Call: Meaningful Play 2020

Call for Submissions

International Academic Conference on Meaningful Play 2020
October 1-3, 2020
East Lansing, Michigan, USA

Submission deadline: June 15, 2020

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

Meaningful Play 2020 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.


While any topic related to games for entertainment and learning is appropriate for submission to Meaningful Play 2020, topics of particular interest include:

  • Exploring meaningful applications of games
    • Games to change attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors
    • Games for health
    • Social impact 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
    • Spectatorship, eSports, and streaming
  • Issues in designing meaningful play
    • Game design for specific audience segments
    • Player types and play styles
    • Story and storytelling in games
    • Diversity in games (gender, race, sexuality, etc.)
    • Characters and avatars 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, augmented reality, mixed reality
  • 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


December 9, 2019:  Submissions open

June 15, 2020:  Paper, Poster, Panel, Roundtable, Workshop, Microtalk, Speaker, and Game on-time submissions due

July 26, 2020:  Notification of acceptance on Paper, Poster, Panel, Roundtable, Workshop, Microtalk, Speaker, and Game submissions

August 30, 2020:  Revised papers due for inclusion in published conference proceedings

October 1, 2020:  Conference begins
October 3, 2020:  Conference concludes


Submissions are sought from both researchers and practitioners in academia and industry. Graduate students are also encouraged to submit either jointly with an academic/member of industry or alone.

Submissions to Meaningful Play 2020 can include:

  • Papers
  • Posters
  • Panel Sessions
  • Roundtable Discussions
  • Workshops
  • Microtalks
  • Individual Speakers
  • Games and Prototypes

Specific requirements for each type of submission are available at


All submissions must be submitted electronically through the online system at:

Deadline for all submissions is June 15th, 2020 at 11:55pm Eastern Standard time. Notification of acceptance will be given by July 26th, 2020.


All paper and poster proposals will be peer-reviewed by the program committee using a blind-review process. Authors will be provided with reviewers’ critical comments as well as any suggestions for revision.

All panel, roundtable, workshop, and speaker submissions will be reviewed by the organizing committee.


JMIR Serious Games (JSG, ISSN 2291-9279; Impact Factor: 3.351) is a multidisciplinary journal devoted to computer/web/virtual reality/mobile applications that incorporate elements of gaming, gamification or novel hardware platforms such as virtual reality headsets or Microsoft Kinect to solve serious problems such as health behavior change, physical exercise promotion (exergaming), medical rehabilitation, diagnosis and treatment of psychological/psychiatric disorders, medical education, health promotion, teaching and education, or social change. The journal also considers commentary and research in the fields of video games violence and video games addiction. The journal is indexed in PubMed, PubMed Central, DOAJ, and SCIE/Web of Science, and JCR (Journal Citation Reports) where it received an official impact factor by Clarivate. In June 2019, JSG received an impact factor of 3.351, ranking JSG at the top of all gaming-related academic journals, ahead of (for example) more established competitor journals such as the Games for Health Journal.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ISPR Presence News

Search ISPR Presence News: