Digital Games Research
ECREA Section
CfP Deadline Extended to Dec 30

The Power of Play: Motivational Uses and Applications of Digital Games

Pre-Conference to the 63rd International Communication Association (ICA) Annual Conference, London, UK

17 June 2013

Venue: Hilton London Metropole Hotel, London, UK

Jointly organized by:

  • ICA Game Studies Special Interest Group
  • ECREA Digital Games Research Temporary Working Group

Ever since their public appearance some four decades ago, digital games have been considered to be a unique medium that provides a specific type of experience which evokes high levels of motivation: Motivation to play repeatedly to gratify a need, and motivation to change attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. On the one side, this motivational aspect of digital games has led to claims of them being addictive, and evoking anti-social tendencies due to their contents. On the other side, digital games are seen as tools that could radically improve learning and training outcomes, modify perceptions and behaviors, and consequently could be used in various types of interventions. For the player, the motivation to play a digital game, and the motivation to let its contents and features change their real life beliefs, perceptions, and even behavior do not have to be mutually exclusive. Hence, the ways in which digital gaming experience could be shaped to evoke motivation to play, and their various applications for entertainment and other purposes need to be better understood.

The goal of the pre-conference, “The Power of Play,” is to shed light on the motivational aspects of digital games and gameplay, how they relate to the ways in which games are used for entertainment and other purposes, the domains in which they are applied, the challenges in their design and application, and the ways in which they are studied. In order to tackle these questions, the pre-conference welcomes extended abstracts and/or workshop submissions with different theoretical backgrounds, methods and perspectives. Possible pre-conference topics include but are not restricted to:

  • Digital games as a motivational medium
  • Digital game theories to explain motivation
  • Game content and design considerations to evoke motivation
  • Gaming experience, solo and social play for motivation
  • Motivation to play vs. motivation to change beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors
  • Innovative methods for studying motivational uses and applications of games
  • Effects of motivational uses of digital games
  • The mechanism of digital game motivation
  • The process and challenges of
    • Using digital games for commercial profit
    • Using digital games to facilitate learning, to raise awareness, or to change behavior

Further information on the pre-conference can be found at:, and on the ICA main conference at


Extended Abstracts

Anyone interested in presenting a paper at the pre-conference is invited to submit an extended abstract of 1000-1500 words in APA 6th style to the pre-conference organization committee before 23:59 EST, 30 December 2012. The abstracts will be subject to a double blind peer review process; therefore all identifying author information should be removed from the abstract. Notification of acceptance will be sent by 1 February 2013.

To submit, please e-mail a PDF version of your extended abstract with title as an attachment to <icaprecon2013[at]digital-games[dot]eu>. When submitting the abstract, please also include a separate cover page including the title of your extended abstract, along with your name, title, department/organization, address and e-mail information.

Submission of work in progress is also welcome as long as the work can be completed by the month of the pre-conference. The extended abstracts submitted for the pre-conference should not have been submitted to any other competitions in the ICA’s main conference or any other venue. The pre-conference submissions will be refereed and programmed separately from ICA’s main conference.

All those who are accepted to present their extended abstract should register for the ICA pre-conference by 3 May 2013.

Please note that accepted extended abstracts may be published in the on-line pre-conference proceedings. Those who wish to be considered for publication should let the pre-conference organization committee know in their e-mail submission whether or not they want to be included in the proceedings.

Workshop Proposals

This year’s pre-conference will include workshops to help scholars exchange the practical aspects of the motivational power of play. Those who are interested in facilitating a workshop on game design that raises motivation, or on implementation, or assessment of motivational uses of games at the 2013 ICA London pre-conference are encouraged to submit a 500-1000 word proposal to the organizational committee.

The workshop should be designed to take approximately 2 hours to complete, should not rely on participants’ use of technology unless provided by the facilitators, and should incorporate active participation of the audience either in groups or individually. The workshop room will be set up with round tables that can accommodate 50 participants. A projector and screen will also be provided.

Please e-mail the two necessary documents described below as one PDF attachment to <icaprecon2013[at]digital-games[dot]eu> before 23:59 EST, 30 December 2012. The proposals will be accepted on the basis of peer review. Notification of acceptance will be sent by 1 February 2013. All those who are accepted to facilitate their workshop should register for the ICA pre-conference by 3 May 2013.

-The workshop proposal should contain the following information:

  • A cover page with the workshop title, name of the workshop facilitator(s), institution name(s), address(es) and e-mail(s)
  • A synopsis explaining the motivation and objectives of the workshop
  • Time frame required
  • Minimum and maximum number of participants needed
  • Skill and knowledge level requirements of the participants
  • Activity agenda including tasks to be covered throughout the workshop

–          Please also provide expected benefits/outcomes for each activity

  • Materials needed and information on who should provide them
  • Notes, comments, costs, and expectations from the organization committee (Workshop expenses may be partially subsidized by the organization committee. So please be very specific about any and all your expectations from the organization committee.)

-Please also include a bio/profile/resume of the workshop facilitator(s)

Further information on extended abstracts and workshop proposals can be inquired by e-mailing icaprecon2013[at]digital-games[dot]eu

About ICA and the Game Studies Special Interest Group

The International Communication Association (ICA) is an academic association dedicated to advancing the high quality scholarly study of human and mediated communication since 1950. ICA aims to facilitate excellence in academia by facilitating exchange among various cultures, nations, and disciplines. As of 2012, ICA has more than 4300 members in over 80 countries.

The Game Studies special interest group has been a platform for scholars worldwide specializing in rigorous research in digital games and gaming as a new form of media since 2006.

More information on ICA can be found at More information on the ICA Game Studies Special Interest Group can be found at

About ECREA and the Digital Games Research Temporary Working Group

European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA) is the academic society for communication scholars across (and beyond) Europe since 2005. It hosts three networks, 17 sections and 8 Temporary Working Groups (TWGs). As of 2012, ECREA counts more than 3000 members from all over the world. ECREA’s activities include the ECC conferences, summer schools, a book series, and many other activities to unite researchers in discussion and research.

The Temporary Working Group (TWG) “Digital Games Research” was founded in 2011, offering communication scholars interested in computer and video games research a dedicated home in ECREA.

More information on ECREA can be found at More information on the TWG and how to become member can be found at