Games, Media and Communication: Quo Vadis?

On 7 & 8 November 2019 the GAMECO2019 Symposium will take place. This symposium is a collaboration between ECREA Digital Games Research Section and the Gaming Matters Research Cluster of the Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture (ERMeCC).

The 2010s are almost over, and game studies is preparing to enter another decade. The current decade has seen discussions on ludification and e-sports as well as the true breakthrough of terms such as gamification, signifying the pervasive and ubiquitous nature of games and play in contemporary societies. This symposium hosted by the ECREA Digital Games Research Section aims to look at where we have been and where we are going as a field – what could be the next steps? Where could we go from here, and what is going to happen to game studies in the 2020s? How does the multi-disciplinary field of game studies relate to the similarly multi-disciplinary field of communication studies? What kind of innovations are waiting around the corner when it comes to novel research methods or theorizing? What kind of phenomena are only beginning to receive attention, where are the remaining gaps in research?


  • Friday 8 November 10:45-11:30h (ERMeCC) 

    Gamestudies: Mechanics, Dynamics and the Audience (Prof. Dr. Jeroen Jansz)
    In 2005, in Simulation and Gaming, US game scholar Dmitri Williams urged game researchers from the social sciences and the humanities to start ‘Bridging the methodological divide in game research’. Since then we have seen some efforts to actually build bridges, but we have also seen that the communities of ECREA’s and ICA’s gamestudies divisions have largely operated independently. In my talk I will argue that Dmitri’s plea is as relevant today as it was almost fifteen years ago. In doing so, I will slightly tweak the MDA model, while at the same time advocating a marriage between qualitative and quantitative approaches in game research. The arguments will be developed on the basis of the accomplishments of our large research project ‘Persuasive Gaming in Context’ (see:

    Biography Prof. Dr. Jeroen Jansz
    Jeroen Jansz holds the Chair of Communication and Media in the Department of Media & Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam and is the Academic Director of Erasmus University’s Community for Learning and Innovation (CLI) ( His research is about the reception of new media. The appeal of digital games is a long-standing research interest. Jansz has (co-) authored about 50 international scientific publications and 3 international books, and about 30 scientific publications and 4 books in Dutch. For an overview see In 2016, he and his team published the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Serious Gaming on He is co-founder of the Game Studies Division in the International Communication Association, a member of PEGI’s expert group (Pan European Game Information), President of NeFCA, the Netherlands Flanders Communication Association and the chair of the (Dutch) Scientific Council Media Literacy.

Full programme

12:30 Registration starts

13:00 Opening words (assoc. prof. Marko Siitonen, chair of the Digital Games Research section)

13:15-14:45 Session I (panel: Virtual Reality Gaming: Are We Entering a New Era of Interactive Entertainment and Digital Games Research?)

  • Robin Janzik: Developing a scale to measure Virtual Reality technology acceptance
  • Robin Janzik: The role of vividness and interactivity for Virtual Reality technology acceptance: A laboratory experiment
  • Felix Reer, Kimon Kieslich, Wai Yen Tang, Lena Frischlich, and Thorsten Quandt: My happy virtual me? The influence of interactivity and Virtual Reality technology on mood repair
  • Felix Reer, Lars-Ole Wehden, Wai Yen Tang, Robin Janzik, and Thorsten Quandt: The slippery path to total presence: How using an omnidirectional Virtual Reality treadmill influences the gaming experience

14:45-15:15 Coffee break

15:15-16:45 Session II (4 presentations)

  • Ruud Jacobs: Winning Over the Players: Investigating the motivations to play and acceptance of serious games
  • Teresa de la Hera: Co-designing a methodology to explore the role of digital games to foster social interactions during long-term hospitalization
  • Salvador Gómez-García and Nuria Navarro-Sierra: Can you play the message in the media? The use of newsgames in traditional media
  • Tobias Staaby: Video games as tools for dialogical teaching and learning

Evening: voluntary self-funded dinner at a local restaurant

9:00-10:30 Session III (4 presentations)

  • Alex Gekker: Against Game Studies
  • Ea Christina Willumsen: Rethinking the Relationship between Avatar and Gameworld
  • Morten Heuser: Retooling Ethnography - Ethnography in digital games
  • Michel Ottens: Finding words for how video games move us: Interpreting games as motion systems in Erin Manning’s process ontology terms

10:45-11:30 Keynote (Prof. Dr. Jeroen Jansz): Gamestudies: Mechanics, Dynamics and the Audience

11:30-12:30 Lunch

12:30-13:45 Session IV (3 presentations)

  • Stefan Werning and Dennis Jansen: Ecomodding: Methodological Remarks on ‘Thinking Through’ Game Modifications in Environmental Communication
  • Ulf Wilhelmsson: The conflicts and games of SAMCRO (Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original) – A composite analysis
  • Rowan Daneels, Lieven Geerts, Steven Malliet, Michel Walrave & Heidi Vandebosch: “Do not mistake my silence for lack of grief, boy”: Analyzing meaningful game content - a case example of 'God of War’ (2018)

13:45-14:15 Coffee break

14:15-15:30 Session V (4 presentations)

  • Aquil Khan: Ludic experiences of playing war games in game parlours: A political economy of game-based social lives and game parlours in Pondicherry, India
  • Ulf Wilhelmsson, Tarja Susi & Niklas Torstensson: Merging analogue and digital - Design challenges in creating an augmented reality serious board game
  • Mikko Meriläinen: Crooked eyes and playing together: Adolescent perceptions of gaming-related parenting views and practices
  • Khalid Ezat Azam: Risk and responsibility in the discourse on loot boxes

15:30 Closing words


Registration to the symposium is now open! The participation fee is €50,- Please fill out the form below - in your confirmation email you will find a link to complete your payment.

Call For Papers

We are inviting presentations, which may deal with any aspect of game studies or the intersection of game studies with the broader field of communication sciences. We especially encourage proposals that deal with innovations in research methods, empirical research, theory development, interdisciplinary collaboration, and other ways of renewing or re-inventing game studies. The presentations may also discuss work-in-progress research projects.

Possible topics include, but are not restricted to, the ones listed here:

  • Theoretical approaches and methodological advances in digital games research
  • The production, content, audiences and regulation of digital games
  • Digital game culture and gaming communities
  • Social interaction in and around digital games
  • Social and psychological aspects of digital gaming
  • Digital games in the field of education
  • Communication in and about digital games
  • Playful interaction in its various forms
  • Avatars, identification, and self-representation in virtual worlds
  • Digital game experience, gamer motivations, enjoyment and presence research
  • Digital games in comparison with other forms of media entertainment
  • Innovations in gaming, such as the use of virtual reality, augmented reality, and location-based gaming

Submission guidelines

Abstracts (max. 500 words + bibliography) should be submitted by (April 30th 2019) May 7th 2019 (deadline extended). Abstract should include the affiliations of the authors, a short bio of the lead author, and contact information. All abstracts should be submitted through EasyChair.

Decisions on the proposals will be made by the end of May 2019. There are plans to produce a publication, either a journal theme issues or an edited volume, based on selected seminar presentations.

Submit your abstract

The deadline has passed.


  • Marko Siitonen

    University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

  • Felix Reer

    Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Münster, Germany

  • Teresa de la Hera

    Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

The conference will be held at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands thanks to the support of the Gaming Matters Research Cluster of the Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture (ERMeCC).


G Building, Erasmus University Rotterdam (view on Google Maps)
Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062PA Rotterdam
Campus Woudestein

On Thursday 7 November the room will be G2-41, on Friday 8 November the room is G3-46.

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