Call: Meaningful Play 2018

Call for Submissions

Meaningful Play 2018
October 11-13, 2018
East Lansing, Michigan

Submissions deadline: Sunday, June 24, 2018

Whether designed to entertain or to achieve more “serious” purposes, games have the potential to impact players’ beliefs, knowledge, attitudes, emotions, cognitive abilities, physical and mental health, and behavior.

Meaningful Play 2018 is a conference about theory, research, and game design innovations, principles and practices. Meaningful Play brings scholars and industry professionals together to understand and improve upon games to entertain, inform, educate, and persuade in meaningful ways.

The conference will include thought-provoking keynotes from leaders in academia and industry, peer-reviewed paper presentations, panel sessions (including academic and industry discussions), innovative workshops, roundtable discussions, and exhibitions of games and prototypes.

The call for submissions AND games deadline is Sunday, June 24, 2018.

Complete details on the conference are available at:

While any topic related to games for entertainment and learning is appropriate for submission to Meaningful Play 2018, topics of particular interest include:

1) Special track in partnership with IGDA Learning, Education & Games

  • Demonstrations of game technology or design frameworks that are grounded in pedagogy
  • Research on games that support empathy and inclusion in education
  • Co-creating games, art and technology with students
  • Civic engagement and citizenship education through games
  • Practicing skills through games, such as media literacy, STEM, argumentation, or writing
  • Humanistic education through games

2) Exploring meaningful applications of games

  • Games to change attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors (including social impact games and personal health games)
  • Games to stimulate creativity or innovation
  • Games to build social skills
  • Games to advertise and persuade
  • Games to exercise specific cognitive functions
  • Games to explore personal beliefs and help make decisions
  • Games to build knowledge and skills (games for learning)
  • Serious games for history and cultural heritage learning
  • Games to promote civic, social, and humanitarian organization and participation

3) Issues in designing meaningful play

  • Game design for specific audience segments
  • Player types and play styles
  • Story and storytelling in games
  • Competitive and cooperative play (single player, multiplayer and massively multiplayer)
  • Balancing entertainment and serious goals
  • Repurposing entertainment games for serious purposes (and vice versa)
  • Unintended and unexpected effects of games
  • Using psychology and neuroscience to design and understand games
  • Emerging design research methods to help create better games
  • Measuring game impacts
  • Innovative techniques and technologies for the design of meaningful play (e.g. game mechanics, reward systems, and user interfaces)
  • Gamification
  • Virtual reality and meaningful play

Complete details on the conference are available at:


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