090-3738-4

Fabricatore, C. and L�pez, X. (2014) ‘Using Gameplay Patterns to Gamify Learning Experiences’. In: Proceedings of the 8th European Conference on Game Based Learning. Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited. pp. 110-117. ISBN 978-1-910309-55-1

Fabricatore, C. and L�pez, X. (2014) ‘A Model to Identify Affordances for Game-Based Sustainability Learning’. In: Proceedings of the 8th European Conference on Game Based Learning. Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited. pp. 99-109. ISBN 978-1-910309-55-1

L�pez, X. and Fabricatore, C. (2012) ‘Fostering Students' Creativity through Video Game Development’. In: IEEE 12th International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies. Rome, Italy: IEEE. pp. 340-341. ISBN 978-1-4673-1642-2

Fabricatore, C. and L�pez, X. (2011) ‘Gaming for Sustainability: An Overview’. In: Proceedings of 5th European Conference on Games Based Learning. Athens, Greece: Academic Publishing Limited. pp. 159-167. ISBN 978-1-908272-18-8

Conference Item

Fabricatore, C. and L�pez, X. (2015) ‘Higher education in a complex world: nurturing “chaordic” influencers’. In: Sixth Advanced International Colloquium on Building the Scientific Mind (BtSM2015), 2015, 17-21 August, São Raimundo Nonato & Serra da Capivara, Piauí, Brazil , pp. 1-11

Fabricatore, C. and L�pez, X. (2012) ‘Fostering student learning using a complexified educational strategy: A Case Study in Higher Education’. In: 1st Annual Conference on Complexity and Human Experience – Modelling Complexity in the Humanities and Social Sciences, 2012, May 30 – June 1, Charlotte, NC, USA

Fabricatore, C. and L�pez, X. (2009) ‘Gaming and the Scientific Mind: Designing Games to Develop the Scientific Mind’. In: Third Advanced International Colloquium on Building the Scientific Mind (BtSM2009), 2009, May 10-14, Cairo, Egypt , pp. 1-7

Fabricatore, C (2007) ‘Gameplay and Game Mechanics: A Key to Quality in Videogames’. In: ENLACES (MINEDUC Chile) -OECD Expert Meeting on Videogames and Education, 29-31 October, 2007, Santiago de Chile, Chile

L�pez, X. and Fabricatore, C. (2007) ‘Video game development and its potential for education and creativity’. In: Creativity - Paths of creation, ,

Fabricatore, C (2000) ‘Learning and Videogames: an Unexploited Synergy’. In: 2000 Annual Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT). Workshop: In Search of the Meaning of Learning., 2000, February 17, Long Beach, CA, USA , pp. 1-17


Carlo’s research earned him international recognition as subject specialist, leading to key affiliations and memberships, including:

  • Membership of the Committee for the Study of the Educational Impact of Digital Games, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
  • Membership of the Boards of Reviewers of the international peer-reviewed journals: Computers and Education; Game Studies; Electronic Journal of E-Learning (EJEL); Journal of Education and Curriculum Development Research (JECDR).
  • Fellow of the British Higher Education Academy - HEA
  • Member of the Panel of External Examiners for the Paris Graduate School of Management (Paris, France).
  • Core membership of the Organizing Committee of the Advanced International Colloquium on Building the Scientific Mind.
  • Core Membership of the University of Huddersfield School of Computing and Engineering Teaching and Learning Committee (Huddersfield, UK).

Carlo has disseminated his work through numerous international invited seminars, guest lectures, workshops and keynotes addresses including:

  • Fabricatore, C. (2015, October). The Heart of Players’ Holistic Engagement: Gameplay Activities, Mechanics and Context. Keynote address presented at the Gamez & Rulez Conference on Game Mechanics in Design and Culture, Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Fabricatore, C. (2015, April 17-19). Exploring Games. Wheels for the mind to reflect on human behaviour, engagement, and learning through the lens of gaming. Guest lecture presented at the Graduate School of Education and Human Development , Educational Technology Program, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/EFros7AnlQ8
  • Fabricatore, C. and López, X. (2013, May 30). The Complex Game of Education. Seminar presented at the Fifth Advanced International Colloquium on Building the Scientific Mind: Science and Technology in the Service of Beauty and Harmony (BtSM2013). Learning Development Institute, Bandung/Lembang, Jawa Barat, Indonesia. doi:10.13140/RG.2.1.2038.5685
  • Fabricatore, C., & López, X. (2011, March 11). Gaming for Sustainable Futures: Designing Video Games to Develop Sustainable Mindsets. Workshop presented at the Fourth Advanced International Colloquium on Building the Scientific Mind: Learning for Sustainable Futures (BtSM2011). Learning Development Institute, Stellenbosch, South Africa.
  • Fabricatore, C. (2010, March 11). Fostering progress through digital content labelling. Keynote address presented at the 21 Transatlantischen Dialogs of the Landesanstalt für Medien Nordrhein-Westfalen (LfM) - Global Alliance Matrix Roundtable. LfM, Dusseldorf, Germany. 
  • Fabricatore, C., & López, X. (2009, April 24). Video games and the scientific research. Keynote address presented at the North Carolina Chi Chapter of Pi Gamma Mu, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Hickory, NC (USA).

