Meaningful Play 2021 at Michigan State University

Designing & Studying Games that Matter

Call for Submissions

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 2021 can include:

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

Specific requirements for each type of submission is available below.

Paper Submissions

Paper submissions should present original, unpublished research or design work. Papers under review elsewhere must not be submitted to Meaningful Play 2021.

Authors are encouraged to go beyond the discussion of their work and address implications back to literature, practice, and/or policy.

Authors of accepted papers are expected to present their work at the conference in an approximately 15-minute presentation depending on how many papers are scheduled for that session. The organizing committee will combine individual presentations into topical paper sessions.

Submissions will undergo a blind peer-review process. Authors will be provided with reviewers' critical comments as well as any suggestions for revision. All accepted submissions will have their short abstracts included in the online Proceedings of Meaningful Play after the conference.

Authors may submit either a full paper (maximum 8000 words not including a required short abstract of 150 words max) or extended abstract (500 - 1500 words, not including a required short abstract of 150 words) submitted electronically in Microsoft Word format. In order to be considered, full papers must follow THIS FORMAT.

Six to ten of the full paper submissions will be selected to receive top-paper designations and will receive priority consideration for inclusion in a special issue of the Journal of Serious Games (JSG; currently the highest-impact journal in the field of games research) following an additional review process through the journal. NOTE: Only full paper submissions will be considered for top-paper awards and inclusion in the JSG special issue. Further, JSG charges a fee for publication in their open-access journal. Meaningful Play will be covering this fee (through sponsorships) for any top-papers papers that are student first-authored AND student majority (i.e., more than 50% of authors are students). For all other papers (e.g., faculty or post-doc majority authors), authors will be asked to contribute $500 - $1000 to the open-access publication fee depending on the sponsorship availability. Please also note that receiving a top-paper award does not obligate authors to publish their articles in the JSG Meaningful Play special issue. All authors will be given an opportunity to opt out. NOTE: Only full paper submissions will be considered for top-papers.

Both full papers and/or extended abstracts will be included in a separate published conference proceedings.

Poster Submissions

Poster submissions should present original, unpublished research or design work that directly advances the Meaningful Play 2021 topics. Late-breaking advances and work-in-progress reports from ongoing research or design are particularly encouraged to be submitted to the poster session.

Authors are requested to submit either a 200-500 word abstract of the poster contents OR a draft version of the poster. Submissions will undergo a blind peer-review process.

Poster size and design are flexible but the size should not exceed 40" wide by 32" high. It is possible to rotate the orientation if necessary given your poster design. Posters will be hung on a poster board and therefore it is fine to bring a poster with no backing, such as a rolled up poster.

Panel Session Submissions

Individuals (or groups of individuals) are encouraged to submit proposals for panel sessions which provide an opportunity to publicly debate and discuss issues with eager academic and industry audiences. Panel session organizer(s) are required to submit a 200-500 word abstract which describes how 3 to 5 panelists will contribute to the debate as well as the panelists experience/credentials as related to the topic of debate. NOTE: This category will be unblinded for review.

Roundtable Discussion Session Submissions

Individuals (or groups of individuals) are encouraged to submit proposals for roundtable discussion sessions. At Meaningful Play 2021 roundtables are small peer discussion groups led by a facilitator (the submitter). Roundtable discussion sessions typically feature constructive controversy and debate amongst the attendees, and promote an open-ended exchange of ideas in a relatively casual setting. Roundtable discussion session organizer(s) are required to submit a 200-500 word abstract which describes the topic, the submitter’s plans for facilitating the conversation, and the submitter’s experience/credentials as a facilitator (e.g., classroom teaching experience). NOTE: This category will be unblinded for review.

Workshop Submissions

Individuals (or groups of individuals) are encouraged to submit proposals for workshops. At Meaningful Play 2021, workshops are sessions conducted in a highly hands-on fashion. Workshop sessions can be 1-2 hours in duration. Depending on the nature of each workshop, the number of attendees may be limited accordingly.

Workshop organizer(s) are required to submit a 200-500 word abstract that described the topic covered, the target/intended audience, the core concepts/skills that attendees will gain, and the facilitator’s experience/credentials as related to the topic of the proposed workshop. NOTE: This category will be unblinded for review.

Microtalk Submissions

Individuals are encouraged to submit proposals for microtalks (roughly 15 minutes in length) which discuss any of the subtopics listed below. Microtalks will be combined into topical sessions. Microtalk speakers are required to submit a 200-500 word abstract describing their project as well as their relevant experience/credentials. NOTE: This category will be unblinded for review.

  • Game Design Post Mortem — Describe your game design project.
  • Theoretical Well-Played — Use a theory from our field to describe a game of interest.
  • Meaningful Failures — Describe a research or design project that failed and why.
  • Design Principles — Describe a design principle and why it is awesome.
  • Game Production Studios — What makes some aspect of your studio special or unique, such as facilities, business model, team, toolset, or pipeline?
  • University Program — What makes some aspect of your university program special or unique?

Individual Speaker Submissions

Individuals are encouraged to submit proposals for individual talks. At Meaningful Play 2021, individual speaker sessions are roughly an hour in length, and explore a specific topic or theme in depth, while providing a strong personal or visionary perspective. Individual speakers are required to submit a 200-500 word abstract describing the talk as well as the speaker’s experience/credentials as related to the topic of the talk. NOTE: This category will be unblinded for review.

Games and Prototypes

View the game exhibition and competition for details on submitting games and prototypes.

Important Submission Dates

December 9, 2019

 

Submissions open

June 14, 2021

 

Paper, Poster, Panel, Roundtable, Workshop, Microtalk, Speaker, and Game on-time submissions due

July 26, 2021

 

Notification of acceptance on Paper, Poster, Panel, Roundtable, Workshop, Microtalk, Speaker, and Game submissions

August 30, 2021

 

Revised papers due for inclusion in published conference proceedings

October 7, 2021

 

Conference begins

October 9, 2021

 

Conference concludes

Conference Submission Topics

While any topic related to games for entertainment and learning is appropriate for submission to Meaningful Play 2021, 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

How to Submit

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

https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=mp2021

All game submissions must be submitted electronically through the online game submission system.

Deadline for all submissions is June 14th, 2021 at 11:55pm Eastern Standard time. Notification of acceptance will be given by July 26th, 2021.

Peer Review Process

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.

About the Journal

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.

MeaningfulPlay.MSU.edu