APPLY NOW: Online Graduate Certificate in Serious Games due Nov 15

November 15 is the deadline to apply for January admission to Michigan State University’s fully online Serious Game Graduate Certificate program for January admission.

The program consists of three graduate courses: Foundations of Serious Games (intro to the field, game design with a serious twist), Theories for Game and Interaction Design, and Understanding Users (approaches and methods for understanding players at all stages of the design process).  Together they provide you with a formal academic framework for thinking about and designing meaningful play.

Game Night at the Meaningful Play 2014 featured 33 digital games that offered diverse forms of meaningful play.

Game Night at the Meaningful Play 2014 featured 33 digital games and 9 non-digital games that offered diverse experiences of meaningful play.

Serious games are games with a purpose beyond entertainment.  They can be educational games, persuasive games, games for health, games to change the world, games for work, games as work, and more.  For example, MSU just hosted the Meaningful Play conference. Games exhibited included astronaut exergames, mental health games, games about mosquitoes, microbes, mathland, and surviving the zombie apocalypse, music games, calculus games, hero games, museum games, safe sex games, games to prevent violence against women, recycling games, Jewish culture games, saving money games, meditation games and making games.

The program is small and intimate. Our students are diverse — some are PhD students at other universities, others are game industry professionals. Some work in Fortune 500 companies. Others are teachers. Some are researchers.  Even though the courses are fully online, you get to know and interact with fellow students every week through discussions and viewing and critiquing each others projects.

Because students come to the program with specific learning goals, we encourage customization of assignments if an adaptation is more useful for your needs. Depending on your work and interests, you can make choices to optimize your own learning within the overall framework.

YOU could be one of the most important ingredients for a fascinating class. If you’re interesting (I mean, if you’re interested…) think about signing up. I’m happy to try to answer any questions. Email me (Carrie Heeter,

Here is a description of the program:

Here are application details for the fully online program:

Here are blog posts featuring some of the alumni of the program:

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