CfP: Special issue of Well Played on “Games for Learning” and/or learning in games

Special issue of Well Played, edited by Stephen Jacobs and members of the IGDA Learning and Education Games SIG focusing on “Games for Learning” and/or learning in games.

There are a variety of games for learning. Some are targeted experiences, like Math Blaster or Remission, that have a very narrow focus. Some utilize complex systems, such as RPGs in which players use programming scripts to “code” Magic Spells?  The use of a “commercial off-the-shelf” game like Sim City, or a modded version of games like Civilization or Neverwinter Nights created to teach a specific set of common core standards could fit into this context. Of course many join Steven Berlin Johnson in asserting that all video games require the player to employ the Scientific Method. In this issue of the Well Played Journal we invite you to address these questions by exploring learning games as a genre of game that can be enjoyable for their own sake even while they make a contribution to the player beyond entertainment.

This Well Played issue will focus on discussion of learning that takes place within games. These submissions should focus on explicit learning outcomes, though these outcomes may or may not have been intended in the games original design. Submissions should examine the learning that occurs in games, and should rely on some data beyond one’s own play.  Case studies are a natural fit, though they need not have been in formal or even informal learning environments. These uses of videogames as a learning tool could be by career educators, but could also be by players  of the games who seek to expand or enrich their own knowledge and  practices through game play.

The research projects that provide data for the submissions could be qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods. They could be in learning environments or in the wild. Submissions might focus on teaching common core with games, twentieth century life skills, or any learning that enhances the lives of the players. As with any Well Played submission, the focus can be on the aesthetics as well as the utility of the well-played game, those the data suggest are effective and engaging, with an exploration of why the games succeed and why in the context of  the research project the players found the game to be “well played”.


ETC Press is accepting submissions for this special issue of the Well Played journal.

All submissions are due 31 January 2015 (5pm (EST).


All submissions and questions should be sent to:

well-played (at) lists (dot) andrew (dot) cmu (dot) edu


For more information and formatting guidelines, visit:


The Well Played Journal is a forum for in-depth close readings of video games that parse out the various meanings to be found in the experience of playing a game.  It is a reviewed journal open to submissions that will be released on a regular basis.


Contributors are encouraged to analyze sequences in a game in detail in order to illustrate and interpret how the various components of a game can come together to create a fulfilling playing experience unique to this medium. Through contributors, the journal will provide a variety of perspectives on the value of games.


The goal of the journal is to continue developing and defining a literacy of games as well as a sense of their value as an experience. Video games are a complex medium that merits careful interpretation and insightful analysis. By inviting contributors to look closely at video games and the experience of playing them, we hope to expand the discussion, and show how games are well played in a variety of ways.


The ETC Press is an academic and open-source publishing imprint that distributes its work in print, electronic and digital form. Inviting readers to contribute to and create versions of each publication, ETC Press fosters a community of collaborative authorship and dialogue across media. ETC Press represents an experiment and an evolution in publishing, bridging virtual and physical media to redefine the future of publication.



ISSN 2164-344X (Print)

ISSN 2164-3458 (Online)


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