CfP: Thriving Through Gameplay

Well Played Journal Special Issue CfP: Thriving Through Gameplay

Edited by iThrive Games’ team of experts and game design faculty members from various universities, in cooperation with ETC Press.
iThrive Games explores how great games can empower teens to discover and use their unique strengths, unlock their potential, and take charge of their well-being. iThrive Games, a division of Centerstone Research Institute and funded by the D.N. Batten Foundation, facilitates the development of digital games and applications that empower teens to take an active role in their own social and emotional well-being.
iThrive Games has partnered with Well Played to produce a special edition of the journal. The purpose of this special issue is to investigate the connection between video games and positive psychology. Positive psychology is a strengths-based approach that focuses on the ways human beings thrive by making meaningful, purposeful, and socially connected lives. Specifically, positive psychology focuses on cultivating and practicing skills such as social and emotional intelligence, empathy, gratitude, kindness, curiosity, creativity, and self-efficacy (and more).
Authors are invited to submit manuscripts which explore, from a well-played perspective, video games, game mechanics, and gameplay contexts (e.g., physical settings and relationships within them) that support the cultivation of habits for thriving, including social and emotional skills. Articles focusing on the connection between games and teen thriving, in particular, are highly encouraged. We welcome analysis across a diverse range of digital games including commercial and noncommercial titles and seek a wide variety of perspectives including those of players, developers, educators, and behavioral health professionals.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
      Identifying personal strengths and abilities through gameplay
      Designing games for empathy
      Cooperative gameplay and prosocial outcomes
      Games as a space for self-exploration and identity experimentation
      Fostering growth mindset through gameplay
      Cultivating optimism through gameplay
      Gameplay to enhance persistence in real life
      Promoting teen health and well-being
      Building teens’ self-awareness through gameplay
      Boosting self-efficacy through gameplay
      Games as a tool for social and emotional skill development
      Developing resilience through gameplay
ETC Press is accepting submissions for this special issue of the Well Playedjournal now, and all submissions are due by September 1, 2017.
All submissions and questions should be sent to: Heidi McDonald, Creative Director at iThrive Games:
For more information and formatting guidelines, visit:
Well Played is a forum for in-depth, close readings of 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 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.
Games are a complex medium that merits careful interpretation and insightful analysis. By inviting contributors to look closely at 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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