Research Degree Supervision

PhD projects are available in the following general research supervision areas:

  • User engagement and experience in simulations, games and immersive environments;
  • Impacts of immersive technologies on user engagement in complex problems, at individual and societal levels;
  • Application of immersive technologies, simulations and games to foster sustainable development and support the solution of wicked problems in social systems ;
  • Technology-enhanced and game-based learning in formal and informal environments;
  • Creativity and problem-solving;
  • Impacts of gaming on the development of pro-social behaviours.

PhD projects are available on the following specific topics:

  • Experimental development of pattern-based experience design frameworks;
  • Identification of affordances for game-based learning through empirical content analysis of digital games and/or player testing;
  • Development of frameworks to facilitate the selection, adoption and use of games and simulations to support organisational learning, development and change.
  • Application of game design principles to support learning in formal and informal environments;
  • Creativity and problem-solving in complex scenarios;
  • Use of augmented reality and alternate reality games to foster problem-solving skills;
  • Impacts of music on user engagement in virtual worlds;
  • Impacts of point-of-view and camera management on user engagement in 3D highly-interactive real-time simulations;
  • Use of simulations and immersive virtual environments to facilitate engagement with cultural heritage and cultural sustainability;
  • Use of digital games to foster the development of complex-problem-solving mindsets;
  • Identification and testing of game-based sustainability learning affordances;
  • Impacts of gaming on the development of collaborative problem-solving and creativity.


Current opportunities

Postgraduate research opportunities with Dr Carlo Fabricatore


MSc by Research

Enterprise Activities

  • 2011-13: Project director and software architect, independent open-source project. Directed and contributed to the development of an educational open-source software framework for the teaching of real-time simulations and game software engineering (platform: MonoGame; Microsoft .NET; Microsoft XNA; Google Android).

  • 2004-09: IT and management consultant and coach. Provided consultancy, designed and delivered IT and project management consulting, training and coaching programmes for the following portfolio of clients: Accenture; Banca Nazionale del Lavoro; Elsag Datamat; Elea; Engineering; Esis Italia; GETronics; Global Knowledge; Italian National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (INAIL); Italian Ministry of Defense; Lazio Regional Government; Italian National Research Council (CNR);  Performa S.r.l.; Reply; Telecom Italia Learning Services; United Nations.

  • 2008-09: Lead game designer, Italian National Centre for Computing in the Public Administration (CNIPA) (Rome, Italy). Directed and participated in the design of a serious game for a virtual government national project.

  • 2008-09: Project manager and lead software architect, Initium Studios (Rome, Italy). Directed and participated in the design and development of a middleware for the creation of 3D real-time interactive simulations, based on the Microsoft XNA framework.

  • 2007: Lead software architect, Interflora Italia (Rome, Italy). Directed and participated in the design of the software architecture for a distributed e-commerce web portal (platform: Microsoft .NET).

  • 2006-07: Lead software architect, Italian National Research Council (CNR) (Rome, Italy). Project “Leonardo Da Vinci” Q@Kit. Designed the architecture for a distributed content management system (Platform: PHP and Java Enterprise). Participated in the organization and deployment of software quality assurance activities.

  • 2006: Software architect, Italian Ministry of Economy and Finances (Rome, Italy). Designed a multi-tier distributed system for the management of ICT training programmes (platform: Microsoft .NET).

  • 2004: Software architect, United Nations (logistics base of Brindisi, Italy). Provided consultancy for the design of a multi-tier distributed system to provide logistic support to military missions in the Middle-East.

  • 2002-04: Software architect & engineer, project manager, producer, game designer. Provided project management, software engineering and game design consulting services commissioned by: Atari, UbiSoft.

  • 2000-02: Project manager, lead game designer and software engineer, Appeal S.A. (a subsidiary of Atari – Infogrames). Directed the production of the AAA game “Outcast 2”. Directed the conceptual design of the game. Contributed to the design of an Artificial Intelligence system and high-level tools for rapid game building.

  • 1997: Hardware designer, project FONDEF 1961016: “Developing intelligence through videogames”, conducted by the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (Santiago, Chile) in collaboration with Nintendo of America (USA). Co-designed a custom cartridge for the Nintendo GameBoy, to allow self-regulated educational videogames storing data to non-volatile RAM.

  • 1996-99: Producer, creative director and lead game designer, project FONDEF 1961016: “Developing intelligence through videogames”, conducted by the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (Santiago, Chile) in collaboration with Nintendo of America (USA). Managed a multidisciplinary team including instructional designers, game designers and game developers. Supervised and engaged in the design self-regulated educational videogames for the Nintendo Gameboy platform

Teaching and Professional Activities

Driven by the tenet that human beings are often better thinkers/doers when the play “games” than when they play “real life”, Carlo’s research interests are centred on the impacts of play and games on learning and human development in social communities and enterprises.

Focussing on sustainable development and wicked problems in social systems, Carlo is currently engaged in trans-disciplinary research studying how play, learning and engagement theories can be leveraged through game technologies and design principles to enhance social systems, and enable people to deal with uncertainty, change and systemic complexity.

At the University of Huddersfield, Carlo serves on the School of Computing and Engineering Teaching and Learning Committee, and as the School’s Sustainability Representative.

Carlo teaches game design and development, leading the following undergraduate modules:

  • “Game Design and Innovation” (programme: BA (Hons) Computer Games Design)
  • Module leader, CIT2410 “Game Design and Analysis” (programme: BA (Hons) Computer Games Design)
  • Module leader, CHT2153 “Game Concept Devlopment 3” (programme: BA (Hons) Computer Games Design