Meaningful Play 2008 Conference Proceedings


Meaningful Play 2008 took place October 9 - 11, 2008 in East Lansing, MI, USA on the campus of Michigan State University. It was hosted by the MSU Serious Games Program.

Peer Review Process

All paper submissions were peer-reviewed by at least three members of the program committee (see below) specializing in the area of the paper topic.

Top Paper Awards

Paper submissions were considered for Top Paper awards by the program committee. Top Paper awardees were invited to submit a modified manuscript to the Meaningful Play 2008 Special Issue (July-September 2009 issue) of the International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations (IJGCMS). The International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations (IJGCMS) is a peer-reviewed, international journal devoted to the theoretical and empirical understanding of electronic games and computer-mediated simulations.


Below are the papers included in the electronic proceedings. Follow the links to view the abstracts or complete papers when available.

  • Alternative platforms for learning games

    $12 TV-Computers as an Ultra-Affordable Platform for Computer-Aided Education
    By: James Lomas
    view abstract- view paper

    Diminutive Subjects, Design Strategy, and Driving Sales: Preschoolers and the Nintendo DS
    By: J. Alison Bryant, Anna Akerman and Jordana Drell
    view abstract- view paper

    Learning via Gaming: An Immersive Environment for Teaching Kids Handwriting
    By: Bruce Maxim and Nicholas Martineau
    view abstract- view paper

  • Analyzing and Understanding Games

    A Framework for the Analysis and Design of Meaningful Games
    By: Russell Williams
    view abstract- view paper

    Beyond Choices: A Typology of Ethical Computer Game Designs (Top Paper Award)
    By: Miguel Sicart
    view abstract

    The Rhetoric of Serious Game Genres: Issues for Analysis and Design
    By: Lee Sherlock
    view abstract- view paper

  • Designing Games for Health

    Impacts of Narrative, Nurturing, and Game-Play on Health-Related Outcomes in an Action-Adventure Health Game (Top Paper Award)
    By: Debra Lieberman
    view abstract- view paper

    Press Play to Grow! Designing Video Games as Trojan Horses for Catalyzing Human Development
    By: Moses Silbiger
    view abstract- view paper

    The Social Construction Model of Interactive Gaming for Disabled Users: Benefits and Developmental Evaluation
    By: John Richardson
    view abstract- view paper

  • Emergent Gameplay

    The Significance of Jeep Tag: On Player-Imposed Rules in Video Games
    By: Felan Parker
    view abstract- view paper

    User Experiences of Game Idea Generation Games
    By: Annakaisa Kultima, Johannes Niemel, Janne Paavilainen and Hannamari Saarenp
    view abstract- view paper

    Visualizing Game Mechanics and Emergent Gameplay
    By: Joris Dormans
    view abstract- view paper

  • From the Keyboard to the Game Board - Part 1

    A Transmedia Comparison of Digital and Tabletop Board Games
    By: Brian Magerko
    view abstract- view paper

    Contrasting Player Conflicts in Digital Games and Board Games
    By: Ben Medler
    view abstract

    Pigs in the Poke: The Dynamics of Traditional Village Life, Games of Chance and Strategy
    By: Brian Hayden
    view abstract

  • From the Keyboard to the Game Board - Part 2

    Games in Libraries: Past, Present, and Future
    By: Scott Nicholson
    view abstract

    Lessons Learned From Building Board Games
    By: Francisco Ortega-Grimaldo
    view abstract- view paper

    The Anti-Immersive Theatre of Role-Playing Games
    By: Michael Ryan Skolnik
    view abstract- view paper

    The Ethnography of Collectible Miniature Game Storyworlds
    By: Ethan Watrall and Patrick Shaw
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  • Game Design and Development

    Games as Texts: Semiotic Relationships Between Gameplay and Cutscenes
    By: Dave Jones
    view abstract- view paper

    Iterations of an Open-Source 3D Game Engine: Multiplayer Environments for Learners
    By: Brett Shelton, Marco Alvarez, Michael Capell, Chad Coats, Jon Scoresby and Tim Stowell
    view abstract- view paper

    SimDialog: A Visual Game Dialog Editor
    By: Charles Owen, Frank Biocca, Corey Bohil and Jason Conley
    view abstract- view paper

  • Games and Culture

    Teens, Video Games, and Civics
    By: Jessica Vitak, Pew Internet & American Life Project
    view abstract

    The International Edition and National Exoticism
    By: Stephen Mandiberg
    view abstract- view paper

  • Games and Physical Health

    Designing Meaningful Play: A case study involving Queen of Wheat and Elvis Pretzley
    By: Kristin Hughes
    view abstract

    Eat M Up! Studying the Link between Game Experience and Eating Behaviour
    By: Karolien Poels, Yvonne de Kort and Wijnand IJsselsteijn
    view abstract

    I like to see myself on screen: Effects of seeing oneself on screen and body image dissatisfaction on exercise experiences in playing an exercise video game
    By: Hayeon Song, Wei Peng and Kwan Lee
    view abstract

  • Games for Learning

    The Ludenic MBA? Games and Simulations in Management Education: Lessons learned from a comparative, school-wide computerized online multi-game perspective
    By: Sheizaf Rafaeli
    view abstract- view paper

