This is an archive of a previous Meaningful Play. View current Meaningful Play.

Meaningful Play 2008
designing and studying games that matter

Meaningful Play 2008 Conference Overview

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

Meaningful Play 2008 is an interdisciplinary academic conference that explores the potential of games to entertain, inform, educate, and persuade in meaningful ways. The conference includes 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.

Conference News

February 28, 2010 - View details on the 2010 conference.

April 2, 2009 - After the great success of Meaningful Play 2008, we have decided to run the event every other year. We are in the early stages of preparing for Meaningful Play 2010. More information will be available in the coming months.

December 11, 2008 - Videos of eight sessions are now available online.

October 15, 2008 - Meaningful Play 2008 was a great success with over 225 attendees from over 20 US states and 10 countries. We had six keynote addresses, three from notable member of industry (Richard Hilleman with Electronic Arts, Leigh Anne Cappello from Hasbro, and Nick Fortugno from Rebel Monkey) and three from prominent academics in the discipline (Ian Bogost with Georgia Tech, Ute Ritterfeld from VU University of Amsterdam, and Tracy Fullerton from USC.) Beyond keynotes, we had four concurrent sessions running at any one time, including speakers from industry and academia, paper presentations presenting the latest research coming out of academia, and panel discussions. There also was many opportunities to mix, mingle, and build community. The conference really was "where serious met fun". Thanks to all those that made it a great success!

October 13, 2008 - The Meaningful Play 2008 conference proceedings are now available online.

October 11, 2008 - Game Competition winners announced. See games for details.

October 11, 2008 - Meaningful Play conference concludes with closing keynote from Tracy Fullerton

October 9, 2008 - Meaningful Play conference kicks-off with opening keynote from Richard Hilleman

September 24, 2008 - The final conference schedule is now available. See program for details.

September 3, 2008 - The tentative conference schedule is now available. See program for details.

August 26, 2008 - Richard Hilleman, Chief Creative Officer for Electronic Arts, announced as confirmed keynote speaker. See program for details.

August 15, 2008 - Tracy Fullerton, game designer, educator and writer, announced as confirmed keynote speaker. See program for details.

August 10, 2008 - Leigh Anne Cappello, play futurist, announced as confirmed keynote speaker. See program for details.

July 14, 2008 - Paper submission deadline past - still time to submit games, posters, panels, workshop, speaker, and roundtable proposals. See call for submissions for details.

June 30, 2008 - Ian Bogost announced as confirmed keynote speaker. See program for details.

June 23, 2008 - Presentation submission deadline has been extended to July 13, 2008. See call for submissions for details.

June 5, 2008 - Nick Fortugno and Ute Ritterfeld announced as first two confirmed keynote speakers. See program for details.

April 21, 2008 - Meaningful Play 2008 special issue of the International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations (IJGCMS) announced. See call for submissions for details.

March 26, 2008 - Call for games for Meaningful Play 2008 is now available.

March 14, 2008 - Call for submissions for Meaningful Play 2008 is now available.

March 12, 2008 - Michigan State University is excited to announce the upcoming Meaningful Play conference to take place October 9-11, 2008 on the campus of Michigan State University.


Keynote Line-Up

The final keynote line-up for Meaningful Play 2008 includes:

Ian Bogost Leigh Anne Cappello Richard Hilleman

Ian Bogost, Associate Professor, Georgia Tech and Founding Partner, Persuasive Games LLC

Leigh Anne Cappello, Vice President and Play Futurist, Future Now Division of Hasbro Richard Hilleman, Chief Creative Officer, Electronic Arts
Ute Ritterfeld Nick Fortugno Tracy Fullerton
Ute Ritterfeld, Professor for Media Psychology, VU University Amsterdam and co-founded of Center for Advanced Media Research Amsterdam Nick Fortugno, Co-founder and President of Rebel Monkey and renowned casual game designer Tracy Fullerton, Associate Professor, Interactive Media Division, USC School of Cinematic Arts and Director of the Electronic Arts Game Innovation Lab


Conference Audience and Themes

The conference is primarily for:

  • game researchers and academics
  • game designers and developers
  • students

The two primary themes of the conference are:

  • exploring meaningful applications of games
  • issues in designing meaningful play

The first theme includes an examination of games (of all types) from primarily an academic research perspective.

The second theme focuses on much more practical knowledge from the front-line of actual design, development, and use of games for meaningful purposes.


Important Dates

July 13, 2008   Paper Submission Deadline
August 15, 2008   Game, Poster, Speaker, Panel, Workshop, and Roundtable Submission Deadline
September 8, 2008   Early Registration Closes
October 9, 2008   Conference Begins
October 11, 2008   Conference Concludes