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NCA Game Studies Division Virtual Session: Meaningful, Serious, and Learning Games

Original date and time: Friday Nov. 20th, 2:00 – 3:15 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time)

Welcome to the archive of the first virtual convention session of the NCA Game Studies Division! This event brought together several amazing scholars to discuss meaningful and serious games … and delivered the discussion online to those at the convention, and others across the world.

You can view the archived recording of this live session on the Game Studies YouTube channel here: 


  • Jaime Banks (West Virginia University)
  • Mary Beth Oliver (Penn State University); Focus: Appreciation/meaningfulness in digital games
  • Nicholas David Bowman (West Virginia University); Focus: Fun as serious business
  • Casey O’Donnell (Michigan State University); Focus: Learning Games
  • John L. Christensen (University of Connecticut); Focus: Social change games
  • Anthony M. Limperos (University of Kentucky); Focus: Health and games
  • Roger Altizer (University of Utah); Focus: Game development and design considerations

Abstract: This panel will explore the dimensions and applications of meaningful, serious, and learning games – those that are designed for some primary purpose other than pure hedonic entertainment. In particular, panelists will discuss the characteristics of serious games, and how they may be engaged as part of education, health, and social change initiatives. Further, panelists will explore how meaningful experiences may emerge from other types of games, such as mainstream titles generally understood as merely “fun.”