    Understanding of science concepts through gameplay in a prototype game
    By: Kermin Joel Martinez-Hernandez, Dustin S. Hillman, Gabriela C. Weaver and Carlos Rafael Morales
    view abstract

    Video Game Representations as Cues for Collaboration and Learning (Top Paper Award)
    By: Matthew Sharritt and Daniel Suthers
    view abstract

  • Games to Change Brains

    A Hard Day's Night: The Recovery Potential of Video and Computer Games
    By: Leonard Reinecke
    view abstract

    The Challenge of Challenge: Avoiding and Embracing Difficulty in a Memory Game
    By: Carrie Heeter, Brian Winn, Jillian Winn and Andrea Bozoki
    view abstract- view paper

    Video Games Change Your Brain
    By: Jing Feng and Ian Spence
    view abstract- view paper

  • MMORPGs and Virtual Worlds

    Gamestar Mechanic: Reflections on the Design (Research) of a Game about Game Design
    By: Ivan Games
    view abstract- view paper

    Green Reading, Green Gaming: The Future of Ecocriticsm, Storytelling, and Environmental Ethics in Virtual Worlds
    By: Matthew Kaplan
    view abstract- view paper

    The Play's the Thing: The Arden 'Failure' and the Future of the Educational Games Movement
    By: Elizabeth Losh
    view abstract- view paper

  • Player Involvement

    Play and Embodied Media
    By: Andrew Bucksbarg
    view abstract- view paper

    Rules of Engagement: Influence of Co-Player Presence on Player Involvement in Digital Games (Top Paper Award)
    By: Brian Gajadhar, Yvonne de Kort and Wijnand IJsselsteijn
    view abstract

    Volunteer Computing Games: Merging Online Casual Gaming with Volunteer Computing
    By: Charles Cusack, Evan Peck and Maria Riolo
    view abstract- view paper

  • Player Motivation

    Game Design and the Challenge-Avoiding Impression Manager Player Type (Top Paper Award)
    By: Carrie Heeter, Brian Magerko, Ben Medler and Joe Fitzgerald
    view abstract

    Girls Playing Games: The Effect of Gender Stereotypes on Video Game Playing Motivation and Performance
    By: Elaine Chan
    view abstract- view paper

    Inspiring Stories through Content
    By: Caitlin Kelleher
    view abstract- view paper

  • Social Play

    Online play, online connection: A Longitudinal Social Network Analysis of BZFlag
    By: John Paolillo and Daniel Kutz
    view abstract- view paper

    Using Recommendation Systems to Adapt Gameplay (Top Paper Award)
    By: Ben Medler
    view abstract


Below are the panels included in the electronic proceedings. Follow the links to view the abstracts.

  • Approaches to Language Learning as Meaningful Play
    view abstract

    Dongping Zheng, Michigan State University
    Ruhui Ni, Michigan State University
    Ken Dirkin, Michigan State University
    Yi Ma, Michigan State University
    D. Matthew Boyer, Michigan State University

  • Game Face(book): The Intersection of Games and Social Network Sites
    view abstract

    Cliff Lampe, Michigan State University
    Kurt DeMaagd, Michigan State University
    Nicole Ellison, Michigan State University
    Jon Monberg, Michigan State University

  • Playing with Public Policy: Games to involve and inform the public
    view abstract

    Alex Quinn, Executive Director, Games for Change (
    Ian Bogost, Assistant Professor, Georgia Tech University and CEO, Persuasive Games (
    Nick Fortugno, Co-founder and President, Rebel Monkey (
    Tracy Fullerton, Associate Professor in the Interactive Media Division of the USC School of Cinematics Arts and Director of the Electronic Arts Game Innovation Lab (
    Scott Traylor, CEO, 360Kid (

  • Suitable for all ages: Game design for the 60+ demographic
    view abstract

    Bob De Schutter, Group T Engineering School, Catholic University of Louvain
    Vero Vandenabeele, Group T Engineering School, Catholic University of Louvain
    Gerrit Vos, CUO-IBBT, Catholic University of Louvain
    Jan-Henk Annema, CUO-IBBT, Catholic University of Louvain
    Mieke Van Gils, CUO-IBBT, Catholic University of Louvain
    Jan Derboven, CUO-IBBT, Catholic University of Louvain
    Yorick Poels, CUO-IBBT, Catholic University of Louvain
    Henk Herman Nap, Technical University of Eindhoven
    Wijnand IJsselsteijn, Eindhoven University of Technology
    Yvonne de Kort, Eindhoven University of Technology
    Leyla Dogruel, FU Berlin
    Sven Joeckel, TU Ilmenau
    Yvonne Woldberg, Universiteit Utrecht, EPN - Platform for the Information Society

  • Talent, Incentives, and Infrastructure: Growing the Game Industry in Michigan
    view abstract

    Gjon Camaj, CEO, Image Space, Inc.
    Matt Toschlog, CEO, Reactor Zero
    Tony Wenson, COO, Michigan Film Office
    Brian Winn, Associate Professor, Michigan State University

  • User-Created Content And Program-Modification In Video Games And Virtual Worlds
    view abstract

    Barbara Johnson, University of Minnesota Duluth
    Beth King, University of Wisconsin - Madison
    Ibrahim Yucel, Penn State University
    Shree Durga, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Program Committee


Committee Members