Call for Papers: Forum on Video Games for Mental Health

28th of October, Melbourne, Australia @ CHI PLAY

little girl in unicorn costume with mobile on couch

In recent years, mental health has become a major disease burden globally. Untreated mental illness has serious consequences for the individual, resulting in lower quality of life. Mental health illness also  has severe negative effects on the global economy. Digital solutions for mental health may offer relief to the overburdened health care system but would benefit from design approaches geared to increase participant adherence and engagement. When aiming to increase adherence and engagement, video games offer a rich design ecosphere—ranging from narrative elements usable in therapy, accessible social dynamics, over challenging cognitive tasks, to novel assessment approaches and applicability as preventive measures. As such, video games are well suited to advance digital solutions for mental health. While there is clear potential in video games for mental health, the challenges and opportunities of transferring game design to mental health applications, designing for specific mental illnesses, and integrating games for mental health into the clinical context are rarely addressed.

The Forum on Video Games for Mental Health invites researchers and practitioners working on mental health, video games, and/or digital health care to discuss their work under the auspices of the annual CHI PLAY conference. Participants can also look forward to three thought provoking keynotes, addressing the use of video games in therapy, issues with the clinical implementation of digital health technologies, and the production of games for mental health.

We particularly welcome contributions on:

  • Innovative game designs and technologies for promoting, assessing or treating mental health
  • User-centered or participatory design methods applied to games for mental health
  • Implementation strategies and or clinical/practical considerations when using games for mental health
  • User studies, experiments and/or intervention studies, focused on outcomes of using games for mental health
  • Post-mortems of games for mental health
  • Video games and playful interactions applied in the therapeutic context

Submission Formats

Participants are encouraged to submit one of the following formats:

  • an abstract in JMIR Mental Health format and a subsequent long paper to the JMH Special Issue (max. 7500 words). Accepted abstracts will be presented as a short-talk at the Forum.
  • a position paper (2-4 pages, SIGCHI Extended abstracts format) presented on the website and as a poster at the Forum,
  • a poster for presentation at the Forum,
  • a social paper (i.e. CV describing your work) (1-page, SIGCHI Extended abstracts format) for presentation at the Forum.

Authors of long papers are first invited to send their abstract via email to the organizers by September 1st and submit the full paper to the  JMH Special Issue by October 5th—authors who already submitted do not need to resend the abstract. Authors interested in submitting to the JMH Special Issue should take a look at the Special Issue CfP. In case of acceptance to the workshop on the basis of the abstract, authors will be invited to submit the full paper to JMIR Mental Health by 5th of October. Accepted long papers will be invited to give a short presentation about their work at the Forum on Video Games for Mental Health in Melbourne.

Authors of short papers are encouraged to submit a 2 to 4-page position paper via EasyChair by September 1st. Short papers will be peer-reviewed, and the organizing committee will select submissions according to relevance and research diversity. Accepted short-paper authors will be invited to present a poster at the Forum.

PDFs of posters can be submitted via EasyChair without any further information by September 1st. Poster submissions will be selected by the organizing committee according to relevance, and research diversity.

Social papers should contain a 1-page biography,  and a brief statement to clarify their interest in the Forum. Participants are asked to submit their short papers or social papers via EasyChair by September 1st. Social paper submissions will be selected by the organizing committee according to relevance, and research diversity.

Short and social papers and posters will be published on the website in advance of the workshop to support networking among participants.

If accepted, at least one author must register for the Forum and for one or more days of the conference. Long papers can be submitted to the JMIR Mental Health Special Issue without attending the Forum—in these cases it is not required to register.

Submission Schedule

Authors of long papers are invited to submit to the JMH Special Issue on Video Games for Mental Health directly through the JMIR submission system, while authors of short papers, posters, and social papers submit through EasyChair. Please find the dates for both submission process below:

JMH Special Issue (submit through JMIR Mental Health):

  • JMH Special Issue Abstract due: August 15th September 1st, 2018
  • Invitations to Present at the Forum: August September 7th, 2018
  • JMH Special Issue Full Paper due: October 5th, 2018
  • Notification of Acceptance to JMH: January, 2019
  • Camera-ready Version of the JMH Full Paper due: April 2019

Short Papers, Social Papers, Posters (submit through EasyChair):

  • Submissions due: August 15th September 1st, 2018
  • Notification of Acceptance: August September 7th, 2018
  • Final Version due: October 5th, 2018